Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more


This glossary includes terms related to project time management.

Activity. A distinct, scheduled portion of work performed during the course of a project.

Analogous Estimating. A technique for estimating the duration or cost of an activity or a project using historical data from a similar activity or project.

Backward Pass. A critical path method technique for calculating the late start and late finish dates by working backward through the schedule model from the project end date.

Crashing. A technique used to shorten the schedule duration for the least incremental cost by adding resources.

Critical Chain Method. A schedule method that allows the project team to place buffers on any project schedule path to account for limited resources and project uncertainties.

Critical Path. The sequence of activities that represents the longest path through a project, which determines the shortest possible duration.

Critical Path Activity. Any activity on the critical path in a project schedule.

Critical Path Method. A method used to estimate the minimum project duration and determine the amount of scheduling flexibility on the logical network paths within the schedule model.

Define Activities. The process of identifying and documenting the specific actions to be performed to produce the project deliverables.

Discretionary Dependency. A relationship that is established based on knowledge of best practices within a particular application area or an aspect of the project where a specific sequence is desired.

Earned Value (EV). The measure of work performed expressed in terms of the budget authorized for that work.

Earned Value Management. A methodology that combines scope, schedule, and resource measurements to assess project performance and progress.

External Dependency. A relationship between project activities and non-project activities.

Fast Tracking. A schedule compression technique in which activities or phases normally done in sequence are performed in parallel for at least a portion of their duration.

Forward Pass. A critical path method technique for calculating the early start and early finish dates by working forward through the schedule model from the project start date or a given point in time.

Free Float. The amount of time that a schedule activity can be delayed without delaying the early start date of any successor or violating a schedule constraint.

Lag. The amount of time whereby a successor activity is required to be delayed with respect to a predecessor activity.

Lead. The amount of time whereby a successor activity can be advanced with respect to a predecessor activity.

Mandatory Dependency. A relationship that is contractually required or inherent in the nature of the work.

Milestone. A significant point or event in a project, program, or portfolio.

Milestone List. A list identifying all project milestones and normally indicates whether the milestone is mandatory or optional.

Parametric Estimating. An estimating technique in which an algorithm is used to calculate cost or duration based on historical data and project parameters.

Plan Schedule Management. The process of establishing the policies, procedures, and documentation for planning, developing, managing, executing, and controlling the project schedule.

Plan Scope Management. The process of creating a scope management plan that documents how the project scope will be defined, validated, and controlled.

Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM). A technique used for constructing a schedule model in which activities are represented by nodes and are graphically linked by one or more logical relationships to show the sequence in which the activities are to be performed.

Project Calendar. A calendar that identifies working days and shifts that are available for scheduled activities.

Reserve Analysis. An analytical technique to determine the essential features and relationships of components in the project management plan to establish a reserve for the schedule duration, budget, estimated cost, or funds for a project.

Resource Breakdown Structure. A hierarchical representation of resources by category and type.

Resource Calendar. A calendar that identifies the working days and shifts on which each specific resource is available.

Resource Leveling. A technique in which start and finish dates are adjusted based on resource constraints with the goal of balancing demand for resources with the available supply.

Resource Smoothing. A technique which adjusts the activities of a schedule model such that the requirement for resources on the project do not exceed certain predefined resource limits.

Rolling Wave Planning. An iterative planning technique in which the work to be accomplished in the near term is planned in detail, while the work in the future is planned at a higher level.

Schedule Network Analysis. The technique of identifying early and late start dates, as well as early and late finish dates, for the uncompleted portions of project schedule activities. See also backward pass, critical path method, critical chain method, and resource leveling.

Sequence Activities. The process of identifying and documenting relationships among the project activities.

Ten Knowledge Areas. Project Integration Management; Project Scope Management; Project Time Management; Project Cost Management; Project Quality Management; Project Human Resource Management; Project Communications Management; Project Risk Management; Project Procurement Management; Project Stakeholder Management.

Total Float. The amount of time that a schedule activity can be delayed or extended from its early start date without delaying the project finish date or violating a schedule constraint.

Three-Point Estimate. A technique used to estimate cost or duration by applying an average of optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely estimates when there is uncertainty with the individual activity estimates.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). A hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.

Work Breakdown Structure Component. An entry in the work breakdown structure that can be at any level.

Work Package. The work defined at the lowest level of the work breakdown structure for which cost and duration can be estimated and managed.

This article is from the free online

Time Management Strategies for Project Management

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now