This glossary was created to define words used throughout this site/toolkit as well as other common terms that are related my specific career interests as well as other areas of IT.
Acquisition– “A corporate action in which a company buys most, if not all, of the target company’s ownership stakes in order to assume control of the target firm. Acquisitions are often made as part of a company’s growth strategy whereby it is more beneficial to take over an existing firm’s operations and niche compared to expanding on its own” (Investopedia, n.d.).
Audit– “A planned and documented activity performed by qualified personnel to determine by investigation, examination, or evaluation of objective evidence, the adequacy and compliance with established procedures, or applicable documents, and the effectiveness of implementation” (Wikipedia, 2014.)
Balanced Scorecard– “The balanced scorecard is a strategic planning and management system that is used extensively in business and industry, government, and nonprofit organizations worldwide to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals” (Balanced Scorecard Institute, n.d.).
Best Practice– “A method of technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark” (Wikipedia, 2014).
Business Intelligence (BI)– “Business intelligence, or BI, is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of software applications used to analyze an organization’s raw data. BI as a discipline is made up of several related activities, including data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting” (Mulcahy, n.d.)
COBIT– COBIT enables clear policy development and good practice for IT control throughout organizations. COBIT emphasizes regulatory compliance, helps organizations to increase the value attained from IT, enables alignment and simplifies implementation of the enterprises’ IT governance and control framework. (IT Governance Institute, 2007).
CMMI– “The Capability Maturity Model Integration method, created by a group from government, industry and Carnegie-Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute, is a process improvement approach that contains 22 process areas. It is divided into appraisal, evaluation and structure. CMMI is particularly well-suited to organizations that need help with application development, lifecycle issues and improving the delivery of products throughout the lifecycle” (Schwartz, 2007).
COSO– “This model for evaluating internal controls is from the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. It includes guidelines on many functions, including human resource management, inbound and outbound logistics, external resources, information technology, risk, legal affairs, the enterprise, marketing and sales, operations, all financial functions, procurement and reporting. This is a more business-general framework that is less IT-specific than the others” (Schwartz, 2007).
Database– “an organized collection of data. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality in a way that supports processes requiring this information” (Database, 2014).
Database Management Systems (DBMS)– “specially designed software applications that interact with the user, other applications, and the database itself to capture and analyze data. A general-purpose DBMS is a software system designed to allow the definition, creation, querying, update, and administration of databases. Well-known DBMSs include MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, SAP HANA, dBASE, FoxPro, IBM DB2, LibreOffice Base and FileMaker Pro” (Database, 2014).
Decision Tree– “A diagramming analysis technique used to help select the best course of action in situations in which future outcomes are uncertain” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Earned Value Management (EVM)– “A project performance measurement technique that integrates scope, time, and cost data” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Fishbone diagram– “Diagram that traces complaints about quality problems back to the responsible production operations to help find the root cause. Also known as cause-and-effect diagram or Ishikawa diagram” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Gantt chart– “A standard format for displaying project schedule information by listing project activities and their corresponding start and finish dates in a calendar format; sometimes referred to as bar chart” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Green IT or Green Computing– “Developing and using computer resources in an efficient way to improve economic viability, social responsibility, and environmental impact” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Half-Duplex -the ability for data to be transmitted back and forth between devices, but not at the same time. (Rouse, n.d.)
Influence diagram– “Diagram that represents decision problems by displaying essential elements, including decisions, uncertainties, and objectives, and how they influence each other” (Schwalbe, 2010).
ISO 9000– “A quality system standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (IS) that includes a three-part, continuous cycle of planning, controlling, and documenting quality in an organization” (Schwalbe, 2010).
IT Governance guides activities to follow strategy and ensures policies are followed (IT Governance Institute, 2007). “Addresses the authority in organizations, including IT infrastructure, IT use, and project management”(Schwalbe, 2010).
IT Policy– A set of procedures and rules that define what should and shouldn’t be done in daily operations. Most IT policies are created with the IT strategy in mind as a guide in how to achieve certain strategic goals.
