Glossary of Project Management Terms – F

Fallback Plan
A plan for an alternative course of action that can be adopted to overcome the consequences of a risk, should it occur (including carrying out any advance activities that may be required to render the plan practical.

Fast – Tracking
Reducing the duration of a project usually by overlapping phases or activities that were originally planned to be done sequentially. (The process of reducing the number of sequential relationships and replacing them typically with parallel relationships usually to achieve shorter overall durations but often with increased risk).

Feasibility Phase
The project phase that demonstrates that the client’s requirement can be achieved and identifies and evaluates the options to determine the one preferred solution.

Feasibility Study
Analysis to determine if a course of action is possible within the terms of reference of the project.

Feasible Schedule
Any schedule capable of implementation within the externally determined constraints of time and/or resource limits.

Final Report
Post-implementation report. Normally a retrospective report that formally closes the project having handed over the project deliverables for operational use. Note: The report should draw attention to experiences that may be of benefit to future projects and may form part of the accountability of the project team.

Finish Date
The actual or estimated time associated with an activity’s completion.

Finishing Activity
A finishing activity is the last activity that must be completed before a project can be considered finished. This activity is not a predecessor to any other activity – it has no successor.

Finish-to-Finish Lag
The finish-to-finish lag is the minimum amount of time that must pass between the finish of one activity and the finish of its successor.

Finish-to-Start Lag
The Finish-to-Start lag is the minimum amount of time that must pass between the finish of one activity and the start of its successor(s). The default finish-to-start lag is zero.

Firm Fixed Price Contract
A contract where the buyer pays a set amount to the seller regardless of that seller’s cost to complete the contract.

Fixed Date
A calendar date (associated with the plan) that cannot be moved or changed during the schedule.

Fixed Duration-Scheduling
A scheduling method in which, regardless of the number of resources assigned to the task, the duration remains the same.

Fixed Finish
See Imposed Finish.

Fixed Price Contracts
A generic category of contracts based on the establishment of firm legal commitments to complete the required work. A performing contractor is legally obligated to finish the job, no matter how much it costs to complete. Risks of all cost growth rest on the performing contractor.

Fixed Start
See Imposed Start.

Time available for an activity or path in addition to its planned duration.
(Float is the amount of time that an activity can slip past its earliest completion date without delaying the rest of the project. The calculation depends on the float type. See Start Float, Finish Float, Free Float, Positive Float And Negative Float).

Forecast At Completion
Scheduled cost for a task.

Forecast Final Cost
See Estimate at Completion.

Forward Pass
A procedure whereby the earliest event times or the earliest start finish times for the activities of a network are calculated.

Free Float
Time by which an activity may be delayed or extended without affecting the start of any succeeding activity. Note: Free float can never be negative.

Functional Organisation
Management structure where specific functions of an organisation are grouped into specialist departments providing dedicated services. Note: Examples of functional organisations are finance, marketing and design departments.

Functional Specification
A document specifying in some detail the functions that are required of a system and the constraints that will apply.

Functional Manager
The person responsible for the business and technical management of a functional group.

Functional Matrix
An organisation type where the project has a team leader in each functional department and the products are passed from one team to the next.

Functional Organisation
A functional management structure where specific functions of a business are grouped into specialist departments that provide a dedicated service to the whole of the organisation e.g: accounts department, production department, drawing office.

Funding Profile
An estimate of funding requirements over time.