VA IT Project Management Handbook

By Stephen Nichols,2014-05-18 13:08
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2) Business requirements refer to business functions of the project, such as project management, financial management, or change management.





    Office of the Chief Information Officer

    Project Management Handbook





    - A - Activity An element of work performed during the course of a project. An activity normally

    has an expected duration, cost, and resource requirements and results in a deliverable or handoff

    to another activity. In this way, the activity is tied back to the Work Breakdown Structure.

    Activities are often subdivided into tasks.

    Activity Based Budget A budgeting concept based on the goods and services produced by an

    organization for it’s customers rather than the traditional cost based budget based on requests

    from cost centers. Activities are processes that consume resources, such as time and money, to

    produce a given output.

    Actual Cost (AC) Total costs incurred that must relate to whatever cost was budgeted within

    the planned value and earned value (which can sometimes be direct labor hours alone, direct

    costs alone, or all costs including indirect costs) in accomplishing work during a given time

    period. See also earned value.

    Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP) This term has been replaced with the term actual cost.

    Administrative Closure Generating, gathering, and disseminating information to formalize

    phase or project completion.

    Assumptions Assumptions are factors that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true,

    real, or certain. Assumptions affect all aspects of project planning, and are part of the progressive

    elaboration of the project. Project teams frequently identify, document, and validate assumptions

    as part of their planning process. Assumptions generally involve a degree of risk.

    - B - Baseline The original approved plan (for a project, a work package, or an activity), plus or

    minus approved scope changes. Usually used with a modifier (e.g., cost baseline, schedule

    baseline, performance measurement baseline). Also called Baseline Plan.

    Budget At Completion (BAC) The sum of the total budgets for a project.

    Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP) This term has been replaced with the term earned value.

    Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS) This term has been replaced with the term planned value.

    Business Case Structured proposal for business improvement that functions as a decision

    package for organizational decision-makers. It may contain the goals of the project and how

    those goals support the goals of the enterprise. Other sections may include a cost/benefit analysis,



    a requirement analysis, and a make or buy analysis. A business case usually includes a

    comprehensive fiscal analysis and estimate.

    Business Requirements 1) Requirements state the customer needs the project output will satisfy. Requirements typically start with phrase ―The system shall …..‖ Business requirements

    refer to how the project will satisfy the business mission of the customer. 2) Business

    requirements refer to business functions of the project, such as project management, financial

    management, or change management.

    Business Reference Model (BRM) A function-driven framework that describes the Lines of

    Business and Internal Functions performed by the Federal government independent of the

    agencies that perform them. Major IT investments are mapped to the BRM to identify

    collaboration opportunities.

    Buy-In usually refers to securing a personal or organizational agreement with project goals or

    management methods. Buy-in from senior management or functional organizations may be

    necessary to accomplish many aspects of an enterprise project.

    - C -

    Capital Assets land, structures, equipment, intellectual property (e.g., software), and information technology (including IT service contracts) that are used by the Federal government

    and have an estimated useful life of two years or more. See Appendix One of the Capital

    Programming Guide for a more complete definition of capital assets. Capital assets do not

    include items acquired for resale in the ordinary course of operations or items that are acquired

    for physical consumption, such as operating materials and supplies.

    Capital Planning And Investment Control (CPIC) The same as capital programming and is

    a decision-making process for ensuring that information technology (IT) investments integrate

    strategic planning, budgeting, procurement, and the management of IT in support of agency

    missions and business needs. The term comes from the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 and generally

    is used in relationship to IT management issues.

    Capital Programming An integrated process within an agency for planning, budgeting, procurement and management of the agency’s portfolio of capital assets to achieve agency

    strategic goals and objectives with the lowest life-cycle cost and least risk.

    Capital Project (Investment) The acquisition of a capital asset and the management of that asset through its life-cycle after the initial acquisition. Capital projects (investments) may consist

    of several useful segments.

