Glossary of Project Management Terms – D

An activity or network, which has either no predecessors or no successors. If neither, it is referred to as an isolated activity.

Decision Event
State in the progress of a project when a decision is required before the start of any succeeding activity. Note: The decision determines which of a number of alternative paths is to be followed.

Delaying Resource
In resource scheduling, inadequate availability of one or more resources may require that the completion of an activity be delayed beyond the date on which it could otherwise be completed. The delaying resource is the first resource on an activity that causes the activity to be delayed.

The practice of getting others to perform work effectively which one chooses not to do oneself. The process by which authority and responsibility is distributed from Project Manager to subordinates.

Deliberate Decision Event
Decision event where the decision is made as a result of the outcomes of the preceding activities and possibly other information but cannot be made automatically.

End products of a project or the measurable results of intermediate activities within the project organisation. Note: Deliverables may be in the form of hardware, software, services, processes, documents or any combination thereof.

Delphi Technique
A process where a consensus view is reached by consultation with experts. Often used as an estimating technique. A group of experts exchange views, and each individually gives estimates and assumptions to a facilitator who reviews the data and issues a report. This process continues until consensus is reached.

Precedence relationship. Restriction that one activity has to proceed, either in part or in total, another activity.
(Dependencies are relationships between products or tasks. For example, one product may be made up of several other “dependent” products or a task may not begin until a “dependent” task is complete. See also Logical Relationship.

Dependency Arrow
A link arrow used in an activity on node network to represent the inter-relationships of activities in a project.

Design Authority
The person or organisation with overall design responsibility for the products of the project.

Design & Development Phase
The time period in which production process and facility and production processes are developed and designed.

Deterministic Network
Network containing paths, all of which have to be followed and whose durations are fixed. Note: Deterministic network is a term used to distinguish traditional networking from probabilistic networking.

Direct Costs
Costs that are specifically attributable to an activity or group of activities without apportionment.
(Direct costs are best contrasted with indirect costs that cannot be identified to a specific project.)

Discounted Cash Flow (DCF)
Concept of relating future cash inflows and outflows over the life of a project or operation to a common base value thereby allowing more validity to comparison of projects with different durations and rates of cash flow.

Discrete Milestone
A milestone that has a definite scheduled occurrence in time. Logical link that may require time but no other resource.

Dummy activity in activity on arrow network
An activity representing no actual work to be done but required for reasons of logic or nomenclature. Note: There are three uses for a dummy activity in “activity-on-arrow network”.
a) logic
b) time delay and
c) uniqueness.

Duration is the length of time needed to complete an activity.

Duration Compression
Often resulting in an increase in cost, duration compression is the shortening of a project schedule without reducing the project scope.