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Budget at completion.

Back end

An information structure or application; for example, a database. See also front end.

Back matter

Supplemental information at the back of a document. Also called end matter. See also appendix, bibliography, colophon, front matter, glossary, index.

Back up

To place an image on one side of a sheet so that it aligns back-to-back with an image on the other side.

Backward pass

The calculation of late finish dates and late start dates for the uncompleted portions of all network activities. Determined by working backward through the network logic from the project’s end date. The end date may be calculated in a forward pass or set by the customer or sponsor. See also network analysis.


Backup file format.

Balance sheet

A financial statement that reports the assets, liabilities, and owner’s equities of a company at one point in time, usually the end of the company’s fiscal year or quarter (as contrasted with the income statement which reports the company’s earnings over a period of time).

Balanced scorecard

A strategic approach used to measure and drive business performance, which includes not only financial performance but also other elements such as customer value, internal business processes, innovation, and employee performance. See also dashboard, scorecard.


The amount of information an Internet connection can carry.


The title of a periodical that appears on the cover page and often contains the date and volume/issue number.

Banner ad

An image shown on a webpage for advertising purposes.

Bar chart

A graphical display that represents categories of data using horizontal or vertical rectangles, where the length of each rectangle is proportionate to the number of cases in the variable it represents. See also plot types.


A simple form of negotiation process, typically used for one-time negotiations, that often revolves around a single issue.

Base art

Copy that is pasted on the mounting board of a mechanical. See also mechanical, overlay.

Base fee

A fixed dollar amount, established at the beginning of a cost-plus-award-fee contract, as the minimum amount of profit the vendor will receive, regardless of performance quality.

Base negative

The negative created by photographing base art.


The imaginary line on which a line of text rests.


The scope of a project as defined in the Work Breakdown Structure. Also called scope baseline. See also allocated baseline, cost baseline, cost performance measurement baseline, functional baseline, performance measurement baseline, product baseline, schedule baseline.

Baseline finish date

The original planned finish date for a project, work package, or activity, plus or minus any approved changes.

Baseline project plan

See Project Plan.

Baseline schedule

The planned schedule of all start and finish dates of all sub-tasks, tasks, phases, and milestones in the critical path network diagram; this schedule is approved at the end of the planning phase.

Baseline start date

The original planned start date for a project, work package, or activity, plus or minus any approved changes.

Baseline types

See allocated baseline, cost baseline, cost performance measurement baseline, functional baseline, performance measurement baseline, product baseline, schedule baseline.

Baselined requirements

The set of project requirements that have been approved and signed off by the customer during requirements definition. The product design is based on these requirements. The baselined requirements are placed under configuration control.

Basic research

Research that is focused on gaining fundamental knowledge and theoretical understanding, as opposed to research aimed at solving specific problems. See also applied research, causal research, customer satisfaction research.

Basis path testing

A white box test case design technique that uses the algorithmic flow of the program to design tests.


Batch file format.


Bulletin board system.


Benefit-cost analysis.


Benefit-cost ratio.


Budgeted cost of work performed.


Budgeted cost of work scheduled.


A social networking site that keeps track of friends on other social sites from a single site.

Before and after studies

See pre-post studies.


Action that is overt, observable, and measurable.

Behavioral interview

A research process in which the candidate is asked to pinpoint specific instances in which he/she exhibited a specific behavior in an attempt to determine if the candidate has the behavioral characteristics necessary for success in a particular job. See also interview.

Behavioral objectives

See performance objectives.


A theory, based on classical conditioning theory, which suggests that learning occurs when an environmental stimulus triggers a response or behavior; for example, educational practices that reward performance behaviors to encourage repetition of those behaviors.

Bell curve

See normal curve.


A measured point of reference used to make comparisons. Also, a test or tests conducted to determine whether the configuration performs according to vendor-published performance specifications and satisfies certain functional requirements that are unable to be measured in terms of performance or design criteria.

Benchmark testing

Tests that use representative sets of programs and data, which are designed to evaluate the performance of computer hardware and software in a given configuration and to determine whether a configuration meets certain requirements.


Comparing your practices to those of similar projects, organizations, or teams to determine best practices or to provide a standard by which to measure performance.


Gain to be realized from the successful completion of a project.

Benefit-cost analysis (BCA)

A systematic quantitative method of assessing the desirability of projects or policies when it is important to take a long view of future effects and a broad view of possible side effects.

Benefit-cost ratio (BCR)

The total discounted benefits of a project divided by the total discounted costs of the project. If the value of the BCR is less than one, the project should not continue.

Best practices

Methods established to be optimal and that can be passed from one discipline or industry to another.