    Change Control The processes, procedures and responsibilities for identifying, evaluating and managing change. Integration is achieved by assessing a potential change’s impact to all relevant

    aspects of a project, primarily scope, cost, schedule, risk and quality. Change control involves

    implementing a process change requests and the systematic tracking of change assessment and



    Change Management 1) The process of implementing change control. 2) The active

    involvement of project management in monitoring and controlling the change control process.

    Change Control Management Plan See Integrated Change Control Management Plan Closeout The last phase of a project. Closeout involves closing contracts, archiving records,

    completing project administrative tasks, and conducting final project reviews.

    Communications Management see Project Communications Communications Management Plan The Communications Management Plan describes how the various types of project information are distributed, reviewed, updated and filed.

    Concept Definition A phase of a project where the initial business case (based on a business

    need) is tested and the viability of the proposed solution and approach is explored. During the

    Concept Definition phase the project is ―initiated‖ or ―chartered‖ and the Project Sponsor,

    Business Sponsor, and/or Project Manager is given authority to proceed with the project.

    Configuration Management (CM) Any documented procedure used to apply technical and administrative direction and surveillance to: identify and document the functional and physical

    characteristics of an item or system, control any changes to those characteristics, record and

    report the change and its implementation status and audit the items and system to verify their

    conformance to requirements.

    Constraint Applicable restriction that will affect the performance of the project. Any factor

    that affects when an activity can be scheduled.

    Contingencies See reserve and contingency planning.

    Contingency Planning The development of a management plan that identifies alternative

    strategies to be used to ensure project success if specified risk events occur.

    Contingency Reserve The amount of money or time needed above the estimate to reduce the

    risk of overruns of project objectives to a level acceptable to the organization.

    Contract A mutually binding agreement that obligates the seller to provide the specified

    product and obligates the buyer to pay for it.

    Contract Administration Managing the relationship with the seller.

    Contract Closeout Completion and settlement of the contract, including resolution of any

    open items.

    Control The process of comparing actual performance with planned performance, analyzing

    variances, evaluating possible alternatives, and taking appropriate corrective action as needed.



    Control Charts A graphic display of the results, over time and against established control limits, of a process. They are used to determine if the process is ―in control‖ or in need of


    Corrective Action Changes made to bring expected future performance of the project into line with the plan.

    Cost Baseline The process of freezing cost estimates and budget. When a baseline is

    established, the change control process is implemented and performance is measured against the

    baselined cost data.

    Cost Budgeting Allocating the overall cost estimates to individual project activities. Cost Control Controlling changes to the project budget.

    Cost Estimating Developing an approximation (estimate) of the cost of the resources needed to complete project activities.

    Cost Management The process of monitoring project cost data to determine performance and variance from the planned cost targets/estimates.

    Cost Management Plan The cost management plan describes the process for implementing change control over cost estimates and the project time-phased cost baseline. The plan includes

    the steps taken when the performance measurement system identifies major or minor cost


    Cost of Quality The costs incurred to ensure quality. The cost of quality includes quality plan-ning, quality control, quality assurance, and rework.

    Cost Performance Index (CPI) The cost efficiency ratio of earned value to actual costs (CPI

    = EV/AC). CPI is often used to predict the magnitude of a possible cost overrun using the fol-

    lowing formula: BAC/CPI = projected cost at completion.

    Cost Variance (CV) (1) Any difference between the budgeted cost of an activity and the actual cost of that activity. (2) In earned value, (CV = EV AC).

    Crashing Taking action to decrease the total project duration after analyzing a number of

    alternatives to determine how to get the maximum duration compression for the least cost.

    Critical Activity Any activity on a critical path. Most commonly determined by using the

    critical path method. Although some activities are ―critical,‖ in the dictionary sense, without being on the critical path, this meaning is seldom used in the project context. Critical Path The series of activities that determines the duration of the project. In a

    deterministic model, the critical path is usually defined as those activities with float less than or

    equal to a specified value, often zero. It is the longest path through the project. See critical path




    Critical Path Method (CPM) A network analysis technique used to predict project duration

    by analyzing which sequence of activities (which path) has the least amount of scheduling

    flexibility (the least amount of float). Early dates are calculated by means of a forward pass using a specified start date. Late dates are calculated by means of a backward pass starting from a specified completion date (usually the forward pass’ calculated project early finish date). Critical Success Factors Defines how progress and outcomes will be measured on a projectsometimes called objectives. Some typical critical success factors include functionality, quality,

    time, and cost.

