The Top 10 Acronyms Every Project Manager Needs to Know

Posted by Megan Cacioppo on May 3, 2017

The Top 10 Acronyms Every Project Manager Needs to Know

Are you a new project management (PM) professional? Or perhaps you’ve been around the PM block, but are in need of a quick refresher course. Either way, it never hurts to get back to the basics! That’s why in today’s blog post we’re covering some of the top acronyms every project manager needs to know.

How many of these are you able to define off the top of your head?

By the way, I highly suggest bookmarking this post, or even downloading this handy cheat sheet for future reference.

  1. CPR. The CPR, or contract performance report, presents the cost and schedule data for the current period as well as in a cumulative format.
  2. CPI. The cost performance index is the ratio of work accomplished versus work cost incurred for a specified time period. The CPI is an efficiency rating for work accomplished against resources expended.
  3. DID. Data item description (DID) contains the format and content preparation instructions for the data product generated by the specific and discrete task requirements as delineated in the contract.
  4. IBR. An integrated baseline review is intended to verify the technical content and realism of the related performance budgets, resources and schedules. It should provide a mutual understanding of the inherent risks in the contractors’ performance plans and the underlying management control systems. It should also formulate a plan to handle these risks.
  5. MR. The management reserve is a portion of the contract budget base that is held for management purposes by the contractor to cover the expense of unanticipated program requirements. It isn’t a part of the performance measurement baseline. Another term for management reserve is “contingency.”
  6. PMB. Otherwise known as performance measurement baseline, the PMB is the time-phased budget plan against which contract performance is measured. It is the sum of all control account time-phased budgets plus any undistributed budget not assigned to a scheduled control account.
  7. RAM. The RAM, or responsibility assignment matrix, correlates the work required by a work breakdown structure (WBS) element to the functional organization responsible for accomplishing the assigned tasks. The RAM is created by intersecting the WBS with the program organizational breakdown structure to identify with control account.
  8. SPI. The schedule performance index is the 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.
  9. VAC. VAC is short for variance at complete, or the difference between budget at complete and estimate at complete.
  10. WAD. The work authorization document is a formal document from the program manager to a control account manager identifying scope of work and budget at a control account level. It is used by the control account manager to plan work packages.

To check out more terms you should be familiar with, click here.