Beta testing

Testing of a pre-release version of a product which is conducted by customers.


Business intelligence.


Untruthful or unreliable results introduced by the way in which a research study is conducted.

Biased sample

A research sample that is not proportionate to the population unit of interest.


A list of cited or consulted books, articles, web pages, and other references that appears at the back of a document. See also back matter.


An offer to perform the work that is described in a set of bid documents at a specified cost.

Bidders conference

A meeting with prospective vendors prior to preparing bids and proposals, with the goal of ensuring that all prospective vendors have a clear and common understanding of the procurement. Also called pre-bid conference.

Bidders list

A list of vendors judged capable by the buyer’s organization from whom bids, proposals, or quotations may be solicited.

Bill of Lading

A document used to show receipt of goods for shipment, issued by an organization in the business of transporting or forwarding goods.

Bill of Materials (BOM)

A hierarchical view of the physical assemblies, subassemblies, and components needed to fabricate a manufacturing product. Also, a descriptive and qualitative list of materials, supplies, parts, and components required to produce a designated complete end item of material, assembly, or subassembly.


To join leafs or signatures together using wire, glue, or other means. See also binding types.


A legally enforceable decision or agreement resulting from a dispute resolution process.

Binding types

See case binding, comb binding, perfect binding, post binding, saddle-stitch binding, side-stitch binding, spiral binding, wire binding.

Biographical study

The study of a person’s experiences as related verbally or through documents and other historical records. See also research methods.


A pixel-based image file where each pixel within the image is assigned a color value to create the final image.

Bitmap graphics

Graphic images composed of a pattern of dots (pixels). Also called raster graphics. See also bitmap graphics file formats.

Bitmap graphics file formats


Black belt

A team leader who is knowledgeable and skilled in the use of the Six Sigma methodology and tools, and is responsible for implementing process improvement projects within an organization. See also green belt, yellow belt.

Black-box testing

Testing based on an analysis of a software component’s specifications without reference to its internal workings. The goal is to test how well the component conforms to its published requirements.


An element that extends to the edge of a page.

Blended learning

A combination of online and face-to-face learning activities.

Blind folio

A page number not printed on the page.

Blind image

An image that is debossed, embossed, or stamped, but not printed with ink or foil.

Blind study

Research in which the brand or product is hidden from the participants during testing.


Measures taken to avoid bias in a research study by withholding which participants are assigned to the groups. In a single-blind study, either the participants or the researchers are aware of the assignments. In a double-blind study, neither the participants nor the researchers are aware of the assignments.

Block print

See foil stamp.

Block quote

A quoted passage set off from running text.


A web site of pages, posted as web journal entries and updated periodically, which can include written text, pictures, audio podcasts, music, and video. See audioblog, autocast, blogcast, moblog, photoblog, podcast, vlog.

Blog site

The URL of an online blog. See also blogsite.

Blog types

See audioblog, autocast, blogcast, edu-blog, event blog, group blog, journal blog, linguablog, moblog, movlog, photoblog, photocast, plog, podcast, tech blog, vlog.


A blog and podcast on a single web site. See also blog types.


The process of posting journal entries to a web page. See also podcasting, vlogging.


A web site with blog feeds from a variety of different sources, including non-blog sources. See also blog site.

Bloom’s taxonomy

Developed by Benjamin Bloom, a classification of behavior and learning organized into three domains: affective (or emotional/attitudinal), cognitive (or intellectual), and psychomotor (or physical, motor).

Blue pencil

See non-repro blue.


A pre-press photographic proof, created from stripped negatives, on which all colors appear as blue images on white paper.


Bitmap file format. See also bitmap graphics file formats.

Body text

The paragraphs in a document that comprise the majority of the content.


Text that is reused without changes in multiple documents.


A typeface that has darker, thicker strokes. Also called boldface.


Bill of materials.


A tag that identifies a page or portion of a page as the target of a hyperlink.


A process constraint that determines the capacity or capability of a system and restricts the rate, volume, or flow of a process.

Bottom-up budget

See bottom-up estimate.

Bottom-up estimate

A cost or budget estimate derived by estimating the cost of the project’s elemental tasks at the lower levels of the work breakdown structure, then aggregating those estimates at successively higher levels of the work breakdown structure.

Bottom-up testing

An approach to integration testing where the lowest level components are tested first, then used to facilitate the testing of higher level components. The process is repeated until the component at the top of the hierarchy is tested.

Boundary testing

Test that focuses on the boundary or limit conditions of the software being tested; for example, stress tests.

Boundary value analysis

Testing in which test cases are generated using the extremes of the input domain; for example, maximum, minimum, typical values, error values, and just inside or outside boundaries.

