CAPM Chapter 1

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application area

The areas of expertise, industry, or functions in which a project is centered. Examples of application areas may include architecture, IT, healthcare, or manufacturing.

physical environment

The physical structure and surroundings that affect a project's work.


A temporary endeavor to create a unique product, service, or result. The end result of a project is a deliverable.


A product, service, or result created by a project. Projects can have multiple deliverables.

business value

A quantifiable return on investment. The return can be tangible, such as equipment, money, or market share. The return can also be intangible, such as brand recognition, trademarks, and reputation.

cultural and social environment

Cultural and social environments include the economic, educational, ethical, religious, demographic, and ethnic composition of the people affected by the project.

international and political environment

The consideration of the local and international laws, languages, communication challenges, time zone differences, and other non-collocated issues that affect a project’s ability to progress.

Iron Triangle of Project Management

Based on the characteristics of time, cost, and scope, which each constitute one side of the triangle. If any side of the Iron Triangle is not in balance with the other sides, the project will suffer. The Iron Triangle is also known as the Triple Constraints of Project Management, as all projects are constrained by time, cost, and scope.

process groups

A collection of related processes in project management. There are 5 process groups and 49 project management processes. The five process groups are initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

progressive elaboration

The process of gathering project details. This process uses deductive reasoning, logic, and a series of information-gathering techniques to identify details about a project, product, or solution.

project business case

A document or presentation created and maintained by the project sponsor that shows the financial validity of why a project is chartered and launched within the organization. Typically, the project business case is created before the launch of the project and may be used as a go/no-go decision point.

project management office (PMO)

A central office that oversees all projects within an organization or within a functional department. A PMO supports the project manager through software, training, templates, policies, communications, dispute resolution, and other services.

project portfolio management

The management and selection of projects that support an organization’s vision and mission. It is the balance of project priority, risk, reward, and return on investment.


A smaller project managed within a larger, parent project. Subprojects are often contracted work whose deliverable allows the larger project to progress.

Triple Constraints of Project Management

Also known as the Iron Triangle of Project Management. This theory stattes that time, cost, and scope are three constraints that affect every project.

work performance data

Raw data, observations, and measurements about project components. Work performance data is gathered and stored in the project management information system (PMIS).

work performance reports

The formatted communications of work performance information. Work performance reports communicate what’s happening in the project through status reports, memos, dashboards, or other modalities.