Pro­ject Manage­ment Glossary

Key terms from pro­ject, port­fo­lio, and task management

In this glos­sa­ry you will find expl­ana­ti­ons of key terms from the are­as of pro­ject manage­ment, port­fo­lio manage­ment, and task manage­ment in an an alpha­be­tic list.



Agi­le refers to a method in which teams work in short, time-limi­t­ed sprints. This allows them to respond to chan­ges in a fle­xi­ble way.



A back­log is a list with the tasks of a pro­ject or work packa­ge which are yet to be completed.


A bot­t­len­eck descri­bes a delay in a work pha­se which may occur due to dif­fe­rent, par­ti­al­ly unpre­dic­ta­ble pro­blems (ill­ness of employees, defec­ti­ve machi­ne, etc.) and which may redu­ce the plan­ned work flow or the capa­ci­ty in the project.


The bud­get is the given finan­cial frame­work of a pro­ject. The plan­ned reve­nues and expen­ses are com­pared here.


Cas­ca­de model

The cas­ca­de model is a pro­ject manage­ment method in which the indi­vi­du­al work packa­ges are pro­ces­sed one-by-one. Each pro­ject pha­se gene­ral­ly builds up on the results of the pre­vious pha­se. The­r­e­fo­re, chan­ges in the cour­se of a pro­ject are hard to realize.


Con­trol­ling is the check, moni­to­ring, and con­trol of a pro­ject across the enti­re run­time. Pro­ject key figu­res ser­ve to mea­su­re pro­ject pro­gress and suc­cess of a pro­ject in terms of cos­ts, effort, and dates.


Cus­to­mi­zing means adap­ting indi­vi­du­al stan­dard ele­ments in a soft­ware sys­tem to user-spe­ci­fic requi­re­ments. This can ran­ge from adjus­t­ments to the inter­face through to chan­ges to the soft­ware code.



Dash­boards are user inter­faces which visua­li­ze data from reports in gra­phics. Dash­boards con­tai­ned in pro­ject manage­ment sum­ma­ri­ze figu­res to allow pro­ject plan­ning and con­trol­ling, pro­vi­ding the manage­ment with a bet­ter over­view. Dash­boards are also cal­led cockpits.


Gantt chart

A Gantt chart is a bar chart which shows the tem­po­ral depen­den­ci­es bet­ween pro­ject tasks.



Hybrid pro­ject manage­ment com­bi­nes dif­fe­rent pro­ject manage­ment methods to crea­te an indi­vi­du­al approach. Scrum-cas­ca­de is an exam­p­le of such a hybrid method. Here, agi­le methods are used for a swift imple­men­ta­ti­on of smal­ler sca­le pro­jects and the cas­ca­de method is used for more com­plex projects.



In pro­ject manage­ment, ide­as are pro­ject pro­po­sals which are initi­al­ly put down wit­hout details such as dates and resour­ce assign­ment. Ide­as can be deve­lo­ped into pro­po­sals or projects.

IT tickets

An IT ticket is an elec­tro­ni­cal­ly recor­ded pro­blem, request, or event for which sup­port is soli­ci­ted from the IT department.


Jour fixe

The Jour fixe is a regu­lar and recur­ring date for the same per­sons of a pro­ject team, inclu­ding stake­hol­ders if necessary.



Kan­ban is a method in agi­le pro­ject manage­ment which visual­ly repres­ents tasks and pro­ce­du­res. Most of the time, Kan­ban boards, i.e. pro­ject boards in which the task cards are ali­gned in colum­ns and swim lanes, are used here.

Key Per­for­mance Indi­ca­tor (KPI)

KPIs are key figu­res which ser­ve to mea­su­re the per­for­mance of acti­vi­ties, pro­ject pro­gress, and degree to which the objec­ti­ve has been achieved.

Con­flict management

Con­flict manage­ment is respon­si­ble for resol­ving emer­ging pro­blems. The­se include, e.g., dif­fe­rent objec­ti­ves within a pro­ject or dif­fi­cul­ties in resour­ce distribution.

Cost manage­ment

Cost manage­ment includes all acti­vi­ties for plan­ning, ana­ly­sis, and con­trol of pro­ject cos­ts with the objec­ti­ve to mini­mi­ze the risk of a bud­get overrun.

Cost plan­ning

Cost plan­ning is the esti­ma­te of future cos­ts and the effort for indi­vi­du­al pro­jects and tasks.