    Current Finish Date The current estimate of the point in time when an activity will be


    Current Start Date The current estimate of the point in time when an activity will begin.

    Customer Generally the organization that receives and becomes the final owner of the output

    of the project. The customer can be both internal or external to the organization developing the

    project output.

    Customer Approval The formal process of receiving written acceptance of the project output.

    Customer Requirements Requirements enumerate and state the customer needs the project

    output will satisfy. Requirements typically start with phrase ―The system shall …..‖

    - D -

    Data Date (DD) The date at which, or up to which, the project’s reporting system has provided

    actual status and accomplishments. Also called as-of date.

    Deliverable Any measurable, tangible, verifiable outcome, result, or item that must be

    produced to complete a project or part of a project. Often used more narrowly in reference to an

    external deliverable, which is a deliverable that is subject to approval by the project sponsor or


    Dependency Logical relationship between and among tasks of a project’s WBS, which can be graphically depicted on a network. May also refer to dependencies among projects.

    Deployment Process see also System Deployment

    Duration (DU) The number of work periods (not including holidays or other non-working

    periods) required to complete an activity or other project element. Usually expressed as

    workdays or workweeks. Sometimes incorrectly equated with elapsed time. See also effort. Duration Compression Shortening the project schedule without reducing the project scope.

    Duration compression is not always possible and often requires an increase in project cost.



    - E -

    E-Board Pursuant to the requirements of the Clinger-Cohen Act, the Department of Agriculture

    has established the E-Board, made up of senior-level policy executives, to ensure that USDA IT

    investments are managed as strategic business resources. The deputy secretary oversees this

    process as part of his responsibility for day-to-day operations of the Department.

    The E-Board will:

    ? Approve new IT investments and evaluate existing projects and operational systems

    to create a USDA IT investment portfolio which best supports the Department’s

    missions and program delivery processes.

    ? Assemble and evaluate the portfolio using a standard set of criteria, developed by the

    OCIO and approved by the E-Board. Criteria will include a consideration of

    Departmental or Government-wide impact, visibility, cost, risk, eGovernment support,

    security and standards.

    ? Support and protect the USDA Enterprise Architecture.

    ? Assure that the Department’s IRM Program remains in compliance with the

    requirements of the Clinger-Cohen Act, and other legislation that addresses IT issues.

    In the scope of E-Board activities, an IT investment encompasses all investments involving IT and

    information resources as defined in the Clinger-Cohen Act. This includes equipment, IRM services,

    information or application system design, development, and maintenance, regardless of whether

    such work is performed by government employees or contractors.

    E-business (Electronic Business) Doing business online. E-business is often used as an umbrella term for having an interactive presence on the Web. A government e-business initiative

    or investment includes web-services type technologies, component based architectures, and open

    systems architectures designed around the needs of the customer (citizens, business,

    governments, and internal Federal operations).

    E-government (E-Gov) The use by the government of web-based Internet applications and other information technologies, combined with processes that implement these technologies.

    Early Finish Date (EF) In the critical path method, the earliest possible point in time on

    which the uncompleted portions of an activity (or the project) can finish based on the network

    logic and any schedule constraints. Early finish dates can change as the project progresses and changes are made to the project pan.

    Earned Value (EV) The physical work accomplished plus the authorized budget for this work.

    The sum of the approved cost estimates (may include overhead allocation) for activities (or

    portions of activities) completed during a given period of (usually project-to-date). Previously

    called the budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP) for an activity or group of activities.

    Earned Value Management (EVM) A method for integrating scope, schedule, and resources, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 6 and for measuring project performance. Its compares the amount of work that was planned with


    what was actually earned with what was actually spent to determine if cost and schedule

    performance are as planned.

