Apprenticeship: Learning on the job to attain skills from a more experienced practitioner.  Apprenticeship training produces your own functional schedulers in contrast to MS Project classroom training which covers most of the features of MS Project but doesn’t teach them the planning, control, and reporting cycle they will learn or immerse them in your live environment.  Most candidates, if they were project managers, will have prior experience with MS Project.  For those with no prior exposure classroom training may shorten our training time, but I have found that students with aptitude but no MS Project training do fine.

Baseline (noun): A version of the Project Schedule saved at a point in time.  Project progress and changes are assessed by comparing the variances between the current executing schedule and the initial or last baseline.

Baseline (verb):  Baselining is saving a version of the schedule at a point in time.  The PAI methodology saves a baseline of the original project plan before execution begins and then before each status update to see the changes made from the previous status update.

Critical Path: The longest sequence of tasks in a project schedule. Lengthening the duration of any task on this path delays the project. Shortening a task on the critical path may shorten the project, produce a different critical path, or both.  Increasing the duration of a task not on the critical path may cause the critical path to change to include the newly lengthened task.

Earned Value: A project status reporting system that assesses the variances of the current project schedule from where it should be according to the original baseline project schedule. Project schedule content almost always changes from the baseline undermining the integrity of the comparison.  If the schedule has not changed Earned Value will determine how much a contractor has earned based on the contracted baseline value of the work done to date instead of the actual work done.  The ratio of baseline versus actual values may be used to project the cost at completion and completion date of the project.  See the Earned Value Formulas page for measurements and indices used in earned value calculations.

Global MPT: MSP‘s system library of views, tables, filters, and custom fields, reference-able from any project.

Matrix management: A work environment in which project participants are members of operational departments and thus have two allegiances, first to their department manager who usually holds their pay card, and second to one or more project managers who’s projects they are assigned to.

MSP: Microsoft Project scheduling software.

Multi-Project Scheduler:  A Scheduler supporting the Scheduling activities for multiple project managers.

PAI (Project Administration Institute): Our consulting and training company helping project organizations shift the project Scheduling function from their project managers to a scheduling specialist that supports multiple project managersBenefits from economies of scale and specialization can be significant.

PAILite Template: PAI’s MSP template containing views, tables, filters, custom fields, option settings and a custom menu ribbon which will provide project teams with similar visibility and control to the version we use in our client practice, but with less complexity under the covers.

PMI® (The Project Management Institute) is the world’s leading nonprofit professional association in the profession of Project Management. Founded in 1969, it now has over 200,000 members worldwide. PMI provides conferences, symposiums, education seminars, and the PMP (project management professional) certification.

PMP (Project Management Professional), a professional certification by PMI, the Project Management Institute, indicating the attainment of the requisite level of Project Management knowledge.

Project: A unique endeavor to produce a product or result at its conclusion.

Project Control: Ensuring the project achieves its target milestones, scope, and budget as planned.

Project Executive (PE) or Project Sponsor ensures the Project Team has the budget, material, and people resources needed for successful completion of the project.

Project Manager (PM): Acquires and coordinates the resources (people, money, materials, and support) needed to achieve the time, cost, and scope objectives of a project.

Project Management: The role of the project manager.

Project Office (PMO): An organization tasked with optimizing the outcome of Project Management.

Project Participant: a member of the Project Team.

Project Schedule:  A representation of the tasks to be done to execute the project.

Project Scheduler: Performs Scheduling.

Project Scheduling Software: Software the Scheduler uses to create the schedule and perform the Scheduling process.  Software examples include Microsoft Project and Primavera.

Project Sponsor or Project Executive ensures the Project Team has the budget, material, and people resources needed for successful completion of the project.

Project Status Report:  A report of what has been accomplished (completed or partially completed tasks) as of the status date, what tasks have slipped or improved and by how much, how changes have affected key milestones and project completion, and the to do’s for the next status update.  The Scheduler provides the metrics.  The Project Manager provides context; prognosis, issues, concerns, and executive intervention requirements if any.

Project Team: Project Manager and individuals participating in the execution of a project.

Schedule Control: See Project Control.

Schedule Integrity exists when it contains all project tasks needed to meet project objectives, no missing links, visible manageable critical path, resources and costs if needed, and the shortest elaspsed time and cost to target milestones.  One can query the web for integrity considerations, indicators, and warnings associated with these primary factors.  All are considered during PAI implentations.

Scheduler:  Performs Scheduling on behalf of project teams and sponsors ensuring they have the information they need to control their projects.  The Scheduler ensures schedule integrity, captures progress and changes, enables the team to recover from slippage, and provides status reports and to do’s for the next status update.

Scheduling: Planning, tracking, and reporting enabling project managers, project teams, and their sponsors to control their project.

Stakeholder:  Anyone who will be affected by, or can affect, the outcome of the project.

Subject Matter Expert: (SME) Provides technical expertise necessary for successful completion of the project.