PMBOK® Guide Glossary
The PMBOK® Guide Glossary provides hundreds of definitions of terms and acronyms used throughout project management and the PMBOK® Guide. This is to further the goal of creating a common language for project management.
When to use
The PMBOK® Guide Glossary is a reference that should be used whenever there is confusion or uncertainty about the meaning of a term or acronym. In particular, when preparing for the PMP® exam, be familiar with the terms in the Glossary because they will be used in framing the exam questions.
The PMBOK® Guide Glossary contains 48 acronyms and over 500 terms and phrases, many of which are often represented as acronyms. The definition of a term in the PMBOK® Guide may not be consistent with the definition of that term used in your organization. The Glossary does not include every term found in the PMBOK® Guide.
“This glossary includes terms that are:
- Unique or nearly unique to project management (e.g., project scope statement, work package, work breakdown structure, critical path method).
- Not unique to project management, but used differently or with a narrower meaning in project management than in general every day usage (e.g., early start date).
This glossary generally does not include:
- Application area-specific terms.
- Terms used in project management which do not differ in any material way from every day use (e.g., calendar day, delay).
- Compound terms whose meaning is clear from the combined meanings of the component parts.
- Variants when the meaning of the variant is clear from the base term.”
Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2013, Page 523.
The implications of this quotation from the PMBOK® Guide are:
- Many PMBOK® Guide Glossary terms refer to scope, time and risk management because these are unique to project management.
- Many PMBOK® Guide Glossary terms refer to quality management because the project quality management use is narrower than the typical use of the term.
- There are few PMBOK® Guide Glossary terms referring to human resource, communication, and stakeholder management since the use of these terms is common throughout industry.
- Relatively few PMBOK® Guide glossary terms refer to integration, cost, and procurement management since these are often industry specific.
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PMI, PMP and PMBOK are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.