    Effort The number of labor units required to complete an activity or other project element.

    Usually expressed as staff hours, staff days or staff weeks. Should not be confused with duration.

    Element One of the parts, substances, or principles that make up a compound or complex


    Estimate An assessment of the likely quantitative result. Usually applied to project costs and

    durations and should always include some indication of accuracy (e.g., +/- x percent). Usually

    used with a modifier (e.g., preliminary, conceptual, feasibility). Some application areas have

    specific modifiers that imply particular accuracy ranges (e.g., order-of-magnitude estimate,

    budget estimate, and definitive estimate in engineering and construction projects).

    Estimate At Completion (EAC) The expected total cost of an activity, a group of activities, or of the project when the defined scope of work has been completed. Most techniques for

    forecasting EAC include some adjustment of the original cost estimate, based on project

    performance to date.

    - F - Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) A framework that describes the relationship between business functions and the technologies and information that support them. Major IT investments

    will be aligned against each reference model within the FEA framework.

    Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) Requires agencies to integrate IT

    security into their capital planning and enterprise architecture processes, to conduct annual IT

    security reviews of all programs and systems, and to report the results of those reviews to OMB.

    Final Performance Report Developed during the closeout phase of the project to capture the

    final variance from baselined scope, cost and schedule.

    Finish Date A point in time associated with an activity’s completion. Usually qualified by one

    of the following: actual, planned, estimated, scheduled, early, late, baseline, target, or current.

    Float The amount of time that an activity may be delayed from its early start without delaying

    the project finish date. Float is a mathematical calculation, and can change as the project

    progresses and changes are made to the Project Plan. Also called slack, total float, and path float.

    Full Acquisition the procurement and implementation of a capital project (investment) or

    useful segment/module of a capital project (investment). Full acquisition occurs after all

    planning activities are complete and the EIB and SMC selects and approves the proposed

    technical approach and project (investment) plan, and establishes the baseline cost, schedule and

    performance goals for this phase of the investment.

    Full Funding appropriationsregular annual appropriations or advance appropriationsare

    enacted that are sufficient in total to complete a useful segment of a capital project (investment)



    before any obligations may be incurred for that segment. When capital projects (investments) or

    useful segments are incrementally funded, without certainty if or when future funding will be

    available, it can result in poor planning, acquisition of assets not fully justified, higher

    acquisition costs, project (investment) delays, cancellation of major projects (investments), the

    loss of sunk costs, or inadequate funding to maintain and operate the assets. Budget requests for

    full acquisition of capital assets must propose full funding.

    Functional Manager A manager responsible for activities in a specialized department or function (e.g., engineering, manufacturing, marketing).

    - G -

    - H -

    Human Resource Management The processes employed to organize the efforts personnel assigned to the project. Human Resource Management include organizational planning, staff

    acquisition, and team development.

    - I -

    Impact Assessment The process of evaluating project risks and performance variances to determine the effect on project disciplines such as scope, cost and schedule.

    Impact Probability Chart Rates risks on the cost effect a risk occurrence will generate on the project budget. Can be stated as a percentage or also as a statement like: very high (above 81%),

    high (60% to 80%), probable (40% to 79%), low (20% to 39%), and very low (below 19%).

    Information Collection and Distribution Making needed information available to project


    Information Technology As defined by the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, sections 5002, 5141, and 5142, means any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used

    in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display,

    switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information. For purposes of this

    definition, equipment is ―used‖ by an agency whether the agency uses the equipment directly or

    it is used by a contractor under a contract with the agency that (1) requires the use of such

    equipment or (2) requires the use, to a significant extent, of such equipment in the performance

    of a service or the furnishing of a product. Information technology includes computers, ancillary

    equipment, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including support services), and

    related resources. It does not include any equipment that is acquired by a Federal contractor

    incidental to a Federal contract.

    Initiation Approving the Project Sponsor, Business Sponsor, and/or Project Manager to begin

    the next phase in the project life cycle.

    Integrated Change Control Coordinating changes across the entire project. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 8

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