Glossary

 

 

Acceptance criteria

The requirements and essential conditions that have to be achieved before a deliverable is accepted.

Agile

A family of development methodologies where requirements and solutions are developed iteratively and incrementally throughout the life cycle.

Assumption

An event or circumstance expected to happen during the project lifecycle based on previous experience or high level historical data. All project assumptions have associated risks that will need to be mitigated if the assumption proves to be incorrect. Assumption analysis is therefore one of the techniques used in risk identification.

Benefit

The measurable improvement resulting from an outcome perceived as an advantage by one or more stakeholders, and which contributes towards one or more organisational objectives. Benefits are either tangible (measureable) or intangible (not measurable).

Benefits management

The identification, definition, planning, tracking and realisation of business benefits.

Benefits realisation

The practice of ensuring that benefits are derived from outputs and outcomes.

Blueprint

See target operating model.

Board

A body that provides sponsorship to a project, programme or portfolio. The board will represent financial, provider and user interests.

Bottom-up estimating

An estimating technique that uses detailed specifications to estimate time and cost for each product or activity.

Business analysis

A research discipline of identifying business needs and determining solutions to business problems. Solutions often include software-systems, improved processes, organisational change or policy development. The business analyst therefore plays a leadership role within change initiatives, ensuring the solution meets the business need and aligns with business and project objectives.

Business-as-usual 

An organisation’s normal day-to-day operations.

Capability

The completed set of project outputs required to deliver an outcome; this exists prior to transition. It is a service, function or operation that enables the organisation to exploit opportunities.

Centre of expertise (COE)

A coordinating function ensuring change is delivered consistently and well, through standard processes and competent staff. It may provide standards, consistency of methods and processes, knowledge management, assurance and training. It may also provide strategic oversight, scrutiny and challenge across an organisation’s portfolio of programmes and projects. This function provides a focal point for driving the implementation of improvements to increase the organisation’s capability and capacity in programme and project delivery.

Change control

The process through which all requests to change the baseline scope of a project, programme or portfolio are captured, evaluated and then approved, rejected or deferred.

Change request

A request to obtain formal approval for changes to the scope of work.

Communication

The means by which information or instructions are exchanged. Successful communication occurs when the received meaning is the same as the transmitted meaning.

Comparative estimating

An estimating technique based on the comparison with, and factoring from, the cost of similar, previous work.

Complexity

Complexity relates to the degree of interaction of all the elements that comprise P3 management and is dependent on such factors as the level of risk, range of stakeholders and degree of innovation.

Contingency

An amount added to a base estimate to cover uncertainty and risk exposure.

Continuous improvement

The ongoing effort to make incremental improvements to products or services through ideas generated and implemented by all staff.

Deliverable

An output or package of work that will be delivered to, and formally accepted by, a stakeholder.

Dependencies

A project dependency is the logical constraint based on the preferential relationship between two activities or tasks such that the completion or the initiation of one is reliant on the completion or initiation of the other. Dependencies can occur at many different levels – one task may be waiting on another, one project may be waiting on another, and even one organisation may be waiting on another.

Disbenefit

A consequence of change perceived as negative by one or more stakeholders.

Escalation

The process by which issues are drawn to the attention of a higher level of management.

Estimating

The use of a range of tools and techniques to produce estimates.

Gate

The point between stages where a go/no go decision can be made about the remainder of the work.

Governance

The set of policies, regulations, functions, processes, procedures and responsibilities that define the establishment, management and control of projects, programmes or portfolios.

Investment driver

The main reason or driving force behind a change initiative. The University has defined the following primary investment drivers for use within the portfolio:

  • Compliance - Investment is required to ensure compliance
  • Service delivery - Investment is directly linked to improving service delivery to the organisation's customers
  • Revenue growth - Investment benefit is predominantly an increase in revenue or capacity to increase revenue
  • Cost reduction - Investment benefit is predominantly a reduction in operating costs or capacity to reduce operating costs
  • Risk treatment - Investment benefit is predominantly in the treatment of risk to the organisation's operations
  • Productivity - Investment benefit is predominantly derived from an increase in productivity

The above primary investment drivers should also be used for categorising benefits. For dis-benefit categorisation please use Revenue loss, Cost increase and Operational risk creation in place of their respective investment drivers.

Issue

An issue is a relevant event that has happened, was not planned and requires management action. A formal issue occurs when the tolerances of delegated work are predicted to be exceeded or have been exceeded. This triggers the escalation of the issue from one level of management to the next in order to seek a solution.

Issue register

A document listing and describing identified issues.

Lessons learned

Documented experiences that can be used to improve the future management of projects, programmes and portfolios.

Objectives

Predetermined results towards which effort is directed. Objectives may be defined in terms of outputs, capabilities, outcomes and/or benefits.

Outcome

The changed circumstances or behaviour that results from the use of a capability. Outcomes are clear, specific statements that describe the targeted end state to be achieved after the project closure when everything is working 'just right'.

They are measurable with a true/false question - have we or haven't we? Do we or don't we? Can we or can't we? Outcomes are a main component of the Vision statement (see below) and their achievement enables realisation of benefits.

Output

The tangible deliverable produced by a project. Synonymous with product. 

