Glossary - Terms and
Activity - For the purposes of the
LifecycleStep, an activity
is the smallest unit of work identified on the Project Schedule. (In other
methodologies, an activity may be broken down even further into tasks.)
- The term
"applications" or "business applications" refers to the software systems
that are used to automate otherwise manual processes within your company.
Examples of applications include payroll, accounts payable, CRM software,
time reporting, inventory management, etc. In some companies these entities
might be referred to as "systems". Applications can be internally developed
or they can be packages purchased from an outside vendor.
– A test controlled with a test script that automatically performs a
predefined set of operations.
Practice - The winning strategies, approaches, and processes that produce
superior performance in an organization. A best practice is a by-product of
a successful end-result.
- The persons or group that are the direct beneficiary of a project or
service. They are the people for whom the project is being undertaken.
(Indirect beneficiaries are probably stakeholders.) If the persons or group
are internal within your company, LifecycleStep refers to them as "clients". If
they are external, LifecycleStep refers to them as "clients".
– The process of
identifying, organizing, controlling, and managing changes. Configuration
management typically refers to an IT environment and changes to the hardware
– An error or
bug in software. Defects typically refer to errors that are discovered after
software goes into production.
- A deliverable is any
tangible outcome that is produced by the project. These can be documents,
plans, computer systems, buildings, aircraft, etc. Internal deliverables are
produced as a consequence of executing the project, and are usually only
needed by the project team. External deliverables are those that are created
for clients and stakeholders.
A clear specification for the structure, organization, appearance, etc., of
Functional Manager - The functional
manager is the person that you report to within your functional
organization. Typically, they are the person that does your performance
review. Your project manager may also be your functional manager, but they
do not have to be. If your project manager is different from your functional
manager, then your organization is probably utilizing matrix management.
A recommended approach, parameter, etc., for conducting an activity
or task, utilizing a product, etc.
Key Learning -
Notable information discovered while performing an activity, utilizing a
tool, creating a deliverable, etc. When key learnings are shared,
productivity can be gained by warning others of pitfalls, or informing
others of valuable short cuts, tips, etc.
- This term refers to the process used to build and support the deliverables produced by
the project. (Since a project has a start date and end date, the long-term support of a
solution is usually performed after the project is completed.) For software development,
the entire lifecycle might consist of planning, analysis, design, construct/test,
implementation and support.
Convention - A sub-component of a Design which specifically addresses the
name composition and structure of named software design deliverables.
A guiding principle designed to influence decisions, actions, etc. Typically
a policy designates a required process or procedure within an organization.
A clear specification for the sequence, timing, execution, etc., of a
Manager - The person with authority to manage a program. (Note that this is a
role. The Program Manager may also be responsible for one or more of the projects within
the program. They would be project manager on those projects as well as overall Program
Manager.) The Program Manager leads the overall planning and management of the program.
All project managers within the program report to the Program Manager.
- A structure to complete a specific defined deliverable or set of deliverables. A project
has a specific begin date and end date, specific objectives and specific resources
assigned to perform the work. A project manager has overall responsibility and authority
over a project. When the objectives are met, the project is considered complete.
Project manager - The person with authority to manage a project. This includes leading
the planning and the development of all project deliverables. The project manager is
responsible for managing the budget and schedule and all project management procedures
(scope management, issues management, risk management, etc.). See
Role of a Project Manager.
Project Team - The project team
consists of the full-time and part-time resources assigned to work on the
deliverables of the project, which will help achieve the project objectives. They are responsible for
Understanding the work to be completed
Planning out the assigned activities in
more detail if needed.
Completing assigned work within the budget, timeline
and quality expectations
Informing the project manager of issues,
scope changes, risk and quality concerns
Proactively communicating status and
The project team can consist of human
resources within one functional organization, or it can consist of members
from many different functional organizations. A cross-functional team has
members from multiple organizations. Having a cross-functional team is
usually a sign of your organization utilizing matrix management.
Phase - A major logical grouping of work on a project. A phase also represents
the completion of a major deliverable or set of related deliverables. On an IS development
project logical phases might be planning, analysis, design, construct, test
Material - Information of general interest.
Regression testing – A testing technique that
attempts to determine whether recent changes in one part of the application
have unexpectedly adversely affected other parts. In regression testing a
standard set of test data is run through software that has been changed. The
results are compared to the known outcome of the prior test to validate that
any changes to the test results can be explained and that there are no
unexpected test results elsewhere.
- Scope is the way that we describe the boundaries of the project. It defines what the
project will deliver and what it will not deliver. For larger projects, it can include the
organizations affected, the transactions affected, the data types included, etc.
Solutions - This term refers
generically to the deliverables produced by any project. It is assumed that
the completion of a project will result in a solution to a business problem or a
(Executive Sponsor and Project Sponsor) -
The person who has ultimate authority over the project. The Executive Sponsor provides project
funding, resolves issues and scope changes, approves major deliverables and provides
high-level direction. They also champion the project within their
organization. Depending on
the project, and the organizational level of the Executive Sponsor, they may delegate day-to-day tactical management to
a Project Sponsor. If assigned, the Project Sponsor
represents the Executive Sponsor on a day-to-day basis, and makes most of
the decisions requiring sponsor approval. If the decision is large enough,
the Project Sponsor will take it to the Executive Sponsor.
Stakeholder - Specific
people or groups who have a stake in the outcome of the project. Normally stakeholders are
from within the company, and could include internal clients, management, employees,
administrators, etc. A project may also have external stakeholders, including suppliers,
investors, community groups and government organization.
A required approach for conducting an activity
or task, utilizing a product, etc. Many times a standard is a best practice
that must be followed to have a better chance of overall success.
Committee - A Steering Committee is usually a group of high-level stakeholders
who are responsible for providing guidance on overall strategic direction. They do not
take the place of a Sponsor, but help to spread the strategic input and buy-in to a larger
portion of the organization. The Steering Committee is usually made up of organizational
peers, and is a combination of direct clients and indirect stakeholders.
A well-defined procedure used to accomplish a specific activity or task.
More than one technique may be available for accomplishing a specific
activity or task. Selection of the technique should be based on project
approach, available tools, etc.
Test Case -
A set of conditions, a specific logical test and the expected results of
the test. A test case validates that a particular feature of function works
correctly. It is a logical test because the test cases are usually created
first and the actual test data is created afterward.
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