Glossary – S

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Saddle-stitch binding

A type of document binding in which the pages are stapled along one edge. See also binding types.

Sales, general, and administrative costs (SG&A)

Expenses for sales, general management, and administration; for example, insurance and legal fees. See also cost types, overhead.


A smaller but representative part of a larger population being studied.

Sanity testing

A brief test of major functional elements of a piece of software to determine if it is basically operational. See also smoke testing.

Sans serif

A typeface without serifs. See also serif.


A Federal law in the United States that requires strengthened corporate accounting standards for all publicly held firms.

Satisfaction survey

A market research study that measures and evaluates customers’ level of satisfaction with an organization, their products, or their services. See also attitude survey, evaluation survey, opinion survey.


The color intensity of an image; a high saturation image seems bright, a low saturation image seems dull. An image with no saturation is called grayscale.


Breaking a complex task into smaller tasks, modeling the task, supporting learning, then shifting responsibility to the students.

Scalability testing

Performance testing focused on ensuring that the application under test gracefully handles increases in workload.

Scalable vector graphics (SVG)

An XML-based file format standard for vector graphics.

Scatter diagram

See scatterplot.


A graphical display of related information that consists of points representing a group of data, showing the relationship between two variables. Also called scatter diagram. See also plot types.


A time-sequenced plan of activities or tasks used to direct and control project execution.

Schedule analysis

See network analysis.

Schedule baseline

An approved project schedule that serves as the basis for measuring and reporting schedule performance. Also called schedule baseline. See also baseline types.

Schedule compression

See duration compression.

Schedule control

Controlling changes to the project schedule.

Schedule development

Analyzing activity durations, activity sequences, and resource requirements to create a project schedule.

Schedule estimation

The estimated duration of a project based on the size of the project, the available resources, historical productivity data, and past experience. See also program evaluation and review technique.

Schedule performance index (SPI)

The schedule efficiency ratio of earned value accomplished against the planned value, which describes what portion of the planned schedule was actually accomplished.

Schedule variance (SV)

The variance between the actual and planned schedules.

Scheduled finish date (SF)

The point in time at which work is schedule to finish on an activity. Also called planned finish date.

Scheduled start date (SS)

The point in time at which work is schedule to start on an activity. Also called planned start date.

Science writing

Writing that clearly and concisely conveys complex scientific information through all media normally devoted to informing the public.

Scientific knowledge

Knowledge that provides the tools to describe and explain how the world works. See also knowledge.


Software configuration management.


Software Configuration Management Plan.


The sum of the products and services the project will provide. See product scope, project scope.

Scope baseline

See baseline.

Scope change

Any change to the project scope.

Scope change control

The process of influencing the factors that cause scope changes to help ensure that they are beneficial, determining that a scope change has occurred, and managing the changes if and when they occur. Also called scope change management.

Scope change management

See scope change control.

Scope creep

A progressive increase in project scope, causing more work and increases in time and budget.

Scope definition

Subdividing project deliverables into smaller, more manageable components to provide better control.

Scope management

The ongoing process of determining and prioritizing which project requirements can be implemented, given available time and resources.

Scope planning

The process of progressively elaborating the work of the project, which includes developing a written scope statement that includes the project justification, major deliverables, and project objectives.


A straight line compressed into paper so it folds more easily and accurately. Also called crease.


See balanced scorecard.

Scoring guide

A set of guidelines that describe what is being assessed, provide a scoring scale, and help the instructor correctly evaluate a student. See also rubrics.


Color that does not contain 100% of cyan, magenta, or black. Also called halftone line screen.

Screen capture

All or part of a computer screen saved as an image.

Screen capture software

See FullShot, SnagIt.

Screen magnifier

A software program that magnifies a portion of a computer screen.

Screen reader

A software program that uses synthetic language to read digital documents to the user.

Screen saver

A program that displays moving graphics when a computer is not in use.

Screening interview

An interview to qualify a candidate before meeting with a hiring authority for possible selection. See also interview.


An open source page layout tool for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows, which offers professional publishing features.


An agile development methodology use to gain dramatic team productivity improvements. See also project management methodologies.


Small computer systems interface.


A graphical display of cumulative costs, labor hours, percentage of work, or other quantities, plotted against time.


Systems development life cycle.

Search and retrieval

The process of searching web pages for specified words and returning a list of matching documents

Search engine

A program that searches web pages for specified words and returns a list of matching documents.

Second person

A sentence or part of speech that refers to the person being spoken to. See also first person, third person.

