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After Receipt of Order (ARO) – A number, usually expressed in days, weeks,

or months, as a point after the official notification of the start of the project.

Example: The PDR is due 90 days ARO. This technique allows the elements of

a project schedule to move relative to the award or beginning of a project or


Alliance – A grouping of two or more companies for one project or program

(a tactical alliance) or for all projects or programs (a strategic alliance) that

require a particular combination of products or services.

Architecture – The structure established for the system as a whole or the

structure established for a subsystem within the system.

Assertion – An affirmative statement.

Balanced Scorecard – A complex strategy-based process. The process involves

researching the competitive environment, customers, stakeholders, employees,

and company financial and growth objectives.

Benchmark – Also referred to as Best Practices, Exemplary Practices, and

Business Excellence. Usually a series of studies regarding business processes

and practices among businesses in the same or sometimes disparate business

areas. You can use the benchmarks to compare your performance to others.

The benchmarks may or may not be the best figure of excellence.

Best-of-Breed – A term applied to a system or process that has singular or

limited application but is the best there is for that application. The highest

level of achievement for that element.

Brassboard – Similar to Breadboard (below) but usually with hard parts that

are soldered or welded together. Not a deliverable.

Breadboard – A table layout of the article being developed so that parts and

wiring can be changed easily. Breadboards are usually many times the physical

size of the final product. Not a deliverable.

Budget Review – A review of the budget associated with all or part of a task

or contract. Usually, but not always, Budget Reviews are conducted concurrently

with Schedule Reviews and Performance Reviews in Project, Program,

or Division Reviews.

Business Process Improvement – A generalized term that includes such specific

programs as Total Quality Management (TQM), Business Process Reengineering

(BPR), Business Process Redesign (also referred to as BPR), Benchmarking,

and Best Practices as well as other less well-known programs aimed

at improving the process of a business.

Buying In – The act of bidding a project or program at cost or less than cost

for any number of reasons.

Capability Matrix – A matrix consisting of tasks along the side and previous

projects across the top. An intersect is acknowledged whenever the project

contained the task and was successfully completed. The purpose of the capability

matrix is to determine whether or not to bid a program or to identify those

capabilities in inventory and those needed to approach a program or project.

Capability Maturity Model (CMM) – The Capability Maturity Model for

Software (CMM or SW-CMM) is a model for judging the maturity of the

software processes of an organization and for identifying the key practices that

are required to increase the maturity of these processes. The SW-CMM has

been developed by the software community with stewardship by the SEI.

(From the SEI/Carnegie Mellon Web site.)

Challenge (Tasking) – A top-down application of budget and/or schedule

and/or manpower that is less than requested. The challenge (tasking) imposed

upon a work package leader by the project office (project manager).

Change Control Process (part of the Configuration Management Process) –

A process to control the technical baseline of a project to ensure the baseline

is always consistent with requirements and all changes are approved and documented

by both parties (customer and contractor).

Change Order (CO) – A formal change introduced into a project controlled

by a Change Control Process.

Company – A corporation or partnership.

Configuration Management Process – A process designed to maintain control

of the technical baseline using formalized processes and consisting of a

Control Board, a Chairman of the Control Board, and procedures for receiving,

modifying, documenting, implementing, and verifying changes to the


Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL) – A list of documents that are

contractually deliverable under the terms of a contract.

Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) – An ordering or sequencing number

assigned to functional or physical deliverables that are contractually required

on a program.

Corporation – A legal entity composed of a number of people joined together

for a common purpose. Such legal entities are formed under local, state, or

federal laws. Some corporations are public and some are private; some private

corporations are organized for profit and some are organized for nonprofit.

Private corporations often issue stock to their owners in return for the money

they invest. [Modified from The Plain-Language Law Dictionary by Robert Rothenberg

(see bibliography)].

Cost of Quality – A cost factor added to the basic bid cost by a subcontractor

for labor and materials to bring the subcontractor’s product up to the quality

he should have produced but didn’t. The Cost of Quality is a consideration

when evaluating bids by subcontractors. The amount bid by a subcontractor

plus the quantified Cost of Quality is the true bid of that subcontractor.

Cost Plus Contract – A contract that recognizes that profit is a necessary part

of getting a job done. Cost plus contracts allow a profit over and above the

cost involved.

Cost Review – A review of the cost associated with all or part of a task or

contract. Usually, but not always, cost reviews are conducted concurrently

with Schedule Reviews and Performance Reviews in Project, Program, or Division


Cost Type Contract – A contract that includes cost plus provisions. The fee

structure may be a percentage of cost, a fixed percentage or original bid cost,

an award amount or an incentive amount. All structures are above the cost of

getting the job done except that some Cost Plus Incentive Fee (CPIF) contracts

have negative fee considerations as well as positive fee considerations.

