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Do you have to work on projects? Maybe you are looking to start working as a project administrator and you need to sharpen your knowledge of essential project management vocabulary. If you do, then today’s lesson of the podcast will be super helpful.

Projects are an essential part of any business. I mean, if we didn’t run projects, then how would we implement new ways of working, new software solutions or enact change within the organisation?

It is safe to say that whether you like it or not, you will be working on some form of a project in your working like. To be more effective you will need to know the project management lingo and what it all means.

So, let’s take a look at part one of my series into project management vocabulary. 

Team members

Meaning:

A person who is part of a project team.

Example:

“They want good team members who can show leadership.”

Milestones

Meaning:

Milestones indicate specific progress points or events in project timelines. They mark progress needed to complete projects successfully.

Example:

“The rollout of fibre optic cable represented an important milestone for the project.”

Hit a wall

Meaning:

To reach a point at which no more progress can be made.

Example:

“The energy bill is expected to hit a wall in the Senate, where Republicans have enough votes to block it.”

“In Monday mornings, we would set project milestones for the next quarter.”

Watch the episode here

Tasks

Meaning:

A unit of work or activity needed for progress towards project goals. Commonly, a task is required to be completed by a set date.

Example:

“We have completed the first three tasks of the project on time.”

Gantt chart

Meaning:

A diagram (= picture) of the stages of a piece of work, showing stages that can be done at the same time, and stages that must be completed before others can start.

Example:

“The activities and their durations are entered on the Gantt chart and the end date is displayed.”

Task board

Meaning:

An instrument that teams and companies use to organise their work and visualize the path that they need to go to achieve results, complete tasks, etc.

Example:

“A look at the backlog on the task board shows the team at a glance how far their joint project has progressed.”

Billable task

Meaning:

A task that a professional does for clients, and for which the clients will have to pay.

Example:

“In this case the billable task rate is $120 dollars.”

Timesheet

Meaning:

A ledger on which an employee records the number of hours they have worked.

Example:

“Employees working on this project must keep track of their timesheet so that the company can bill the client correctly.”

Business Idioms

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Burndown chart

Meaning:

A graphical representation of work left to do versus time.

Example:

“The burndown charts indicates that we will finish the project before the deadline.”

Project Administrator

Meaning:

Someone whose job is to manage a project.

Example:

“In the event that not enough information is available, or there are doubts regarding its validity, the team must inform the project administrator.”

Due date

Meaning:

The date by which something has to be done or paid.

Example:

“Over 90% of the tasks on this project have a fixed due date. This ensures we complete them on time.”

Status

Meaning:

The amount of progress a project has made towards reaching its end goal.

Example:

“Every Monday the project administrator requests a status update from the team members.”

Action item

Meaning:

A job or task that must be completed.

Example:

“Action items are usually documented in the meeting minutes and are recorded in the task list in the project management software.”

Deliverable

Meaning:

A final product or product component that must be provided to a client or stakeholder according to contractual stipulations.

Example:

“Project deliverables are defined before the project starts. This ensures company and client expectations are aligned.”

Handover

Meaning:

The point at which deliverables are given to users.

Example:

“Now that we have completed the product for the client, we are ready for the official handover.”

Kickoff meeting

Meaning:

The first meeting with the project team and the client of the project.

Example:

“At the kickoff meeting with all of your relevant team members, we clarify your objectives and understand your business environment.”

Key performance indicator (KPI)

Meaning:

A way of measuring a project’s progress towards the goals it is trying to achieve.

Example:

“Project KPIs are critical for evaluating the success of project milestones and task completion.”

Key performance indicator (KPI)

Meaning:

A way of measuring a project’s progress towards the goals it is trying to achieve.

Example:

“Project KPIs are critical for evaluating the success of project milestones and task completion.”

Output

Meaning:

Usually physical end product of a process.

Example:

“The project output has been defined as the implementation of a working and scalable ERP system.”

Scope

Meaning:

The scope of a project consists of everything that needs to be achieved for it to be considered successful.

Example:

“It is essential that we stay within the scope of the project, otherwise the billable hours will need to be renegotiated.”

Worst-case scenario

Meaning:

The most unpleasant or serious thing that could happen in a situation.

Example:

“The worst-case scenario would lead to a financial loss for the company.”

Resources

Meaning:

The elements needed for a project to successfully meet its objectives. 

Example:

“We will need to allocate additional resources to the project if we want to finish it on time.”

Final thoughts

That brings us to the end of part 1 of my 2-part series into project management vocabulary. Let me know if you found this vocabulary helpful by sending me a message via my Speakpipe channel or dropping me a comment below.

Stay tuned for next week where we will be looking at part 2 of the series into essential project management vocabulary.

Don’t forget to sign up to my course on business idioms. You will learn a whole lot more project management expressions on this course as well as many other areas of business, from marketing to finance.

Till next week, take care. 

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Andrew


Andrew is the CEO and founder of the Art of Business English. Besides teaching and coaching native Spanish speakers in Business English, he is also passionate about mountain biking, sailing and healthy living. When He is not working, Andrew loves to spend time with his family and friends.

Andrew Ambrosius

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