Glossary: Terms and Definitions

A

Actual cost: Costs associated with actual work that has been applied to a task.

Actual work: Actual employee hours applied to a task.  Normally logged with a timesheet or automated timer.

ASP: Application Service Provider.  An organization offering a web-based application that is accessible to users in many locations.

B

Baseline: A copy of a task or entire project plan.  Used to compare with the current plan.

Billing rates: Monetary amounts used to bill clients.  Each project, user, or category may have different billable rates.

Burn down chart: A line chart showing remaining work for a project, presumably burning down to zero.  A scrum chart.

C

Client receivables: Monies you have earned from services performed.

Cost variance: Cost minus baseline cost.  The difference between original cost estimates and current estimates.

Cost fields: Client and salary costs for project tasks.  Costs your client is expected to pay for work performed.

Critical path: A series of tasks that extend a project to its longest finish date.  Tasks that depend upon previous tasks, causing a project to finish at the latest time.

D

Duration: Task duration or estimate.  The number or hours or days a task is expected to take.

E

Earned value: The amount of money a project has already earned, based on percent complete.

Enterprise project management: A system like Standard Time® that displays all projects and tasks for all the workgroups of an organization.

F

Finish date: The date when a task is expected to be finished.

G

Gantt chart: Graphical representation of tasks on a timeline.  Invented by Henry L. Gantt.

H

I

J 

K

L

Linking tasks: Placing tasks in sequence, such that each start date coincides with the finish date of the previous task.  This represents the scenarios where tasks depend upon the completion of earlier work.

M

Microsoft Project: Software product for planning and scheduling projects.  Works with timesheet to track employee time.

MPP file: File format used by Microsoft Project to store tasks, resources, calendars, and other project related items.

N

O

Outline level: The hierarchy number indicating the level of indenting of project tasks.

P

Percent complete: A measure of task completion used for project status.  Leads to remaining work and remaining cost values.

PERT: Program Evaluation and Review Technique.  A model for viewing and analyzing project tasks.

Project management: Techniques used to plan and execute projects, typically employed to increase efficiency and lower costs.

Project plan: A sequence of tasks illustrating how a project will be completed.

Project scope: The size of a project, normally in terms of hours or cost.

Project Server: A product of Microsoft, used to publish project tasks to web pages.

Project task: Single entity representing the starting and finish dates for a planned activity.  Normally assigned to resources or groups for completion at the scheduled time.

Project template: A series of tasks intended for duplication to begin a new project.  Tasks are arranged and assigned in a common format for new projects to start from.

Q

Quick task: Project task specifically marked for quick input or to start and stop a timer.

R

Remaining cost: The client or salary cost still remaining in an uncompleted task.

Remaining duration: The amount of time still left in an uncompleted task.

Remaining work: The number of hours or days still left in an uncompleted task.

Resource: An employee assigned to a project task.

Resource allocation: Project time assigned to an employee.  Represents the amount of employee time that has been allocated to project work.

Resource assignment: An employee assigned to work on project tasks.

RBS: Resource Breakdown Structure.  A numerical representation of workgroups and employees under them.

Resource breakdown structure: A numerical representation of workgroups and employees under them.

Resource calendar: Calendar of working hours for a project plan.

Resource pool: A group of employees that may be assigned to projects and tasks.

Resource leveling: The act of moving project tasks so that an employee has steady work for the duration of a project.

S

Scrum chart: A line chart showing remaining work for a project, presumably burning down to zero.  A burn-down chart.

Standard Issue®: Software product by Scoutwest, Inc. used for tracking issues and defect management.

Standard Time®: Software product by Scoutwest, Inc. used for time tracking and project management.

Start date: The date a project task is scheduled to begin.

Subproject: Smaller project that is included by a master project.  A project breakdown or subsystem.

Summary task: A project task representing the head of a series of lower tasks.  Represents the subtasks by showing aggregated start, stop, and work hours.

T

Task: A project activity, normally assigned to employees and schedule to start and finish at a certain time.

Task dependencies: Project tasks that depend upon an earlier task to compete before they may be started.  Links to successor tasks.

Task duration: The amount of time a tasks is expected to take.  May differ from “task work” if resources work less than 100% of their time of the task.

Task linking: The act of connecting tasks in a series, such that one task is performed only after its predecessor is completed.

Task predecessor: The project task that must be completed before another may start.  A task that is linked into another, and is shown before another.

Task successor: The project task that may begin when another is completed.  A task that is linked to another, and is shown after.

Time tracking: Recording the time spent working on a project task.  Normally done with a timesheet or automated timer.

Timesheet: Grid-style software allowing time entry for days of the week.   timesheet.  Projects and tasks are shown in a grid, allowing employees to enter hours worked.

Timesheet approval: The act of reviewing and signing off on employee hours.  Normally performed by a manager.

U

V

Variance: The difference between a current plan and a baseline.  Used to determine the accuracy of a task prediction.

W

WBS: Work Breakdown Structure.  A numerical representation of a task hierarchy.  Sequence of numbers representing tasks in a project.

Work breakdown structure: A numerical representation of a task hierarchy.  Sequence of numbers representing tasks in a project.

Work variance: The difference between task hours and the baseline number of hours.  Used to compare a current plan with the original estimate.

X

Y

Z

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