Section 508

Legislation in the United States—specifically, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794d)—that requires Federal agencies to develop, procure, maintain, and use electronic and information technology that is accessible to people with disabilities.

Security Plan

A project document that describes the development strategy for security controls that will be implemented in the project.

Security test and evaluation (ST&E)

Examination and analysis of an IT system to ensure that proper security measures are in effect.

Security testing

Testing to confirm that the program can restrict access to authorized personnel and that the authorized personnel can access the functions available to their security level.


Separating a market into subsets of potential customers who share common attributes.


Software Engineering Institute.

Self appraisal

A method in which an employee evaluates his own performance and then discusses the findings with his manager. See also peer review, performance review, 360-degree review.

Self-directed learning

A student’s ability to decide what to learn, how to learn it, and how to know when the learning is complete.

Self-managed team

A small group of employees who are empowered to manage themselves and their work on a daily basis.

Self-paced learning

Learning in which the student controls the flow of course material on the Internet or CD-ROM.


Software engineering methodology.

Semantic translation

A translation that attempts to convey the exact contextual meaning of the original text, considering the limitations of the target language’s semantic and syntactic structures. See also translation.


The study of signs and symbols.

Semi-structured interview

An interview in which topics are available for discussion but there is flexibility to pursue other issues as they arise. See also interview.

Sensitivity analysis

An assessment of the impact that a change will have on the expected outcome of a process or project.

Sentence fragment

A grammatically incomplete sentence. Also called fragment.

Sentence style

A capitalization style for headings in which only the first letter of the heading is capitalized.


See color separation.

Serial comma

A comma that precedes “and” or “or” in a running list of items. Also called Harvard comma, Oxford comma.


A typeface with small decorative strokes at the end of each letter. See also sans serif.


See client/server.

Sexual harassment

The situation created when one employee makes continued, unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors to another employee.


Scheduled finish date; start-to-finish.


Sales, general, and administrative costs.


Standard Generalized Markup Language.


See value.

Shadow price

An estimate of what the price of a good or input would be in the absence of market distortions, such as externalities or taxes.

Shockwave (Adobe)

A Macromedia Director add-in for creating web-based highly-compressed interactive animations and movies.

Shopping cart

An e-commerce application that allows a consumer to browse an online catalog, collect items to purchase, then check out by viewing all charges and providing payment details.


Standard Industrial Classification.


Latin for “thus.” Used with surrounding parentheses following a misspelled word to indicate that the error is the original author’s error.

Side-stitch binding

Binding individual sheets of paper by stapling along one edge. Also called cleat stitch, side wire. See also binding types.


Related information set apart from the main text and usually enclosed in a box.

Sight translation

Verbal translation without advance preparation. See also translation.


A printed sheet that is folded one or more times to become part of publication.

Significant difference

Results that are strong enough to prove that the hypothesis should or should not be rejected.

Sign-off sheet

A part of the test procedure, included in the Test Analysis Report, which provides pertinent information about the test. This information includes set up, file names, scripts, data, test conductor, other testers and witnesses, dates tested, pass/fail results, and Quality Assurance signoff.

Sign-off Worksheet

A project document used to create a technical design specification document based on the listed requirements, as well as to evaluate and prepare a feasibility analysis or level of effort for the project management team to review. Once signed, this document provides the basis for negotiations about changes and modifications.


An explicit comparison between two things using “like” or “as.”


Use of a project model to translate the uncertainties specified at a detailed level into their potential impact on objectives that are expressed at the level of the total project.

Simulation modeling

A computer program that tests a proposed business process and helps decision makers determine the potential benefits, costs, and risks.

Simultaneous translation

Translation performed concurrently with a speaker’s presentation. See also translation.

Single sourcing

A method of creating documentation in which all authors write document components into one source file.

Single-source authoring

See single sourcing.

Single-source publishing

See single sourcing.

Site map

A hierarchical visual or textual representation of the information on a web site.

Situational analysis

An analysis of an organization and its internal and external environment—including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)—to determine where the organization is now and where it is going. See also strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis.

Situational leadership

A leadership style that adopts and/or adapts one or more leadership styles based on situational needs. See also leadership styles.

Six Sigma

A methodology for improving process performance and boosting quality in industry.


A distribution that is not symmetrical. The result is that one tail of the frequency curve is longer than the other. The skew is titled after the longest tail; for example, if the left side has the longest tail, it is called skewed left.


An Internet service provider that offers free calling between computers and low-cost calling to regular telephones.