Customer Meeting – A meeting with the customer, usually on a formal basis,

where an agenda and minutes are a part of the meeting. May be scheduled and

required by the requirements document (contract) or may be quickly called

by the customer.

Customer Processes – Those processes established by a customer for use in

performing that customer’s programs or projects. Examples of such processes

are: Mil Standards, DoD Standards, Data Item Descriptions (DIDs), NASA

Standards, FAA Standards, Municipal Government Standards, and so on.

Customer Requirements – Specific requirements invoked in a requirement

document (contract) to be a part of the task at hand. In this case, the requirement

may be stated or referenced.

Data Item Description (DID) – A document consisting of a few sheets that

outlines the format and requirements for a specific data report to be submitted

as part of a contract. DIDs are assigned descriptive alphanumeric sequences.

Originally issued to support federal government contracts but are now more

widely used.

Design Review – A periodic review of the design and its requirements. Typically

the performer (contractor) presents and defends the design together with

all supporting data. Design Reviews are typically performed on an ever more

detailed basis and frequently will be performed on an incremental basis.

DOD – The Department of Defense of the United States of America. Most

other countries refer to this agency as the Ministry of Defense or MOD.

EIA – See Electronic Industries Alliance.

Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) – An organization of over 2,300 member

companies that, among other activities, mediates recommended standards by

its members and publishes the results.

Enterprise – The ‘‘Today’’ term for an economic unit. An enterprise may be a

corporation, a company, a profit center, or a cost center within a company or


Enterprise (Corporate/Company) Processes – Those policies, plans, processes,

and procedures at the enterprise level that drive the content of project

and technical plans and the conduct of project activities.

Enterprise Requirements – Specific requirements invoked by an enterprise on

all or specific projects at the judgment of the enterprise.

Experience Window – A tool to quickly evaluate whether or not you should

bid or can perform a certain task. The principal variables are customer experience

and product experience.

Fast Track – A method of conducting elements of a project in parallel, rather

than in series, or by deleting a task, or truncating the elements of a task in

terms of time or by taking a risk on one or more elements of the project to

shorten the overall time involved in that element and, ultimately, the project.

Firm Fixed Price (FFP) – A contract that is bid and awarded as a fixed

amount. The customer pays a firm fixed price for some amount of work. The

contractor’s fee or profit is contained within that price.

First Article – The first article produced by the production process. The First

Article is used not only to validate the design but to validate the production

process as well. Sometimes the First Article is delivered first but, most often,

its delivery is held in abeyance, and it is used to try out improvements in

design and processes. Frequently, the First Article is delivered last.

Fixed Price Contract – A contract in which the basic price is fixed but the fee

structure can be of several different types such as Fixed Price/Incentive Fee

(FP/IF), Fixed Price/Award Fee (FP/AF), and Firm Fixed Price (FFP).

Force Majeure – From the French, generally meaning an act of God but now

used as a legal term that allows recovery of costs or limits liability (depending

on how written) when an act of war or superior force, such as a flood, fire,

etc., impacts the performance of the task.

Functional Manager – A line manager in charge of a function such as software

engineering, hardware engineering, etc.

General and Administrative (G&A) – An element of cost that generally includes

the salaries of nonoperating personnel such as corporate management,

human resources, finance, etc., as well as Bid and Proposal (B&P) costs. Some

companies include these costs as overhead or burden. The breakout of costs

into different categories is an accounting function and is usually standardized

within the type of industry in which you operate.

IEEE – See Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc.

Independent Research and Development (IR&D) – Usually an in-house Research

and Development (R&D) program funded by the company. When the

company funds this research, all results are the property of the company and

are usually patented.

In-Process Review – A review, frequently informal, that is conducted while a

project is in process and before a major formal review.

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) – A nonprofit,

technical professional association of more than 377,000 individual members in

150 countries. The IEEE is a leading authority in establishing and maintaining

consensus-based standards in electrical and electronic industries.

International Standards Organization (ISO) – The ISO, established in 1947,

is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 140 countries,

one from each country whose mission is to promote the development of

standardization and related activities in the world resulting in international

agreements that are published as International Standards. (Paraphrased from

the ISO Web site.)

Lessons Learned – A conference, or simply a report, at the end of a project to

review the situations that occurred during the project and their impact on the

project and how the situations could be avoided or cured in the future.

Liquidated Damages – An amount stated in a contract, which the parties

agree is an estimation of damages owed to one of the parties in the event there

has been a breach by the other. (From the Plain Law Dictionary by Medbook

Publications and Parsons Technology, Inc., 1997.)

Materials – Items where the Specification is determined by the vendor. You

are buying to the vendor’s Specification, not yours.

