TenStep Glossary

The following glossary definitions come from the TenStep Project Management Process and are not included in the PMBOK® Guide.

This supplemental content comes from the TenStep Project Management Process.

Applications - 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.

Best 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.

Client - The persons or group that are the direct beneficiaries 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, TenStep refers to them as "clients". If they are external, TenStep refers to them as "customers".

Customer - The persons or group that are the direct beneficiaries of a project or service - the people for whom the project is being undertaken. (Indirect beneficiaries are probably stakeholders.) If the persons or group are internal within your company, TenStep refers to them as "clients". If they are external, TenStep refers to them as "customers".

Design - A clear specification for the structure, organization, appearance, etc. of a deliverable. 

Guideline - A recommended approach, parameter, etc., for conducting an activity or task, utilizing a product, etc.

Issue - An issue is a major problem that will impede the progress of the project and cannot be resolved by the project manager and project team without outside help

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.

Life Cycle - 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 life cycle might consist of planning, analysis, design, construct/test, implementation and support.

Naming Convention - A sub-component of a Design which specifically addresses the name composition and structure of named software design deliverables.

Objective - A concrete statement describing what the project is trying to achieve. The objective should be written at a low level so that it can be evaluated at the conclusion of a project to see whether it was achieved or not. A well-worded objective will be Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Realistic and Timebound (SMART).

Policy - A guiding principle designed to influence decisions, actions, etc. Typically a policy designates a required process or procedure within an organization.

Procedure - A clear specification for the sequence, timing, execution, etc. of a process. 

Program 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. He or she 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.

Project 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 (including testing) and implementation

Reference Material - Information of general interest.

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 business need.

Sponsor (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. He or she also champions the project within his or her organization. Depending on the project, and the organizational level of the Executive Sponsor, he or she 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.

Standard - 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.

Steering 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.

Technique - 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.