Mas­ter milestone

A mas­ter mile­stone is a mile­stone with par­ti­cu­lar­ly high significance.


A mile­stone is an inter­me­dia­te objec­ti­ve in a pro­ject and marks the com­ple­ti­on of an important work step. A mile­sto­nes allows you to moni­tor the pro­gress and the time­line­ss of the project.

Mul­ti-pro­ject management

Mul­ti-pro­ject manage­ment is an “orga­niza­tio­nal and pro­cess frame­work for mana­ging mul­ti­ple indi­vi­du­al pro­jects” (DIN 69909). In mul­ti-pro­ject manage­ment, all indi­vi­du­al pro­jects of the com­pa­ny can be mana­ged tog­e­ther to stay on top of dates, resour­ces, cos­ts as well as risks and oppor­tu­ni­ties. The com­pa­ny pro­jects can be orga­ni­zed in port­fo­li­os or pro­grams.


Out­line planning

Ouli­ne plan­ning is the first step in pro­ject plan­ning. In this step, pro­ject pha­ses (cf. pro­cess model), mile­sto­nes und das Bud­get, and the bud­get, pro­ject objec­ti­ves and pro­ject result are defined.

(cf. pro­cess model), mile­sto­nes, and the bud­get, pro­ject objec­ti­ves and pro­ject result are defined.


Pro­cess planning

Pro­cess plan­ning means the docu­men­ta­ti­on of a plan­ned ope­ra­tio­nal pro­cess which includes all work packa­ges and their depen­den­ci­es. In the sche­du­le, the work packa­ges of the pro­cess plan­ning are struc­tu­red in terms of time and assi­gned to the resour­ces which exe­cu­te them.


In pro­ject-manage­ment, a pro­gram com­bi­nes seve­ral pro­jects. Bund­ling pro­jects to pro­grams makes sen­se for pro­jects which share the same objec­ti­ves and helps to keep an over­view of mile­sto­nes and cos­ts of pro­jects that belong together.


A pro­ject is a plan­ned or alre­a­dy star­ted, time­ly limi­t­ed and usual­ly com­plex task with coor­di­na­ted indi­vi­du­al tasks and a defi­ned objective.

Pro­ject communication

Pro­ject com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on means the exch­an­ge of infor­ma­ti­on bet­ween all per­sons invol­ved in a pro­ject. This con­cerns manage­ment, pro­ject manage­ment, and pro­ject teams, but also exter­nal per­sons and stakeholders.

Pro­ject life cycle

The pro­ject life cycle is the time­span from the plan­ning of a pro­ject to its com­ple­ti­on. It is usual­ly divi­ded into four pha­ses: initia­ti­on, plan­ning, exe­cu­ti­on, and completion.

Pro­ject plan

A pro­ject plan sum­ma­ri­zes the most important points of a pro­ject which are neces­sa­ry to achie­ve a par­ti­cu­lar objec­ti­ve. Pha­ses, tasks, per­sons respon­si­ble, due dates. Fur­ther details are recor­ded in the pro­ject struc­tu­re plan, cost plan, or resour­ce plan.

Pro­ject Port­fo­lio Manage­ment (PPM)

In PPM, the pro­jects are plan­ned stra­te­gi­cal­ly with regard to the com­pa­ny objec­ti­ves. This includes the enti­re stra­te­gic port­fo­lio decis­i­on making pro­cess from the pro­ject idea via the eva­lua­ti­on of risks and oppor­tu­ni­ties up to the pro­ject request and the plan­ned project.

Pro­cess model

A pro­cess model shows the pha­ses of the pro­ject manage­ment pro­cess, e.g. com­ply­ing with DIN 69901: initia­liza­ti­on, defi­ni­ti­on, plan­ning, con­trol­ling, and com­ple­ti­on. The­se pha­ses again include seve­ral sub­or­di­na­te pro­ces­ses. Pro­cess models allow for the map­ping of indi­vi­du­al work­flows in a software.

Pro­ject objective

The pro­ject objec­ti­ve is the result or the sta­tus which is to be achie­ved at the end of a pro­ject. The pro­ject objec­ti­ve should be cle­ar­ly defi­ned and mea­sura­ble in order for the suc­cess of a pro­ject to be measurable.

Pro­ject team

The pro­ject team con­sists of all per­sons who work tog­e­ther on a pro­ject. The per­sons invol­ved in a pro­ject can be from dif­fe­rent departments.