Milestone Review – A review of the milestones in the schedule against work


MIL-HDBK – Military Handbook

MIL-SPEC – Military Specification

MIL-STD – Military Standard

Mission Statement – A statement of an action for the organization to take

and a positive outcome of that action in one sentence. As an example, Abraham

Lincoln’s mission: To preserve the Union.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – A four-character designator derived

from a four-pair, eight-character set resulting in sixteen combinations that

represent a type of person (or later a company). Originated by Isabel Myers

and Katherine Briggs. Example: An ENTJ is an Extrovert (as opposed to an

Introvert), INtuitive (as opposed to Sensing), Thinking (as opposed to Feeling),

Judgmental (as opposed to Perceiving) type of person.

NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Negotiating Team – See Requirements Definition Team.

Negotiation Envelope – Predetermined limits to which the Negotiating Team

can negotiate. Usually includes scope, schedule, cost, and manpower.

On the Job Training (OJT) – Informal training provided on the job by others

involved in the same category of work.

Out-of-Tolerance – A measured parameter that is beyond its nominal value,

plus or minus a percentage of that value that is the allowable range in which

that parameter may operate.

PERT – See Program Evaluation Review Technique.

Profit and Loss (P&L) – The result of a contract beyond cost. A contract that

returns money beyond all costs is a profit. A contract that costs more than its

income is a loss.

Profit and Loss (P&L) Responsibility – Responsibility assigned to a program

manager for operating the program and returning a profit to the company.

Program Advisory Council – A special-purpose management team that advises,

but does not manage, the project or program team. The Program Advisory

Council acts as a transparent link between the project team and management

and the customer.

Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) – A scheduling system characterized

by linking together the longest ‘‘string’’ of events to create a critical


Program Manager – The same as a project manager, except a program manager

has P&L responsibility and manages a contract with a customer outside

the parent organization.

Program Office – See Project Office.

Programmatic – Those issues associated with the management of a project or

program. Such issues include budget, schedule, etc. Programmatic issues are

separate and distinct from technical issues.

Project Manager – The individual responsible for managing the entire project

internal to the parent company.

Project Meeting – Same as team meeting.

Project Office – The group of people and functions that surround the management

of a project or program. These functions are usually those performed

by the project manager, the administrator, and the scheduler, as well as the

secretarial function. Sometimes the chief engineer is considered as a part of

the Project Office.

Project Review – A review of project activities as defined by the Enterprise.

Usually consists of a review of cost, schedule, and technical status at the project

level and with project personnel in attendance. Usually held before a Division

or higher level review to ‘‘iron out’’ issues.

Projectized – A project or program that essentially stands alone within an

organization. The projectized organization contains all the line functions necessary

to meet the requirements of the task or contract. Staff functions such as

finance and human resources are usually not included although they may be

in extremely large projects or programs.

Prototype – A nonproduction build of hardware or software generally used to

test concepts and/or content and/or interfaces. Older terms, still in use in some

places, are Breadboard and Brassboard. This term is sometimes extended to

include the First Article (see above) of a production run. Prototypes should

not be deliverable.

Purchase Order (PO) – A document used to commit project, program, or

company funds to a certain purchase. The PO must contain the item, the

vendor, the price, and the delivery date. Other contents are at the option of

the company.

Reengineering – The common form of Business Process Management (BPM)

used to establish standards for process design, deployment, execution, maintenance,

and optimization.

Request for Proposal (RFP) – A request issued by a customer for a full response

from companies. This usually means the response must include a Technical

Section, a Management Section, and a Cost Section. RFPs are usually

issued for complex requirements.

Request for Quotation (RFQ) – A request issued by a customer for a limited

response from companies. This usually means a limited Technical Section (if

any at all) and a cost for the item. RFQs sometimes require cost ‘‘back up’’

(the rationale for the cost).

Requirements –Webster defines requirements as something wanted or needed

or something essential.

Requirements Definition Team – An ad hoc group formed to formalize the

requirements for a project or program. For a project the group is a requirements

definition team; for a program the group is a negotiating team.

Requirements Flow-Down Matrix (RFM) – A matrix created to track those

requirements that must be flowed down and how they are flowed down to

various Work Packages, subcontracts, and purchases. Example: Buy American

Clause in a contract.

Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) – A matrix formed to track each

requirement through the lifecycle of the project. The horizontal axis of the

matrix begins at project start (program award) and ends with handover. The

vertical axis lists each requirement.

Research and Development (R&D) – A project or program on the leading

edge of technology. R&D projects can be performed in-house (see Independent

Research and Development above) or for a customer as a Research and

Development program.

Reverse Contract – To take a course of contractual action and advise your

customer that you intend to incorporate this change unless otherwise directed.

(Be careful—some customers take a dim view of this action.)

Reverse Engineer – To make a change in the Specification or design and advise

the customer that you intend to incorporate this change unless otherwise directed.