IT Professional– Someone who has acquired the education, training and skills needed to perform duties of an IT job. The duties of an IT Professional can vary depending on the area of IT and the previous background experience/education. Typically an IT Professional has knowledge in more than more area of IT; however, they may specialize in one particular area and, thus, have a job title and duties centered around that specialization.
IT Strategy– “The overall plan which consist of objective(s), principles and tactics relating to use of the technologies within a particular organization” (Wikipedia, 2014).
Joint Application Design (JAD)– “using higly organized and intensive workshops to bring together project stakeholders- the sponsor, users, business analysts, programmers, and so on- to jointly define and design information systems.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI)– “Help an organization define and measure progress toward organizational goals. Key Performance Indicators are quantifiable measurements, agreed to beforehand, that reflect the critical success factors of an organization.
Kick-off meeting– “A meeting held at the beginning of a project so that stakeholders can meet each other, review the goals of the project, and discuss future plans” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Learning curve theory– “A theory that states that when many items are produced repetitively, the unit cost of those items normally decreases in a regular pattern as more units are produced” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Maturity Model– “A framework for helping organizations improve their processes and systems” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Merge– “When two or more nodes precede a single node on a network diagram” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Mind Mapping– “A technique that uses branches radiating out from a core idea to structure thoughts and ideas” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Mission Statement– “A statement of the purpose of a company, organization or person, its reason for existing” (Wikipedia, 2014). “The goal of the mission statement is to state in plain language how the workforce computing strategy relates to business objectives” (Johnson, 2012).
Monte Carlo analysis– “A risk quantification technique that simulates a model’s outcome many times, to provide a statistical distribution of the calculated results” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Network Diagram– “a schematic display of the logical relationships or sequencing of project activities” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Offshoring– “outsourcing from another country” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Organizational breakdown structure (OBS)– “a specific type of organizational chart that shows which organizational units are responsible for which work items” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Outsourcing– “when an organization acquires goods and/or sources from an outside source” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Predictive Life-cycle– “a software development approach used when the scope of the project can be clearly articulated and the schedule and cost can be accurately predicted” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Probability/impact matrix or chart– “A matrix or chart that lists the relative probability of a risk occurring on one side of a matrix or axis on a chart and the relative impact of the risk occurring on the other” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Program Manager– “A person who provides leadership and direction for the project managers heading the projects within a program” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Project Acquisition– “The last two phases in a project (implementation and close-up) that focus on delivering the actual work” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Project Management– “The application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently. It’s a strategic competency for organizations, enabling them to tie project results to business goals — and thus, better compete in their markets” (PMI, n.d.)
Quality Control– “Monitoring specific project results to ensure that they comply with the relevant quality standards and identifying ways to improve overall quality” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Request for Proposal (RFP)– “A document used to solicit proposals from prospective suppliers” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Return on Investment (ROI)– “(benefits minus cost) divided by costs” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Risk Management– “The process of identification, analysis and either acceptance or mitigation of uncertainty in investment decision-making” (Investopedia, n.d.).
Scatter Diagram– “diagram that helps to show if there is a relationship between two variables; also called XY charts” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Software Development Life-cycle (SDLC)– “a structure imposed on the development of a software product. It is often considered a subset of systems development life cycle. There are several models for such processes, each describing approaches to a variety of tasks or activities” (Software development process, 2014).
SWOT Analysis– “is a structured planning method used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats involved in a project or in a business venture. A SWOT analysis can be carried out for a product, place, industry or person. It involves specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve that objective” (Wikipedia, 2014).
Tuckman model– “describes five stages of team development: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Use Case Modeling– “A process for identifying and modeling business events, who initiated them, and how the system should respond to them” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Virtualization– ” hiding the physical characteristics of computing resources from their users, such as making a single server, operating system, application, or storage device appear to function as multiple virtual resources” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Workarounds– “unplanned responses to risk events when there are no contingency plans in place” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Work breakdown structure (WBS)– “A delieverable-oriented grouping of the work involved in a project that defines the total scope of the project” (Schwalbe, 2010).
Yield– “The number of units handled correctly through the development process” (Schwalbe, 2010).