Glossary : A-G

architecture : The structure of a system or IT service, including the relationships of components to each other and to the environment they are in. Architecture also includes the standards and guidelines that guide the design and evolution of the system.

as-is state : The current operating structure and performance of the parts of the business which will be impacted by a programme.

assessment : Inspection and analysis to check whether a standard or set of guidelines is being followed, that records are accurate, or that efficiency and effectiveness targets are being met.

assurance : All the systematic actions necessary to provide confidence that the target (system, process, organization, programme, project, outcome, benefit, capability, product output, deliverable) is appropriate. Appropriateness might be defined subjectively or objectively in different circumstances. The implication is that assurance will have a level of independence from that which is being assured. See also project assurance; quality assurance.

benefit : The measurable improvement resulting from an outcome perceived as an advantage by one or more stakeholders, and which contributes towards one or more organizational objective(s).

budget : A list of all the money an organization or business unit plans to receive, and plans to pay out, over a specified period of time. See also budgeting; planning.

business case : A business case captures the reasoning for initiating a project or task. It is often presented in a well-structured written document, but may also sometimes come in the form of a short verbal argument or presentation. The logic of the business case is that, whenever resources or effort are consumed, they should be in support of a specific business need.

certification : Issuing a certificate to confirm compliance to a standard. Certification includes a formal audit by an independent and accredited body. The term is also used to mean awarding a certificate to provide evidence that a person has achieved a qualification.

change : The addition, modification or removal of anything that could have an effect on IT services. The scope should include changes to all architectures, processes, tools, metrics and documentation, as well as changes to IT services and other configuration items.

change management : The process responsible for controlling the lifecycle of all changes, enabling beneficial changes to be made with minimum disruption to IT services.

COBIT : See Control OBjectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT).

competence : The ability of an individual to do something well. compliance Ensuring that a standard or set of guidelines is followed, or that proper, consistent accounting or other practices are being employed.

constraints : The restrictions or limitations that the project is bound by.

contingency : Something that is held in reserve typically to handle time and cost variances, or risks.

customer : The person or group who commissioned the work and will benefit from the end results.

deliverable : See ‘output’.

dependencies (plan) : The relationship between products or activities. For example, the development of Product C cannot start until Products A and B have been completed. Dependencies can be internal or external.

dis-benefit : An outcome that is perceived as negative by one or more stakeholders. It is an actual consequence of an activity whereas, by definition, a risk has some uncertainty about whether it will materialize.

DSDM : Dynamic Systems Development Method is an agile project delivery framework. Released in 1994, DSDM originally intended to provide discipline to the Rapid Application Development (RAD) method. DSDM is an iterative and incremental approach that embraces principles of Agile development, including continuous customer involvement.

DSDM Atern : is a proven and robust Agile framework for effective project management and solution delivery. It is an effective approach that focuses on collaborative working to achieve the desired goals.

enhance (risk response) : A risk response to an opportunity where proactive actions are taken to enhance both the probability of the event occurring and the impact of the event should it occur.

exception : A situation where it can be forecast that there will be a deviation beyond the tolerance levels agreed between Project Manager and Project Board (or between Project Board and corporate or programme management).

executive : The single individual with overall responsibility for ensuring that a project meets its objectives and delivers the projected benefits. This individual should ensure that the project maintains its business focus, that it has clear authority, and that the work, including risks, is actively managed. The Executive is the chair of the Project Board. He or she represents the customer and is responsible for the Business Case.

exploit (risk response) : A risk response to an opportunity by seizing the opportunity to ensure that it will happen and that the impact will be realized.

fallback (risk response) : A risk response to a threat by putting in place a fallback plan for the actions that will be taken to reduce the impact of the threat should the risk occur.

governance (corporate) : The ongoing activity of maintaining a sound system of internal control by which the directors and officers of an organization ensure that effective management systems, including financial monitoring and control systems, have been put in place to protect assets, earning capacity and the reputation of the organization.

governance (project/program/portfolio) : Those areas of corporate governance that are specifically related to project/program activities. Effective governance of project management ensures that an organization’s project portfolio is aligned to the organization’s objectives, is delivered efficiently and is sustainable.

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