(Be careful—some customers take a dim view of this action.)

Risk Mitigation Plan – A plan to recognize, evaluate, and provide an approach

to eliminating, mitigating, or neutralizing a risk, technical or programmatic.

Root Cause – The essential heart or underlying reason.

Schedule Review – A review of the schedule associated with all or part of a

task or contract. Usually, but not always, Schedule Reviews are conducted

concurrently with Cost Reviews and Performance Reviews in Project, Program,

or Division Reviews.

Show Cause (Letter) – An order for a company (usually a contractor or subcontractor)

to tell why it thinks the sender (usually the customer) should not

take a certain action such as cancellation of the contract. Should the show

cause not be answered, the letter will outline the next step that will be taken.

Software Engineering Institute (SEI) – The Software Engineering Institute

(SEI) is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the

U.S. Department of Defense through the Office of the Under Secretary of

Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics [OUSD (AT&L)]. The

SEI’s core purpose is to help others make measured improvements in their

software engineering capabilities. (From the SEI/Carnegie Mellon Home


Specification (Spec) – That part of the requirements document (contract) that

establishes how the system as a whole will perform.

Standard Processes – Those processes established and standardized by such

organizations as IEEE, IATA, ISO, EIA, ASME, ASTM, CCITT, NEMA, UL,

and a host of others. These processes are usually invoked by reference rather

than by being restated.

Standard Requirements – Reference documents common to your business

area or product such as IEEE Standards, SEI Standards, EIA Standards, etc.,

that are invoked by the requirements document (contract) or the enterprise

policies, plans, processes, or procedures. These standards are usually referenced

rather than being reprinted simply to save space.

Statement Of Work (SOW) – That part of the requirements document (contract)

that describes what the task is and when the task will be accomplished.

Subcontract (S/C) – A contract that delegates work to a third party that contains

a Statement Of Work (SOW) and usually a Specification.

Subcontract Requirements Traceability Matrix (SRTM) – A Requirements

Traceability Matrix (RTM) used by a subcontractor (see Requirements Traceability

Matrix above).

Sub-Program Office (SPO) – The SPO has the same responsibilities as the

Program Office except that the SPO is responsible for only a portion of the

overall system and usually does not have contractual responsibility and may

not have P&L responsibility.

System Engineering Management Plan (SEMP) – A top-level plan that identifies

and controls the overall engineering process. The SEMP is usually supported

by a number of specialty engineering plans that contain much of the

engineering detail.

Task (Challenge) – See Challenge (Tasking) above.

Team – A group of people, usually interdisciplinary, brought together to perform

a task. A team is a casual relationship, as opposed to teaming, which is a

legal relationship

Team Meeting – A meeting, usually somewhat informal, of the entire team

where project issues are discussed.

Teaming – The legal association of two or more organizations (companies) to

perform a specific task. Teaming (between companies) is separate and distinct

from a team (individuals).

Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM) – A meeting wherein technical issues

are discussed. Contractual issues are not discussed.

Tiger Team – An ad hoc group formed to pursue a specific problem or issue.

Their charter may be to study the issue or to find a fix or to fix it.

Total Quality Management (TQM) – ‘‘A structured system for satisfying internal

and external customers and suppliers by integrating the business environment,

continuous improvement, and breakthroughs with development,

improvement, and maintenance cycles while changing organizational culture.’’

(From the Web site of Integrated Quality Dynamics, Inc.)

Vendor – A person or company that provides a product or line of products to

a Specification that is usually his own.

Version Description Document (VDD) – A document that references and

describes the changes included in this version of software.

Vision – The highest view of what a company is and where it wants to go.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) – A WBS is a description of the project/

program in tree form. It is composed of the hardware, software, services, and

data that completely define a project/program.

Work Package (WP) – The lowest level of the WBS that is the most efficient

and cost-effective way of controlling schedule, cost, and technical performance

consistent with the requirements of the customer and the performing agency

(the company).


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Attachment 1—Standard Program Plan Outline

Attachment 2—Standard Technical Plan Outline

Attachment 3—Risk Mitigation Plan

Attachment 4—Contract/Subcontract Outline

Attachment 5—Configuration Management Plan Outline

Attachment 6—Quality Assurance Plan Outline

Attachment 7—Requirements Traceability Matrix

Attachment 8—Requirements Flow-Down Matrix

Attachment 9—Data Delivery Matrix

Attachment 10—Capability Matrix

Attachment 11—Policy-to-Plan Trail

Attachment 12—Experience Window

Attachment 13—Standards Traceability Matrix

Attachment 14—Vendor Evaluation Process

Attachment 15—Design Review Approval Form

Attachment 16—In-Process Review Approval Form

Attachment 17—Negotiation Checklist

Attachment 18—Critical Success Factor (CSF) Matrix

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