A pro­po­sal is the preli­mi­na­ry stage of a pro­ject. It is more con­cre­te than a pro­ject idea, but not yet as ela­bo­ra­te as an actu­al pro­ject. In con­trast to a pro­ject, work packa­ges, bud­gets, and resour­ces must not yet be plan­ned in detail.


Qua­li­ty Management

In qua­li­ty manage­ment, mea­su­res for qua­li­ty assu­rance in the pro­ject are taken. This includes, a.o., the plan­ning and con­trol­ling of pro­ces­ses, which ser­ves to achie­ve a high qua­li­ty in the project.



Resour­ces are means which are requi­red to car­ry out pro­jects. They can be per­sons, depart­ments, machi­nes, and faci­li­ties but also time and finan­cial resources. 

Resour­ce management

Resour­ce manage­ment is a pro­cess of plan­ning, sche­du­ling, and allo­ca­ting resour­ces invol­ved in a project.

Risk manage­ment

Risk manage­ment assists you in pro­ject decis­i­ons. The objec­ti­ve is to iden­ti­fy poten­ti­al risks, to eva­lua­te them and to take appro­pria­te mea­su­res. Risk manage­ment is thus respon­si­ble for incre­asing the chan­ces of achie­ving pro­ject objectives. 

Risk value

The risk value quan­ti­fies the expec­ted dama­ge. It is deter­mi­ned from the esti­ma­ted ext­ent of dama­ge and the pro­ba­bi­li­ty of occur­rence of the damage.

Road map

A road map pro­vi­des an over­view of the pro­ject pro­gress and only shows the most important steps, mile­sto­nes, and objectives.



In sche­du­ling, pro­ject start and expec­ted pro­ject end are deter­mi­ned and the work packa­ges are arran­ged in the time sequence. The result is a sche­du­le, usual­ly in the form of a Gantt or WBS diagram.


Scrum is an agi­le method in pro­ject manage­ment in which a team works incre­men­tal­ly in short ite­ra­ti­ons (cal­led sprints) to make con­ti­nuous pro­gress toward com­mon objectives.

Sin­gle Sign-On

Sin­gle sign-on is an IT authen­ti­ca­ti­on method in which a user has access to all com­pu­ters and ser­vices for which he is aut­ho­ri­zed from his work­sta­tion with a sin­gle log­in procedure.


Sprints are short, defi­ned peri­ods in which pro­ject teams com­ple­te their tasks.


Stake­hol­ders are per­sons who are inte­res­ted in or affec­ted by a pro­ject. They do not only include the pro­ject teams but also cli­ents and, pos­si­bly, exter­nal providers.

Sta­tus report

A sta­tus report cap­tures the cur­rent sta­tus of a pro­ject and its pro­gress at the respec­ti­ve point in time. This docu­ment ser­ves to keep pro­ject mana­gers and per­sons invol­ved au courant.


Time recor­ding

Time recor­ding is the pro­cess in which employees record their hours work­ed. This does not only ful­fill the legal obli­ga­ti­on which exists in Ger­ma­ny sin­ce 2022, but also enables com­pa­nies to track the pro­gress of their pro­jects and opti­mi­ze resour­ce use. Here you can learn how you can use time recor­ding for pro­ject management.

Trend ana­ly­sis

Ttrend ana­ly­sis exami­nes the cur­rent trend for the cour­se of a pro­ject, such as cost, effort, risk, and oppor­tu­ni­ty trends. By means of time­ly fore­casts of deve­lo­p­ments, their nega­ti­ve impact can be iden­ti­fied to take appro­pria­te measures.



A web­i­nar (or web semi­nar) is a cour­se or semi­nar which is broad­cast live over the Internet.

WIP (Work in Progress)

Work in Pro­gress means tasks which are being pro­ces­sed but have not yet been com­ple­ted. In a Kan­ban Kan­ban board, WIP limits can be used to defi­ne how many cards a list can contain.

Work break­down struc­tu­re (WBS)

The work break­down struc­tu­re is the hier­ar­chic struc­tu­ring of a pro­ject in smal­ler work packa­ges and is usual­ly visua­li­zed in the form of a tree chart.

For fur­ther terms rela­ted to the ope­ra­ti­on of PLANTA pro­ject, PLANTA port­fo­lio, and PLANTA pul­se, plea­se refer to the glos­s­a­ries in our Online Help..