If you just started your project management career, you might be feeling slightly overwhelmed by all the stuff you have to learn and comprehend. But more so, you may be feeling nervous at how complex the terminology used can be.
1. Project Plan
This is where all the projects will be seen in full detail. A project plan usually consists of tasks that need to be completed, their costs, timelines and agreed upon schedule. With each task or brief completed within the project, the project plan will be updated accordingly. The benefit of having a project plan is that it guides the project from ideation to execution with an orderly schedule.
Other words to learn under Project Plan:
- Project Scope: Much like a Project Plan, with a detailed outline of all aspects of a project, including all related activities, resources, timelines, deliverables, and the project’s boundaries.
- Milestone: A major event in the project and is used as a reference point to measure the progress of said project.
2. Scrum / Daily Stand-Up
This is a daily short meeting conducted to get an update from every team member about their work progress. Usually, a stand-up meeting is conducted at the same time and same place every day.
Other terms you will hear during your Scrum meeting include:
- Resource Calendar: This calendar showcases all the working and non-working days a specific resource will be available.
- Resource Availability: This specifies whether a particular resource is available at a given time or not.
3. Kickoff Meeting
This is a bit different from your Scrum meeting, and it also does not happen daily; however, it is very important when starting a new project or brief. It is usually between the project team and the client and occurs once the client has approved the costs for the project. Here, the client will explain to the project team in detail what they want to achieve with the project, outline the brief, and then answer any questions the project team may have.
In these meetings, you will hear words such as:
- Project Timeline: This is what outlines the project dates and occurrences in order. It captures what needs to be done when, and clients will normally highlight this in the Kickoff meeting because they will be talking about when they expect certain results or executions.
- WIP (Work In Progress): This is usually to show the client or the rest of the project team members how far the project is. In a Kickoff meeting, this may be discussed with clients if they are the type to want to see it or among the team members to keep track of everything. Everyone involved in the project will be made aware of when to present a WIP.
A sprint is a fixed unit of time during which specific tasks have to be completed. Typically, the Scrum Master (team’s facilitator) determines the duration of a sprint. During a sprint, daily stand-ups are conducted to monitor the progress towards sprint goals.
- Scrum Master: This is the person who will usually remind you of the project, the person that invited you to the Kickoff meeting or your traffic manager.
- Meeting follow up: This normally occurs right after a sprint or kickoff meeting to determine if every team member is aligned with the project thus far.
5. Resource Management
We spoke about resource availability and resource calendar earlier on; now, another term is Resource management. This is to basically ensure that resource management runs smoothly. Resource management is the scheduling and planning of the project and those that will be involved in it through creating a forecast of some sort.
Some words you will come across under resource management include:
- Allocations: This is to allocate a task to a certain person/people (resources).
- Collaboration: Just like its meaning, this process involves combining team members and sometimes having them work with members from other departments on the same project. For example, if it is a photoshoot for a website, not only will photographers be involved in the project, but the people responsible for putting the pictures up on the website, the ones who will ensure the website is coded correctly to support these pictures, etc.
6. Change Management
While project management involves a lot of preparation and scheduling, Project Facilitators/Scrum Masters usually prepare for the unexpected changes that may occur and affect the project. When a change happens, your Scrum Master has to manage it, and this process may affect the deadline of the project.
Other words under here that you’ll hear, include:
- Action item: This will be applied across the board especially involving the project. It is the part of the brief/project that needs to be attended to before a set deadline.
- Brief: This is the outline of the project, and you may need to revisit it during your change management session to check if there are any additions or omissions.
7. Case Study
When working on a project, it is important to collect as many insights, learnings, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Case studies investigate important, singular, or locally representative cases that contribute to the advancement of the project, and with case studies, project teams get to use them to target potential clients in future.
Some of the terms associated with case studies are:
- Findings: These are normally reports from research conducted
- Concept: The beginning phase of the project management life cycle. In the concept phase, the team presents the opportunity or problem (along with possible solutions) and examines the general feasibility of the project.
8. Critical Path Method (CPM)
This is an algorithm particularly used for scheduling project activities. It is used to determine the step-by-step sequence of activities, which in turn determines the total time of the project. These activities must be completed according to this set sequence to achieve the project goals.
Here you will hear words such as:
- Trello, Monday.com, Chase: These are project management tools that are used for scheduling a lot of these projects. There are many project management tools available depending on what your needs and industry standards are.
- Project Budget: This normally comes up as to remind the relevant people of how much money is being spent on the project thus far and if certain quotes will meet the budget. You will hear about budget across the board, too, depending on which department you interact with the most.
9. Quality Control (QC)
Now, say you are managing a creative project that needs you to deliver a television advert to your client. You will need to deliver an advert that not only meets the brief but the quality of the client and the client’s mission for the video. That’s where Quality Control comes in. This is where the relevant people, yourself included, sign off on the project’s completion and standard based on the different levels. The process is conducted after the product has been created to identify any changes that might be required in the quality assurance process.
Other terms you will hear a lot under QC include:
- Quality Assurance: done during the project and involves regular quality audits.
- Quality Management Plan: a detailed plan consisting of stakeholders’ quality expectations, quality assurance, and quality control policies to successfully execute a project.
This will mostly be used around the end stages of the project. This is when the project is almost complete and will probably need to be tested before ‘going live’. The testing phase involves an assessment of the product developed to gauge quality and performance and to determine whether requirements have been met.
Some of the terms you’ll hear here include:
- Problem Statement: A problem statement concisely states and describes an issue that needs to be solved.
- Live: This is when the project is done and ready to be executed to its final stage. Here is when the client has approved it and asked that you proceed with the final steps.
While it may seem like it is a lot of information to grasp, a project management qualification is one of the most beneficial and interesting courses you can arm yourself with, especially if you have a passion for this industry. Invest in an online project management course and browse through the terminology, skills and lessons, the easy and user-friendly way.