- An approver has the authority to confirm a project process or
allow the project manager to move forward. In Information
Technology at Virginia Tech,
usual approvers are the IT Line Managers with direct report to the
Vice President of Information Technology, as shown in this
- For the purposes of this project management standard a customer can be a client, sponsor, or stakeholder.
- Decision Authority
- See Project Decision Authority
- Department Head
- Department head refers to any position that functions as the administrative head of a department or program
and includes titles such as department chairs, institute or center directors, and other administrators.
- Independent Verification & Validation
- Independent Verification & Validation (IV&V) is the evaluation of project deliverables by an independent third party
outside the development organization, to confirm they meet specified requirements (verification), and meet the needs of the intended target audience (validation). IV&V services are solicited and procured as needed for very high risk, complex, information technology projects.
- Life Cycle Cost
- Life Cycle Cost is a financial estimate designed to help the project manager and stakeholders
value the direct and indirect costs associated with computing assets.
Life-cycle costing considers the entire life-cycle of the
information technology deployment including acquisition, implementation, operations,
maintenance, and replacement.
Life Cycle Cost is sometimes referred to as total cost of ownership.
- Maintenance and Operational Activities
- Activities undertaken in support of an existing product or service, will not be defined as
projects for the purposes of this standard, so long as the bulk of the effort involves
continuation, with improvement, to the current product or service.
This may apply whether or not the activity involves significant cost or extensive procurement.
For example, routine software upgrades and network component replacements are not
Utilization of project management principles and techniques in the management of maintenance
and operational activities are encouraged, whether they are defined to be projects or not.
"Projects and operations differ primarily in that operations are ongoing and produce repetitive products,
services, or results.
Projects (along with team members and often the opportunity) are temporary and end.
Conversely, operations work is ongoing and sustains the organization over time.
Operations work does not terminate when its current objectives are met but instead follow new directions
to support the organization's strategic plans."
- Managed Project Baseline
- A time-phased plan that incorporates the university/college
governing authority's approved changes
to the project scope, cost, schedule and technical
strategies. Following integrated change control processes,
the plan allows for managed changes to all
It is understood that the rapidly evolving
nature of information technology (IT) can significantly impact project
cost, schedule, and technical strategies
requiring the management of the project baselines.
- Personal Portfolio
- Stores the documented credentials of a project manager in either hard copy or electronic format. Electronic credentials should be stored in portable document format (pdf).
- A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique
product, service, or result (PMBOK, Fifth Edition).
- Project Decision Authority
- Usually the person with budget authority to commit resources to the project,
often a department head (as defined in Policy 6100)
but also includes the administrative head of institutes, centers, and administrative departments.
- Project Leader
- May or may not be the same individual in the role of project manager.
If not the same individual, the project leader is responsible for the projects vision
and for enabling, developing, challenging, and inspiring the project team.
- Project Manager
- An individual with professional credentials and/or project management
training or experience, responsible for achieving the project goals and objectives.
Project Manager Selection & Training.
- Project Plan
- Refers specifically to a Microsoft Project, project plan (.mpp file).
- Project Document Repository
- The collection of all project documentation (e.g., forms, project plan,
checklists, etc.) for the entire project life cycle.
- Research Projects, Research Initiatives, and Instructional Programs
- Research projects, research initiatives, and instructional
not defined to be projects for the purposes of this standard.
Utilization of project management principles and
techniques in the management of research projects, research
and instructional programs are encouraged, whether they are
defined to be projects or not.
- The person or group responsible for starting or scoping the project and project team.
The sponsor removes roadblocks, provides resources, in cash or in kind, and gets help for the team when necessary.
The sponsor is usually not a "member" of the project team and may only occasionally attend meetings.
The sponsor intervenes if they believe the project team has gotten off-track,
or are working on goals inconsistent with the project scope.
- Steering Committee
- The Steering Committee is a group of project stakeholders with the responsibility of reviewing the analysis of change requests,
making an implementation decision, and documenting that decision.
- Work Breakdown Structure
- The work to be executed by the project team to accomplish project objectives
and produce expected project deliverables. It is the breaking down of project tasks
into manageable units of work and with
sufficient detail to show how project deliverables are accomplished.
Project Scorecard Terms
- Budget Risk
- The primary factor contributing to increased budget risk for a project is the amount of project resources required that are outside your control, e.g., personnel, hardware, software, etc. As those external resource needs increase the project budget risk increases proportionately.
- Data Sensitivity
- If the project involves storing, transmitting, and/or processing sensitive data (as defined in Policy 7010 - Policy for Securing Technology Resources and Service, and the Standard for High Risk Data Protection) then project risk increases and additional security precautions must be taken. Factors contributing to increased risk include using sensitive data outside the secure system where the data came from, and whether that sensitive data is encrypted.
- Project complexity increases as the total length (timeline) of a project increases. In general, projects with a longer duration have risk factors that can contribute to project delays and other issues, e.g., project resources are needed for a higher priority project.
- Effect of the project's overall success or failure on the business goals of the unit, the department, multiple departments, or the entire university. Project complexity increases as the number of university departments affected by the project deliverables increases.
- How new, how available, and how much experience does the project team have with the technology selected for this project? Project complexity increases when new, unfamiliar technology is used that the project team does not have experience with.
- Quality Risk
- Factors contributing to increased quality risk include, uncertainty in requirements, externally mandated requirements, including end user or customer testing not only internal testing, and whether project metrics are defined and measurable. Quality is the degree to which the project fulfills requirements. Quality management planning determines quality policies and procedures relevant to the project for both project deliverables and project processes, defines who is responsible for what, and documents compliance.
- Project complexity tends to increase as the size of project team increases and number of departments/units actively working on project increases.
- Schedule Risk
- How complex or flexible is the project schedule? The risk of a project being off schedule increases as the ability of the project schedule to accommodate changes decreases. Does the project schedule have dependencies on things like available resources or deliverables from other projects? The more dependencies your project schedule has the more likely it is to become off schedule.
- Total Expenditures
- Should include procurement costs, contractual costs, expected budget for new FTEs, and local staff labor costs. As projects grow in size and cost project complexity increases primarily because of the inevitable changes that will occur in business operations resulting in changes to the project scope, schedule, and/or budget.