Using Skype to create blog entries, podcasts, and vlogs.


In the arrow diagramming method, a term used for float. See also float.


See defamation.

Slip proof

See galley proof.

Slip sheets

Separate sheets of paper placed within the camera-ready copy.

Small caps

Capital (uppercase) letters that are smaller than regular capital letters in the same font.

Small computer systems interface (SCSI)

A very fast parallel port that allows connection of up to seven peripheral devices, like laser printers and scanners.

Smart quotes

The curved characters (“” and ‘’) used to surround a quotation. These characters can be double () or single (). See also close quote, open quote, quotation marks.


Subject-matter expert.

Smoke testing

A quick-and-dirty test to ensure that the major functions of a piece of software work. Originated in the hardware testing practice of turning on a new piece of hardware for the first time and considering it a success if it did not catch on fire.

SnagIt (TechSmith)

Screen capture software that allows the user to edit, organize, and share images.

Soak testing

Running a system at high load for a prolonged period of time; for example, running several times more transactions than would be expected, to identify any performance problems that appear after a large number of transactions have been executed.

Social networks

Online communities that use Web sites such as LinkedIn, MySpace, and Facebook to share activities or interests.

Society for Technical Communication (STC)

A professional association that advances the arts and sciences of technical communication. Its members include technical writers, editors, graphic designers, multimedia artists, web and intranet page information designers, translators and others whose work involves making technical information understandable and available to those who need it.


Electronic information output, as opposed to printed output. See also hardcopy.

Software configuration item

An aggregation of software that is designated for configuration management and treated as a single entity in the configuration management process.

Software configuration management (SCM)

The process of identifying and defining the software configuration items in a system, controlling the release and change of these items throughout the system life cycle, recording and reporting the status of configuration items and change requests, and verifying the completeness and correctness of configuration items.

Also, a Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model key process area designed to establish and maintain the integrity of the software work products throughout the project’s life cycle.

Software Configuration Management Plan (SCMP)

A project document that details plans for tracking and controlling changes to a product to maintain integrity, traceability, and accountability throughout the life cycle.

Software development plan

See Software Project Management Plan.

Software Engineering Institute (SEI)

A Federally funded research and development center, based at Carnegie Mellon University, and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. The SEI’s core purpose is to help others make measured improvements in their software engineering capabilities. One of SEI’s initiatives is the Capability Maturity Model (CMM).

Software engineering methodology (SEM)

The departmental methodology that identifies the processes, activities, tasks, management responsibilities, and work products that are required for each software development and maintenance project. Deviations from the methodology require the approval of all parties who have approval rights on the project. A key objective of the methodology is to provide measurable, repeatable processes to assure that project development and maintenance methodologies are consistent throughout the departmental information systems environment.

Software library

A controlled collection of software and related documentation designed to aid in software development, use, or maintenance.

Software life cycle

The period of time that begins when a software product is conceived and ends when the software is no longer available for use. The life cycle phases may overlap or be performed iteratively, depending on the software development approach used. See also project phase.

Software Project Management Plan

The controlling document for managing a software project. The plan defines the technical and managerial functions, activities, and tasks necessary to satisfy the requirements of a software project, as defined in the project agreement. Also called software development plan.

Software project planning

A Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model key process area designed to establish reasonable plans for performing software engineering and for managing the software project.

Software project tracking and oversight

A Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model key process area designed to provide adequate visibility into actual project progress so that management can take effective actions when the project’s performance deviates significantly from the plans.

Software quality assurance (SQA)

A Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model key process area designed to provide management with appropriate visibility into the software engineering processes being used by the project team and the work products being built.

Also, the design and implementation of design features to ensure that software requirements and specifications can be verified.

Software repository

A software library that provides permanent, archival storage for software and related documentation.

Software Requirements Specification

A deliverable that describes all data, functional and behavioral requirements, constraints, and validation requirements for software.

Software testing

A set of activities conducted with the intent of finding errors in software.

Sole-source contract

A contract awarded as a result of a solicitation that was provided to only one offeror or as a result of an unsolicited proposal.


Obtaining quotations, bids, offers, or proposals.

Solicitation planning

Documenting product requirements and identifying potential sources.


Standard Operating Procedure.

Sound card

A circuit board that enables a computer to accept audio input and create audio output.

Source language

The language from which the translation originates.

Source selection

Choosing from among potential vendors.


Statement of Work.

Span of control

The number of individuals (direct reports) that a manager or project manager can effectively manage.


