Go direct to the Glossary Index.

This glossary is both a conventional glossary of terms, and a way of comparing terms and concepts from other frameworks listed in the coverage section below. This glossary is not a substitute for those other guides. It just explains the relationships between different terms so that someone familiar with one terminology can quickly discover equivalents or similarities in another.


Using the glossary

Start from the Glossary Index.

The glossary contains many hyperlinks. Links under headings in the left column are links to other elements of this framework, such as the Knowledge, Processes, Documents and Encylopedia. These provide more extensive and detailed information about the term. Links in the right hand column are internal to the glossary.

Unlike PRINCE2TM activities and PMBoK® Guide processes, for this framework activities are not described by individual entries in the glossary. They are covered by links to the other sections of this framework.

There are many references to ‘equivalent terms’ throughout the glossary to explain how terms in one guide relate to terms in another. These are not exact matches. Different guides have different structures and many of the ‘equivalent terms’ are approximate or near equivalents. To gain a full and detailed understanding of the relationships between terms they need to be seen in context in the corresponding guides.




The inclusion of a guide in this Glossary does not automatically mean that every individual entry from the guide’s glossary is included. Many guides choose to include generic terms that have no special meaning within the field of P3 management. Some also include terms that are not sufficiently described within their own text. These are all excluded from this Glossary.


The glossary includes terms from many different guides. Each guide has a different policy on capitalisation. For example:

  • PRINCE2 capitalises process names, documents and roles.
  • The PMBoK® guide capitalises process and knowledge area names but not documents and roles.
  • ISO21500 capitalises the first letter of processes but not subject groups, documents or roles.
  • The APM BoK only capitalises in accordance with normal written English.

The approach in this glossary is to capitalise processes as they are always unique to each guide. Document, role and other terms are often common to multiple guides, so these are only capitalised in accordance with normal written English.

Reference numbers

The PMBOK® guide and ISO21500 often have the same name for processes that are slightly different. To differentiate them, PMBoK® guide and ISO21500 processes have their reference numbers appended to the process name.

These can quickly be distinguished as the PMBoK® guide uses two digits and ISO21500 uses three.



This glossary compares terms from the following guides: (Italic abbreviations in brackets are used to reference these guides within the glossary)

  • Body of Knowledge v6 published by the Association for Project Management. (APM BoK)
  • PRINCE2TM 2009 edition published by Axelos Ltd.
  • A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge fifth edition published by the Project Management Institute (PMBoK®guide).
  • PRINCE2 AgileTM published by Axelos Ltd.
  • The guide to Planning, Scheduling, Monitoring and Control published by the Association for Project Management (APM PSMC)
  • The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Schedule Assessment Guide (December 2015) (GAO SAG)
  • Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) published by Axelos Ltd.
  • The Standard for Program Management (SPgM) third edition published by the Project Management Institute



PMBoK® is a registered trade mark of the Project Management Institute Inc.
PRINCE2TM PRINCE2 AgileTM and MSP® are registered trade marks of Axelos Ltd.
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