Project Management Terms and Acronyms

Civil Engineering Project Manager standing at site looking at building

A glossary of terms and the A-Z of acronyms used in project and portfolio management and across the world of business.

Overview

The next time you’re listening to a presentation and the speaker says, “if you’re not using EVM to manage your EACs, how are you going to keep track of your EBITDA?!”, and you think, if only there were a place where all those project management terms and acronyms were explained, you’ll know where to look.

A&D

Aerospace and defense

AC

Actual cost

ACWP

Actual cost for work performed

AEC

Architecture engineering construction

Agile

A type of software development method in which the project team starts with a very simple project design, and adds functionalities through short iterations.

Agile State-Gate

Combines the structure, phases and gates of the stage-gate process (see below), with the self-organised teams and short cycle iterations of Agile (see above) methodologies – often derived from Scrum (see below).

ALF

Annual license fee

API

Application programming interface, the mechanisms that allow software applications to communicate with one another. Check out our Software Systems Integration page to see how our software solution can communicate and integrate with other solutions.

APR

Annual percentage rate

BAC

Budget at completion

BAU

Business as usual

BCR

Benefit cost ratio

BCWP/S

Budgeted cost of work performed/scheduled

BEP

Break-even point

BOE

Basis of estimate

BOM

Bill of materials

BRD

Business requirement document

BS

Facts and figures that aren’t entirely, ahem, reliable.

BTO

Build/t to order

Burn-Down Chart

A type of chart used in agile methodologies to measure the amount of work remaining against time.

CAD/E/M

Computer aided design/engineering/manufacturing

Capacity Planning

Capacity planning is a set of tools, strategies and techniques to estimate the amount of production needed to match projected demand in the short, medium and long term.

CAPEX

Capital expenditure

CBR

Cost benefit ratio

CBS

Cost breakdown structure

CEACA

Current estimate at completion amount

CIP

Capital improvement program

CO

Change order

CPA

Cost performance analysis/assessment

CRM

Customer relationship management

Crystal Methodologies

A family of lightweight computer development methods that were created to suit different types of projects, depending on their size and complexity.

CSR

Corporate social responsibility

CSCI

Computer software configuration item

CST

Customer success team, made up of the Cora Customer Portal, the Cora Success Packs and the Cora Review Service, all of which have been designed to help our customers get the maximum benefit from our suit of products and services.

CRUD

Create read update delete

CV

Cost variance

DCAA

Defense contract audit agency

DCMA

Defense contract management agency

DMADV

Define measure analyze design verify

DSDM

Dynamic systems development method, a heavier agile (see above) project delivery framework, focused on delivering functionalities within tight time and budget constraints.

E2ET

End to end testing

EAC(s)

Estimate at completion(s)

EBITDA

Earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization, an alternative measure of profitability to ‘net income’.

Efficient Frontier

A method derived from financial portfolio theory to find out the optimal project portfolio, to maximize value.

Enterprise Agile Framework

A type of agile methodology to scale agile principles and practices to a particular enterprise.

EPMO

Enterprise project management office(r)

EPPM

Enterprise program/project portfolio management

ERP

Enterprise resource planning software is used to centralize data and streamline systems. Learn more in our blog: How does ERP Software compare to PPM Software?

ESG

Environmental social governance. With the advent of stakeholder capitalism and the move to net-zero, all businesses need to demonstrate that they do what they do in a transparent and an entirely responsible way. ESG software helps organizations measure and report on related activities.

ETO

Engineer to order

EV

Earned value

EVM

Earned value management, a system for tracking costs against deliverables over the course of a project’s lifecycle.

FDD

Feature driven development, an agile development method for larger scale projects using features as basic units of work, with very short iterations.

GANTT Chart

A kind of bar chart showing a project’s schedule.

Gated Process

Where a project is broken down into smaller stages or phases, each delimited by a gate.

HML

High medium low

ICP

Ideal customer profile

ICT

Information and communication technology

JIT

Just-in-time

KPI

Key performance indicator

LSD

Lean software development, founded on principles of simplicity and economy and generally considered part of agile (see above), lean is used to help eliminate waste and speed up delivery.

MACD

Maintain add change delete

NE

New estimate

NDA

Non-disclosure agreement

NPD

New product development

NPS

Net promoter score

NPV

Net present value

NRE

Non-recurring engineering

OBS

Organizational breakdown structure

OCE

Original cost estimate

OKR

Objectives and key results:  What are OKRs?

OEM

Original equipment manufacturer

P&L

Profit and loss

PACE

Product and cycle-time excellence

Parametric estimation

A method for estimating project cost and duration using predefined algorithms, particularly in the Life Sciences and E&C (see above)

PCTD

Project cost to date

PLM

Project lifecycle management

PMB

Performance measurement baseline

PMO

Project management office(r)

PO

Purchase order

PPA

Predictive Project Analytics. So, what is Predictive Analytics and Predictive Project Analytics? It’s a branch of advanced analytics that makes predictions about future outcomes using historical project data combined with scenario planning, risk responses, etc.

PPM

Project portfolio management, a system for organizing and managing an organization’s projects, and its portfolio of projects, so that they generate the greatest possible returns.

PV

Planned value

Resource Management

Resource management, a system and set of tools to allocate resources across projects and a portfolio of projects, so that they combine as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Road mapping

A visual planning technique aimed at building a big-picture view of a complex subject.

ROI

Return on investment

QA

Quality assurance

RAID

Risk assumptions issue dependencies

RAG

Red amber green

RCE

Revised cost estimate

RFI/P/Q

Request for information/proposal/quotation. Check out our free RFP template for PPM Software

RIO

Risk issues opportunities

RPA

Robotics Process Automation is the replication of human actions to perform a sequence of steps that lead to some sort of useful activity without any human intervention. Learn more about the use of Robotic Process Automation in Project Management

SCAT

Service continuity accreditation testing

SCM

Strategic capacity management, a system and set of tools to match demand, and predicted demand, with available production capabilities.

SCRUM

An agile software development methodology based on incremental processes, that uses 30-day iterations (“Sprints”) and small, self-organizing teams.

Six Sigma

A management framework using statistical methods to maximize the quality of an organisation’s end products, by identifying and eliminating sources of defects and reducing variability.

SME

Small to medium enterprise/Subject matter expert

SOW

Statement of work

SPM

Strategic portfolio management, a system and set of tools to help organizations align their long and medium term strategic goals, with their resource management and capacity planning (see above).

SRO

Strategy realization office(r): What is a strategy realization office?

Stage-Gate

A project management model using a five-stage, phase-gate process to help structure and speed up new product development projects.

SWOT

Strengths weaknesses opportunities threats

VRCE

Variance from revised cost estimate

Waterfall

A product development methodology in which a project is broken into phases that follow each other sequentially, in a steady flow downwards.

WBS

Work breakdown structure

WIP

Work in progress

XP

Extreme programming, one of the first agile (see above) software development methods, emphasizing excellence of development skills over complex project management.

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