Statistical process control.


Schedule performance index.


A software program that visits every site on the web, follows all of the links, and creates a catalog all of the text of every web page. Also called crawler, robot.


The binding edge of a publication.

Spiral binding

A type of document binding that uses a plastic coil to hold the pages together. See also binding types.

Splash page

An introduction to a web site that is placed before the home page and typically introduces the mission, products, and services of an organization.


The individual or group in the performing organization providing the financial resources for the project.


Two facing pages that are designed as one visual unit. Also called fatty.


Software that is secretly installed on your computer to collect information and send it to the developer.


Software quality assurance.


Structured query language.


Systematic review.


Scheduled start date; start-to-start.


Security test and evaluation.

Stage gate

See phase gate.

Stakeholder analysis

An approach used to identify groups and individuals who are actively involved in the project or whose interests may be affected, either positively or negatively, as a result of project execution or successful project completion.


Those people internal or external to the organization who are actively involved in the project or whose interests may be affected, either positively or negatively, as a result of project execution or successful project completion. See also external stakeholders, internal stakeholders.


See foil stamp.

Standard deviation

In statistics, a measure of the spread or dispersion of a data set.

Standard error

The error between the mean and the actual value.

Standard Generalized Markup Language

A system that encodes a document’s content and structure rather than its formatting.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)

4- to 6-digit codes assigned by the U.S. Department of Commerce to classify businesses.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Step-by-step instructions for completing a process or part of a process.

Standardized tests

Assessments administered and scored in exactly the same way for all participants.

Star (*)

See asterisk.

Start date

The point in time that is associated with an activity’s start.

Start-to-finish (SF)

See logical relationship.

Start-to-start (SS)

See logical relationship.

Statement of Work (SOW)

A document primarily for use in procurement, which specifies the work requirements for a project or program. It is used in conjunction with specifications and standards as a basis for a contract, and is used to determine whether the contractor meets stated performance requirements.

Static testing

Analysis of a program that is carried out without executing the program.

Statistical process control (SPC)

A method used by manufacturers to ensure quality and on-time delivery.

Statistical significance

A result that is unlikely to have occurred by chance. See also P-value.


The mathematical science of collecting, organizing, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting numerical data.

Status bar

The area at the base of the browser window which displays the address (URL) of the destination web page or the name of the file to be downloaded.

Status Report

A document that provides a periodic comparison of planned performance versus actual performance.


Society for Technical Communication.

Steady state

A stable condition in which change is either balanced or does not occur over time.

Stem-and-leaf plot

A graphical display of related information which uses a table to show the data values and the number of occurrences. Also called stemplot. See also plot types.

Stem plot

See stem-and-leaf plot.


Latin for “let it stand.” Used to indicate that text marked for deletion or change should be kept as is.

Storage testing

Testing to verify that the program stores data files in the correct directories and that it reserves sufficient space to prevent unexpected termination resulting from lack of space on external storage devices.


A transitional stage of team development in which team members compete to promote their ideas, roles, responsibilities, goals, and expectations for consideration. See also team development stages.


A sequence of illustrations that represent a process.


A design technique that uses individual scenes to show the proposed sequence of elements in a production.

Strategic map

A tool for long-range planning that plots clients’ needs and the organization’s future direction, by linking business plans, cooperative ventures, and strategic operations.

Strategic Plan

A document that defines the tasks and resource allocations required to implement a strategic plan.

Strategic planning

The process of developing plans and activities to achieve the organization’s purpose, goals, and objectives.

Strategic thinking

Thinking that anticipates potential threats and opportunities to formulate effective long-term objectives, strategies, policies, and plans.


Downloading and playing media in a continuous stream.

Streaming media

Audio and video transmitted continuously.

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)

Internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (opportunities and threats) that affect performance.

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis

An analysis of strengths and opportunities (and how best to take advantage of them), and weaknesses and threats (and how to minimize their impact), that is instrumental in strategy formulation and selection.

Stress testing

Testing conducted to evaluate a system or component at or beyond the limits of its specified requirements to determine the load under which it fails and how it fails. Often this is performance testing using a very high level of simulated load. Also called load testing.

Stretch goals

Ambitious goals that are seemingly unattainable with current resources or skills.

Strike off

See press proof.

Structural testing

Testing based on an analysis of the internal workings and structure of a piece of software. See also white-box testing.