People, organisation, processes, information and technology (POPIT) model

The POPIT model provides a holistic framework for considering the different aspects of a business system when analysing opportunities for improvement. For each aspect area, some examples of things to be considered during the analysis are:

  • People - roles and job descriptions, skills and competencies, staff development, motivation, culture
  • Organisation - management style, business values, strategy, structure
  • Processes - value streams, core processes, procedures
  • Information - data, information flows, content, policies, reporting
  • Technology - software, hardware, applications, equipment, accommodation

Planning

Determines what is to be delivered, how much it will cost, when it will be delivered, how it will be delivered and who will carry it out.

Portfolio

The totality of an organisation's investment (or segment thereof) in the changes required to achieve is strategic objectives. 

Portfolios can be managed at an organisational or functional level and address three questions:

  • Are these the projects and programmes needed to deliver the strategic objectives, subject to risk, resource constraints and affordability?
  • Is the organisation delivering them effectively and efficiently?
  • Are the full potential benefits from the organisation’s investment being realised?

Portfolio management

A coordinated collection of strategic processes and decisions that together enable the most effective balance of organisational change and business as usual. 

Portfolio, programme and project management (PPM)

PPM is the accepted term that covers portfolio as well as programme and project management.

Portfolio, programme, and project offices (P3O)

The decision-enabling and support business model for all business change within an organisation. This will include single or multiple physical or virtual structures i.e. offices (permanent or temporary), providing a mix of centralised and localised functions and services, and integration with governance arrangement and the wider business such as corporate support functions.

Privacy by Design

A proactive approach to data protection by implementing appropriate data protection principles into all appropriate project deliverables through the whole Business Transformation Lifecycle. 

As a result, all BTB initiatives undergo a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA - see below) to ensure that any privacy risks have been assessed and mitigating actions defined. 

Privacy Risk

Risk associated with collecting, using and managing personal information.

Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)

The instrument for proactive identification and impact evaluation of Privacy Risks (see above), allowing the implementation of mitigating actions, and measurement of project's ability to comply with GDPR principles. The PIA is to be considered as a living document, meaning that when the project's scope changes, the PIA must be revisited and any new mitigating actions must be implemented in the project's plan as appropriate.

Product

The tangible deliverable produced by a project. Synonymous with output.

Programme

A temporary flexible organisation or structure created to coordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities in order to deliver outcomes and benefits related to the organisation's strategic objectives. A programme is likely to have a life that spans several years.

Programme management

The coordinated organisation, direction and implementation of a dossier of projects and transformation activities (i.e. the programme) to achieve outcomes and realise benefits of strategic importance.

Project

A temporary organisation that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed business case.

Project management

The planning, delegating, monitoring and control of all aspects of the project, and the motivation of those involved, to achieve the project objectives within the expected performance targets for time, cost, quality, scope, benefits and risks. The project manager therefore plays a leadership role within change initiatives, leading the project team in delivering the solution. 

RAG reporting

Red, amber, green reporting is used to indicate how well an initiative is progressing. It is often linked to tolerances set around critical success criteria to ensure more than just a subjective assessment of the initiative status is taking place. 

Reports

1. The presentation of information in an appropriate format (e.g. management report).
2. A written record or summary, a detailed account or statement, or a verbal account.

Requirements management

The process of capturing, assessing and justifying stakeholders’ wants and needs.

Resource management

The acquisition and deployment of the internal and external resources required to deliver the project, programme or portfolio.

Resource scheduling

A collection of techniques used to calculate the resources required to deliver the work and when they will be required.

Risk

The potential of an action or event to impact on the achievement of objectives.

Risk analysis

An assessment and synthesis of risk events to gain an understanding of their individual significance and their combined impact on objectives.

Risk management

A process that allows individual risk events and overall risk to be understood and managed proactively, optimising success by minimising threats and maximising opportunities.

Risk register 

A document listing identified risk events and their corresponding planned responses.

Scope

The scope of investigation identifies what you might look at in order to understand the real business/work problem and from that discover the requirements for the solution. The scope of the solution identifies the boundaries of the changes to support or improve the business and is dependent on which of the business requirements can be met within the budget, time and technological constraints of your project.

Stage

The major subdivision of the gated business change life cycle.

Stakeholder

An individual, group, or organisation, who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a change initiative.

Stakeholder management

The systematic identification, analysis, planning and implementation of actions designed to engage with stakeholders.

Target operating model (TOM)

The target operating model is a model of the future organisation (or part thereof), its roles and reporting lines, working practices and processes, the information it includes and the technology that supports its operations. Also known as a blueprint, the target operating model is used throughout a change initiative to maintain focus on delivery of the new capability(ies).

Timebox

The production of project deliverables in circumstances where time and resources, including funding, are fixed and the requirements are prioritised and vary depending on what can be achieved within the timebox.

Tolerance

A permissible variation in performance parameters often set in terms of time, cost, scope, quality, risk and benefits.

Vision statement

The vision statement acts as a postcard from the future, written to help the project or programme team think about what the world would be like when their initiative completes, capture the impact it will have on the organisational areas involved and describe the journey. As a future state, the vision statement is often written as ‘we have’ as opposed to ‘we will have’, and should provide a summary of the intended outcomes, describing the new services/capabilities and how these will improve the university. The vision statement should be written in such a way that it can be effectively used to engage and gain commitment from as many stakeholders as possible.