Glossary of Project Management Terms – S

Safety Plan
The standards and methods, which minimise to an acceptable level the likelihood of accident or damage to people or equipment.

A schedule is the timetable for a project. It shows how project tasks and milestones are planned out over a period of time.

Schedule Control
Controlling schedule changes.

Schedule Dates
Start and finish dates calculated with regard to resources or external constraints as well as project logic.

Schedule Performance Index (SPI)
Ratio of work accomplished versus work planned, for a specified time period. The SPI is an efficiency rating for work accomplishment, comparing work accomplished to what should have been accomplished.

Schedule Variance (Cost)
The difference between the budgeted cost of work performed and the budgeted cost of work scheduled at any point in time.

Scheduled Finish
The earliest date on which an activity can finish, having regard to resource or external constraints as well as project logic.

Scheduled Start
The earliest date on which an activity can start, having regard to resource or external constraints as well as project logic.

Scheduling is the process of determining when project activities will take place depending on defined durations and precedent activities. Schedule constraints specify when an activity should start or end based on duration, predecessors, external predecessor relationships, resource availability, or target dates.

The scope is the sum of work content of a project.

Scope Change
Any change in a project scope that requires a change in the project’s cost or schedule.

Scope Change Control
Controlling changes to the scope.

Scope Creep
The uncontrolled growth of the project scope resulting from constant changes to requirements without consideration to the impact on resources or timescale.

Scope of Work
A description of the work to be accomplished or resources to be supplied.

Scope Verification
Ensuring all identified project deliverables have been completed satisfactorily.

An agile methodology for software project management. Scrum was invented in 1993 by Jeff Sutherland, John Scumniotales and Jeff McKenna.

A display of cumulative costs, labour hours, or other quantities plotted against time.

Secondary Risk
The risk that may occur as a result of invoking a risk response or fallback plan.

Secondment Matrix
An organisational structure whereby team members are seconded from their respective departments to the project and are responsible to the project manager.

Sequence is the order in which activities will occur with respect to one another.

Calculated time span within which an event has to occur within the logical and imposed constraints of the network, without affecting the total project duration. Note 1: It may be made negative by an imposed date. Note 2: The term slack is used as referring only to an event.

Slip Chart
A pictorial representation of the predicted completion dates of milestones (also referred to as Trend Chart).

The amount of slack or float time used up by the current activity due to a delayed start or increased duration.

Six Sigma
Six Sigma is a management philosophy developed by Motorola that emphasizes setting extremely high objectives, collecting data, and analysing results to a fine degree as a way to reduce defects in products and services. See Six Sigma Terminology

Soft Project
A project that is intended to bring about change and does not have a physical end product.

Soft Skills
Soft skills include team building, conflict management and negotiation.

Source Selection
Choosing from potential contractors.

Splittable Activity
Activity that can be interrupted in order to allow its resources to be transferred temporarily to another activity.

Individual or body for whom the project is undertaken and who is the primary risk taker.

An iterative unit of time, typically a one, two, or four week period. The term and concept comes from agile project management techniques in the software industry. Sprints allow teams to leverage incremental improvements. When a company decides to work in two- week Sprints, it has the opportunity to reflect, make adjustments, and plan every fourteen days based on events and conditions.

A natural high level subsection of a project that has its own organisational structure, life span and manager.

Stage Payment
Payment part way through a project at some predetermined milestone.

Stakeholders are people or organisations who have vested interest in the environment, performance and/or outcome of the project.

Start Event of a Project
Event with succeeding, but no preceding activities. Note: There may be more than one start event.

Start-To-Start Lag
Start-to-start lag is the minimum amount of time that must pass between the start of one activity and the start of its successor(s). This may be expressed in terms of duration or percentage.

Starting Activity
A starting activity has no predecessors. It does not have to wait for any other activity to start.

Statement of Work
A document stating the requirements for a given project task. The Statement of Work is the bible for the work the project must produce. The SOW is a key governance tool whether it is being used to direct work for a vendor or contractor, or used to direct the work internally, the SOW must contain a description of all the work that is expected.

Status Report
Written reports given to both the project team and to a responsible person on a regular basis stating the status of an activity, work package, or whole project. Status Reports should be used to control the project and to keep management informed of project status.

Steering Group
A body established to monitor the project and give guidance to the project sponsor or project manager.

Student Syndrome
The type of procrastination students are prone to when facing a test or exam, typically leaving their revision until the last minute no matter how much time they had to prepare.

A contractual document which legally transfers the responsibility and effort of providing goods, services, data or other hardware, from one firm to another.

An organisation that supplies goods or services to a supplier

Subnet or Subnetwork
A division of a project network diagram representing a subproject.

A group of activities represented as a single activity in a high level plan of the same.

Success Criteria
Criteria to be used for judging if the project is successful.

Success Factors
Critical factors that will ensure achievement of success criteria.

A Successor is an activity whose start or finish depends on the start or finish of a predecessor activity.

Sunk Costs
Unavoidable costs. (Even if the project were to be terminated).

Super-Critical Activity
An activity that is behind schedule is considered to be super-critical if it has been delayed to a point where its float is calculated to be negative value.

Includes contractors, consultants and any organisation that supplies services or goods to the customers.

SWOT Analysis
A strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to a project. It involves specifying the objective of the project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable to achieving that objective.

The complete technical output of the project including technical products.

Systems and Procedures
System and procedure details the standard methods, practices and procedures of handling frequently occurring events within the project.

Systems Management
Management that includes the prime activities of systems analysis, systems design and engineering and systems development.