Structured authoring

According to Neil Perlin (, text that is one of the following:

  • Visually structured with all text in Normal style and locally formatted using the text formatting toolbar
  • Programmatically structured using styles (a cascading style sheet, for example)
  • Visually and programmatically structured using templates with an attached cascading style sheet
  • Programmatically structured by being valid according to a DTD or XSD, like DITA

Structured design

A disciplined approach to software design that follows a specified set of rules.

Structured interview

An interview in which interviewers ask each individual the same predetermined questions. See also interview.

Structured language

*****need definition***** (DITA, DocBook, S1000D, ATA-100, XHTML)

Structured Query Language (SQL)

A programming language that allows a user to access information from or update a database.

Structured walkthrough

A systematic, comprehensive review of the requirements, design, or implementation of a system by a group of qualified experts.


In typography, variations in appearance that comprise the faces in a type family; for example, bold, italic.

Style guide

A compendium of rules and guidelines which details how to prepare documents. Styles guides typically include guidance regarding page layout, organization, headers and footers, type faces, wording preferences, and so on.

Style sheet

A definition of a document’s appearance, specified at the beginning of an electronic document, which specifies the document’s spacing, margins, typefaces, color, and so on. See also cascading style sheet.


The title of a subsidiary section in a document. See also heading, run-in heading.


A metric that can vary from one person to another; an opinion.

Subjective question

A survey question that requires a response in the participant’s own words rather than selection of an answer from a list. Also called open-ended question.

Subject-matter expert (SME)

An individual who has detailed knowledge (explicit or tacit) about a subject.


A character that is set below the baseline and is slightly smaller than the surrounding text. See also superscript.

Succession planning

The process of identifying long-range needs and developing talented individuals inside or outside the organization to fill top-level positions in the future.

Successor activity

In the arrow diagramming method, the activity that departs a node. In the precedence diagramming method, the “to” activity.

Sunk cost

A cost incurred in the past that will not be affected by any present or future decision. See also cost types.


A character that is set above the baseline and is slightly smaller than the surrounding text. See also subscript.

Supply chain

The movement of materials from the source to the end customer, which includes demand planning, supply planning, purchasing, manufacturing, transportation warehousing, customer service, and supply chain management.

Supply chain management

Management of the many organizations involved in the movement of materials from the source to the end customer.

Supportive leadership

A leadership style in which the leader is friendly toward and shows concern for employees. See also leadership styles.


The continual monitoring and verification of the status of an entity and analysis of records to ensure specified requirements are being met. It may be 100%, statistically-based sampling, qualitative sampling, or the result of discussion with individuals who have first-hand knowledge. It also may include the monitoring of contractor-supplied metrics, available contractor data, sampling, or surveys.


A study that uses questionnaires or interviews to collect data.

Survey design

A visual or textual plan for a survey.

Survey instrument

A research tool used for a survey; for example, a questionnaire or phone script.

Survey sample

A group selected for study, which is smaller but representative of a larger population.

Survey types

See attitude survey, evaluation survey, opinion survey, satisfaction survey.


Schedule variance.


Scalable vector graphics.


Capability Maturity Model for Software.


Shockwave Flash file format.

Swimlane diagram

A graphical representation of the hand-offs between activities, inputs, and outputs in a process. See also flowchart, flow diagram.


Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

SWOT analysis

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis.


Use of a word with two other words, in which the word does not agree syntactically with one or both of the other words. See also rhetorical strategies.

Synchronous learning

Online learning without a time delay (real-time) which requires student participation at specific times.


A confusing arrangement of words in a sentence. See also rhetorical strategies.


Substitution of one thing for another; for example, the use of a part for the whole. See also rhetorical strategies.


The agreement of words based on logic rather than syntax. See also rhetorical strategies.

System design

Translation of customer requirements into comprehensive, detailed functional, performance, or design specifications, which are then used to construct the specific solution.

System Design Document

A project document that translates requirements into precise descriptions of the system components, interfaces, and data necessary before development and testing can begin. It is a blueprint for the development stage, based on the system structure and model established in the functional design stage. Each design section in the document describes how the design addresses the requirements, and carries through the established requirements numbering scheme.

System security

A system function that restricts the use of objects to certain users.

System testing

Testing conducted on a complete, integrated system that evaluates the system’s compliance with its specified requirements, and that attempts to discover defects that are properties of the entire system rather than properties of its individual components.

Systematic review (SR)

A critical assessment of existing research on a specific question.

Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

A conceptual model used in project management that describes the phases involved in an information system development project, from an initial feasibility study through maintenance, and eventually disposal, of the completed application.

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