Glossary – O

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A concrete statement (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timebound) that describes what a project is trying to achieve.

Object linking and embedding (OLE)

Refers to Paste Linking and Paste Embedding in Windows applications. After copying an object to the clipboard, switching the receiving document, and using Edit > Paste Special:

  • Paste linking leaves a trail to the source document and automatically updates the receiving document when the source document changes
  • Paste embedding (the default) places a copy of the source object in the receiving document, but does not create a link and does not provide automatic updates.


A technique that focuses programming design on the data and the user interfaces to the data.


Organizational breakdown structure.


Manually and/or electronically viewing and recording behaviors of individuals or groups.


Optical character reader.

Office politics

How behavioral, ethical, and moral issues are addressed, and how power and influence are managed, in an organization.

Off-press proof

See prepress proof.

Offset printing

A printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a rubber blanket to paper rather than directly from plate to paper.


A business strategy in which an organization transfers business processes to an external organization in the another country. See also outsourcing.


Object linking and embedding.


A neutral third party that researches complaints and suggests and/or implements solutions.

Ongoing project

A project that has been through a complete budget cycle. A project that has been awarded but has not been completely implemented (this also includes pilots and prototypes).

Online marketing

A form of marketing in which advertising is exclusively web- or e-mail based. See also marketing types.

Online publishing

See electronic publishing.


Use of words to imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions to which the words refer. See also rhetorical strategies.


The degree to which light is prevented from showing through.


Not transparent.

Open parenthesis

The character ( used at the beginning of a parenthetical expression. See also close parenthesis, parentheses.

Open quote

The character used to begin a quotation. This character can be double (“) or single (‘), curved or straight. See also close quote, quotation marks, smart quotes.

Open-ended question

A question that has more than one correct answer and that requires an individual to respond in their own words. Also referred to as subjective question.

Open-ended task

A performance task in which an individual must provide a solution or response to a problem that has no single correct answer.

Open-response task

A performance task in which there is a single correct response, but an individual must provide an answer rather than select from several possible answers.


Applications that are available for others to use, adapt, and redistribute.

Operating budget

A reasonable, detailed projection of income and expenses during a specific time period.

Operational (steady state) asset

An asset or part of an asset that has been delivered and is performing the mission.

Operational project

Systems that are completely implemented (including legacy systems).

Operational testing

Testing conducted to evaluate a system or component in its operational environment.

Operations Manual

A document that provides computer-control personnel and computer operators with a detailed operational description of the information system and its associated environments, such as machine room operations and procedures.

Opinion survey

A market research study conducted to determine opinions on a specific topic. See also attitude survey, evaluation survey, satisfaction survey.


Outline processor markup language.

Opportunity cost

The rate of return expected if an alternative course of action were taken. See also cost of capital, cost types.

Optical character reader (OCR)

A device that can scan and translate printed text into digital information.

Optical scanner

A device that can scan and translate printed text and images into digital information.

Opt-in policy

Marketing that requires a potential customer to select the services they want and to specify how the company can use any information they provide. Also called permission-based marketing. See also marketing types.

Opt-out policy

Marketing in which an existing customer receives electronic communications without giving express permission for that communication. Also called permission-based marketing. See also marketing types.


To reduce the time it takes to access a web site.

Order-of-magnitude estimate

See estimate.

Ordinal scale

A measurement scale in which there is no set distance between categories and categories can be ranked in order from smallest to largest; for example, excellent, good, fair, and poor. See also interval scale, ratio scale, nominal scale.

Organizational breakdown structure (OBS)

A preliminary version of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) that identifies organizational relationships and is used to assign work responsibilities.

Organizational capital

The ability of an organization to create products and services for the market. See also human capital, innovation capital, intellectual capital, market capital.

Organizational communication

The communication processes and dynamics in an organization.

Organizational culture

The attitudes, assumptions, behaviors, beliefs, and values shared by the people in an organization.

Organizational memory

Stored information an organization can access and use for current decisions.

Organizational planning

Identifying, documenting, and assigning project roles, responsibilities, and reporting relationships.


The first line of a paragraph that appears by itself at the bottom of a column or page. See also widow.

Other direct costs

A group of accounting elements that can be isolated to specific tasks, other than labor and material; for example, travel, computer time, and services. See also cost types.

Outcome measure

An assessment of the results of a program activity compared to its intended purpose. An outcome-based contract is often ideal for non-routine efforts.

Outcome-based education

An education model that focuses on measuring student performance.

Outline processor markup language (OPML)

An XML-based format that allows applications to exchange information that is structured as an outline. See also web feed, web feed formats.


In statistics, an observation in a data set that is significantly different in value from all others.

Out-of-home ad

A paid announcement that reaches a consumer outdoors; for example, a billboard or a bus ad.

Output data

Data that is produced as a result of executing a test case or procedure, and used to verify test results and successful completion of the test case or procedure. See also data types.

Output measure

The tabulation, calculation, or recording of activity or effort that can be expressed in a quantitative or qualitative manner. For routine efforts, an output contract may be more desirable.


A business strategy in which an organization transfers business processes to an external organization in the same country. See also offshoring.

Ovation (Adobe)

A tool for building multimedia presentations from Microsoft PowerPoint slides.

Over run

Documents printed in addition to the original order quantity. Also called overage.


See over run.


Costs incurred in the operation of a business which cannot be directly related to the individual products or services being produced. See also cost types.


See lead.


A layer of tissue, acetate, or other material taped to a mechanical, photo, or proof, and used write instructions or to separate colors. See also base art.


A project surveillance method that is an intrusive process of gathering contractor product or process data through on-site, in-series involvement in the process.

Owner’s equity

The ownership interest shareholders have in the assets of a corporation. Also called net worth.

Oxford comma

See serial comma.


The combination of two normally contradictory words. See also rhetorical strategies.

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