PS PMA Glossary

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Something that is not certain or known to be true.


A measurable improvement resulting from a programme which is seen by a stakeholder to be positive and worthwhile.

Benefits Map

A benefits map is a visual representation of how benefits relate to project outputs, the business change required, the programme objectives and relevant strategic objectives.

Benefit Profile

A benefit profile is a detailed description of a benefit, how it is measured and who owns it.

Benefits Realisation

The process of making sure that the organisation achieves benefits from a programme.


The purpose of the Blueprint is to give a detailed description of the Future State, based on the high-level Vision and Outcomes contained in the Programme Brief.

Business Case

The cost-benefit analysis and evaluation of a programme’s feasibility.

Business Change

A change that needs to be made to the operational environment to ensure that programme benefits can be achieved and optimised following the delivery of project outputs.

Business Change Manager

Someone with management responsibility for a business area who is responsible for ensuring that the operational changes are deployed effectively and that the intended benefits are realised.

Cashable Benefit

A benefit that can be expressed in monetary terms and which, can be ‘banked’ .


A project output, or collection of outputs and deliverables, that will enable benefits to be realised.

For instance, a new computer system for customer relationship management and staff trained in its use will provide a new capability to deal with customer queries more quickly and consistently, thereby improving customer satisfaction.

Closure Phase

Activities required to formally close a programme, transfer remaining responsibilities to ‘business as usual’ and release the programme team. Constraint A limiting factor that will need to be taken into account in planning the delivery of the programme.

Definition Phase

A set of activities that determine what the programme should deliver in terms of outcomes and benefits, how and when it will be delivered and at what cost, culminating in a detailed Business Case and Definition Report

Definition Plan

A Definition Plan is a plan of the activities required to undertake the Definition Phase of a programme.

Definition Report

The Definition Report is a detailed business case for the programme that helps the Sponsoring Group decide whether or not to go ahead with the programme.

Delivery Phase

A set of activities and projects that deliver the desired outcomes and benefits, in time, to quality and within budget and ensures that resultant business change is embedded.


A consequence of a programme which is seen by a stakeholder to be negative.

FTE – Full Time Equivalent

A measure of how much time is required in relation to 100% of a role.

Future State

The Future State defines what the organisation will look like in the future following the delivery of the Programme.

Gateway Review

A peer review process designed by the OGC, in which independent practitioners from outside the programme examine the progress and likelihood of successful delivery of the programme using a series of interviews and documentation reviews

Identification Phase

A set of activities that, establishes if a programme is needed to meet strategic objectives, which culminates in the production of a Programme Brief and a plan for the next phase of PS PMA, the Definition Phase.


An issue is something that has happened that impacts upon programme delivery. Issues are recorded in the Issues Log.


The key phases of a programme from start to finish.

Non-cashable Benefit

A benefit that can be expressed in monetary terms, but cannot be ‘banked’ before the end of a programme.

Operating Model

A description of the way in which the organisation delivers its services, how it is organised, how it manages its processes, how it makes use of IT and how it manages its information. It is part of the Blueprint.

Organisation Structure

An organisation structure is a definition of the management roles and responsibilities and reporting lines in the programme.


In MSP, an outcome is "the result of change which has positive and/or negative consequences". PS PMA uses the term Business Change.


The product of an activity or project. ‘Output’ is also sometimes referred to as ‘capability’, ‘deliverable’, or ‘product’.


A part of the programme lifecycle that allows a Sponsoring Group to make key decisions on the viability, feasibility, achievement and completion of a programme.


A collection of projects, programmes and activities which together will contribute to the delivery of the organisation’s strategic aims and objectives.


A temporary organisation that manages the implementation of a beneficial and significant change using a set of interconnected projects and activities.

Programme Brief

A document containing information comprising a high-level business case for a programme.

Programme Closure Review

A programme closure review is a record of the programme’s achievements and any lessons learned for future programmes.

Programme Manager

Someone who is responsible to the Senior Responsible Owner for ensuring the project outputs and programme activities are properly coordinated and managed to deliver the programme outputs and outcomes.

Programme Mandate

The authority to explore the potential for a programme.

Programme Objectives

The key goals the programme is trying to achieve at the highest level.

Programme Plan

A Programme Plan is a description and schedule of the activities and projects, that are required to deliver the programme outcomes and benefits, together with their inter-dependencies.


A temporary organisation that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business outputs according to an agreed specification.

Project Dossier

The list of projects that are needed to deliver the outputs that will be required by the Programme. Also known as the Project Register.

Project Executive

Someone who is accountable to the programme for a project’s successful completion within specified scope, risk, time, cost and quality parameters. Also sometimes referred to as Project Sponsor or Project Director.

Project Manager

Someone who is responsible for the delivery of specific products, or outputs that contribute to the outcome and benefits of the programme.

Project Register

The list of projects that are needed to deliver the outputs that will be required by the Programme. Also known as the Project Dossier.


A risk is something that, if it happened, would prevent a programme or project from delivering a quality output or outcome and impact the realisation of one or more benefits. Risks are recorded in the Risk Log

Senior Responsible Owner (SRO)

Someone who is authorised by the Sponsoring Group to provide direction to the Programme Team to ensure the programme is successfully completed.

Senior Supplier

Someone with authority who is responsible for providing a service or resources to a project.

Senior User

Someone with authority who represents a part of an organisation that will be responsible for implementing a project output.

Sponsoring Group

The driving force behind the programme that provides the investment decision and top-level endorsement for the rationale and objectives of the programme.


A person or group who is/are interested in or affected by the outcomes of a programme.

Stakeholder Engagement and Communication

An analysis of the programme’s stakeholders and a plan for how to effectively involve them in the programme.

Step Change

A point in the programme where a a set of projects and activities have finished that together have made a significant and valuable difference in the organisation or the way in which something is done, i.e. a major step on the road from the current state of the organisation to its Future State.

Strategic Objective

An organisation-level aim or goal.

SWOT (Strengths; Weaknesses; Opportunity and Threats) Analysis

The evaluation of what could assist or hinder the proposed change. These are strengths and weaknesses that are inside the organisation and opportunities and threats that are outside it.


A group of projects and activities that together will achieve key milestones or step-changes in capability and benefit delivery.


A compelling picture of the future.

See also

User Guide to this wiki.
Outperform's wiki administration guide (login required).
Click here to download the PSPMA Embedding Guide
PS PMA Video Case Study
PS PMA Glossary of Terms
A map of PS PMA documents to MSP documents.
One page PS PMA wall chart in A3 size, PDF format
Visit the Local Government Project and Programme Community of Practice (PPM CoP) and join up.
The Site Map shows all pages within the PS PMA wiki.
The Workshop Facilitation Handbook
About London Councils
If you have suggestions for improvement or examples we can use, please email: Lorna Gill or Falguni Pisavadia

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The PS PMA Embedding Guide includes content that originates from Outperform UK Ltd, a leading consultancy that helps organisations embed best practices. Original content reproduced with permission
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