Box-and-whisker plot

A graphical display of related information that shows the shape of the distribution, its central value, and variability—the minimum and maximum values, the lower and upper quartiles, and the median. Also called boxplot. See also plot types.


See box-and-whisker plot.


Business process modeling.


Business process re-engineering.

Braces ( { } )

Curved punctuation marks that enclose characters inserted in text.


Concise expression in which the missing word or phrase can be determined from the surrounding context. See also rhetorical strategies.

Brackets ( [ ] < > )

Square or angled punctuation marks that enclose characters inserted in text.


A general creativity technique that uses a group of team members or subject-matter experts to develop new or innovative ideas or identify risks.

Branch testing

Testing in which all branches in the program source code are tested at least once.


The physical attributes of a product or service, together with the beliefs and expectations surrounding it, which the name or logo of the product or service should evoke in the mind of the audience.

Brand equity

A company’s level of awareness and consumer goodwill, as determined by consumer’s views of the company’s brand and/or products.


Failure to perform a contractual obligation.

Breach of contract

Failure, without legal excuse, to perform any promise that forms any part of a contract. Also, unequivocal, distinct, and absolute refusal to perform under a contract.

Breadth testing

A test suite that exercises the full functionality of a product but does not test any features in detail.

Break-even point

The point in time during project or production performance at which earned value equals total cost.

Bricks and mortar

A physical location that provides access to a company’s products or services. See also clicks and mortar.


See value.


A form of data transmission in which a single wire can carry different types of information simultaneously; for example, cable television, internet access, and telephone. See also bandwidth.

Browse sequence

The order in which a user views online pages when using a navigational button or hyperlink.


A program used to view, download, upload, surf, or otherwise access documents (for example, web pages).


A circle or box on a hardcopy document that contains a query or comment.

Budget at completion (BAC)

The baseline (planned) budget for the project. The sum of all budgets allocated to a project.

Budget costs

Translation of the work estimate into hourly rates, quantity units of production, and so on. Also, an assigned expenditure plan for specified cost estimates. See also cost types.

Budget estimate

See estimate.

Budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP)

The earned value. The sum of the budgets for completed portions of in-process work, plus the appropriate portion of the budgets for level of effort and apportioned effort for the relevant time period. See also planned value.

Budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS)

The planned costs. The sum of the budgets for work scheduled to be accomplished (including in-process work), plus the appropriate portion of the budgets for level of effort and apportioned effort for the relevant time period.


See reserve.


A fault in a program that causes it to perform in a way that is unintended or unanticipated.


A functioning version of a software product which includes a specific subset of the final product’s functionality.


The typographical symbol, typically a dot (round, square, filled, or open), used to call attention to items in a nonsequential list.

Bulleted list

A vertical list of nonsequential items in which each item is preceded by a bullet. See also numbered list.

Bulletin board system (BBS)

A computer accessible by other computers for sharing or exchanging messages or other files.

Burn rate

The rate at which funds are expended on a project.

Business analysis

See SWOT analysis.

Business Case

A project document that provides the justification for a project, including cost/benefit analyses, return on investment (ROI) analyses, and information on how the project will enhance the goals and policies of the organization.

Business casual

Clothing and accessories that are one step down from your organization’s accepted business-professional attire; for example, a sport coat and slacks instead of a suit, or a knit shirt and khakis instead of a sport coat and slacks. See also professional dress.

Business Continuity Plan

See continuity of operations plan.

Business intelligence (BI)

Technologies that enable businesses to gather, store, access, and analyze data to help them make better business decisions.

Business knowledge

The documents, people skills, and resources within an organization. See also knowledge.

Business mission

See mission statement.

Business modeling

See process modeling.

Business need requirement

A requirement needed to meet the organization’s business objectives.

Business process management (BPM)

A systematic approach to improving business processes within an organization.

Business process modeling

The decomposition and graphical representation of a specific business process or functional area within an organization. The model shows how each functional area breaks down into processes, how each process breaks down into sub-processes, and how each sub-process breaks down into activities.

Business process re-engineering (BPR)

Evaluating and redesigning core business processes to reduce complexity and improve organizational performance.

Business professional attire

See professional dress.

Business risk

Risk that is associated with any particular activity and that has potential for either profit or loss.

Business scope

See scope.

Business-to-business (B2B)

Online transactions between one business, institution, or government agency and another.

Business-to-consumer (B2C)

Online transactions between one business, institution, or government agency and a consumer.

Business vision

See vision statement.

Buy in

Getting agreement from key stakeholders that a proposed plan is acceptable.

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