feature driven development (FDD)

An Agile software development method suitable for larger scale projects (allows multiple teams to work in parallel) which uses features as basic unit of work and very short iterations.

An FDD project starts with the creation of a model (domain), which is broken down into features that can each be implemented in less than 2 weeks (usually 1 to 3 days). Each feature will then be planned, designed and built following an iterative and incremental process. Progress of the project is monitored through a central colour-coded feature list, and the object model is updated with each iteration.


see also: agile methodology, scrum, extreme programming, dynamic systems development method, crystal methodologies, lean software development


gated process

In a gated process, a project is broken down into smaller stages or phases, each delimited by a gate. At each of these gates, the project decision-makers meet to review the project and decide, based on specific criteria and the information available at the time, whether to continue, stop, hold, recycle or modify it.

A classic three-phase project would include (1) Specification discovery, (2) Development / prototyping, and (3) Testing / validation. To each of these gates corresponds one or several deliverables.

Gated process are often used in new product development (NPD) projects where they provide structure and allow early termination of low value projects.


see also: stage-gate®, new product development

related articles: planisware enterprise demo: combining agile and stage-gate for new product development


ideation (or idea generation)

In its strictest sense, the process of generating, developing and communicating ideas.
In the context of PPM, ideation takes a broader meaning and includes the processes of evaluating, comparing and selecting ideas, and the grouping and merging these ideas into new project proposals, or extensions of existing projects.

Ideation plays a key strategic role in ppm, as it powers an organisation's innovation capacity, and thus conditions the sustainability and renewal of its portfolio(s) over time. The ideation management process can also determine the success or failure of a project, as empirical studies show that errors at the conception stage have the most sustainable impact.



lean software development (LSD)

The application of lean management principles and techniques to software development. LSD is generally considered part of the family of agile approaches, and often used in combination with one or several other methods.

LSD is founded on principles of simplicity and economy (eliminate waste, deliver fast), global and integrated view of the project (build integrity and quality in, optimize the whole), continuous learning and improvement (using short iterations, continuous testing and team and user feedback), reducing uncertainty risks (by delaying commitment and integrating feedback quickly), and valuing people (by empowering team members and giving a central place to the customer).


see also: agile methodology, scrum, extreme programming, feature driven development, dynamic systems development method, crystal methodologies

long-range planning

A business exercise which aims at looking at the organisation and its environment beyond the usual short and mid-term future to identify opportunities and threats, areas of growth and expansion, how constraints may evolve, and prepare for potential disruptions.

Long-range planning is carried out at the strategic level and mostly relies on forecasts extrapolated from current conditions and trends.

see also: roadmapping

related articles: planisware enterprise demo: the case for using roadmaps, a primer for integrated roadmapping: an interview with ken huskins


new product development (NPD)

The process of developing a new product, service, technology or process (or innovating on an existing one), from the initial idea to its launch.

Classically, NPD can be divided into 6 stages, each with a deliverable and often a gate: Idea screening (selection of the most promising ideas), Concept testing (feasibility and market study, identification of prospective users and testing of the concept), Business Analysis (will this product be profitable?), Prototype testing, Product implementation, and Launch.


see also: product lifecycle management, gated process, stage-gate®, dmadv methodology

related articles: planisware enterprise demo: building an innovation strategy into your product portfolio



The former name of the Planisware solution. With the advent of P5 in 2009, OPX2 was rebranded "Planisware".

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PACE methodology (PACE)

A gated methodology for the development of new products and services developed by Michael McGrath in his book Next Generation Product Development.

PACE stands for Product and Cycle-time Excellence, and relies on seven interrelated elements to ensure project success and minimize time-to-market.

These elements can be divided into two groups: four elements at the project management level:

1) a gated NPD process,

2) a small cross-functional Core Team empowered to make all decisions about the project,

3) a structured development process that ensures consistency, and

4) efficient use of development tools and techniques.


And three elements at the program/portfolio level:

5) a Product Strategy Process that provides a framework for product development decisions,

6) comprehensive technology management, and

7) pipeline management which provides a framework for project prioritization, cross-project resource management and aligns functional capabilities and project requirements.

Read more

see also: new product development, gated process

related articles: webinar: the best (possible) product portfolio, webinar: measuring product development productivity and performance, planisware enterprise demo: combining agile and stage-gate for new product development

parametric estimation

A method for estimating project cost and duration, used particularly in the Life Sciences, Engineering and Construction industries, in which the project is modeled using predefined algorithms.

Parametric estimation is often perceived as one of the more accurate and reliable estimation methods, but requires a high effort upfront.

Read more

related articles: lean product development: resource management vs. flow efficiency

product lifecycle management (PLM)

An umbrella term that designates the process of managing, from an engineering perspective, a product from the initial idea, its design, development and manufacturing right to its end of life.

PLM is often considered one of the four strategic pillars of modern businesses together with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and should be integrated with these other pillars for maximum effect.

PLM can be divided into three main phases that align with the maturity of the product: New Product Development, Sustaining, and End of Life Management.


see also: new product development

product portfolio

Is composed of all of a company’s products, from innovations under development to legacy products ready to be retired. It may include several categories or types of product, different product lines and individual products.

A product portfolio provides executives with an overall picture of the market positions both present and projected of each product, and allows them to manage them as a coherent entity.

The most widely-known method for evaluating products as part of a portfolio is the BCG matrix which plots them according to the market growth rate and their relative market share. The resulting matrix provides a photography of each products maturity and profitability.


see also: product portfolio management

related articles: planisware enterprise demo: building an innovation strategy into your product portfolio

product portfolio management

A series of tools, methodologies and strategies to analyse, prioritize and manage the elements in a product portfolio.

Product portfolio management allows decision-makers to allocate resources optimally between the different products, identify areas of potential improvement, balance the product mix to ensure profitability and sustainability, and maintain alignment between the company’s products and strategy.


related articles: planisware enterprise demo: building an innovation strategy into your product portfolio, planisware enterprise demo: managing high-tech/it products


A group of related projects and activities that are managed together to reach a larger, overarching set of objectives.

Classic examples include the development of a new line of cars, where the range = the program (e.g. the Ford Focus), and the model = the project (e.g. the Ford Focus Zetec Navigator); or the launch of a new airplane (the program), where each feature or system will be a project.

A program is focused on a tactical goal, on how the projects are carried out. By contrast the portfolio is concerned with strategic goals: which projects and programs to carry out, who should get priority for resources etc.


see also: project portfolio

project management office (PMO)

A unit or department within an organization that standardizes project management processes and helps with the sharing of resources, best practices, tools and techniques across the company.

Depending on its maturity, the PMO can provide simple support services (administrative support & sharing of best practices), expertise on key project performance elements and metrics (e.g. estimations, scheduling, risk management, quality assurance…), act as consultant and advisor to project managers (including with issues relating to HR and feedback), or, at its most advanced, play a key role in strategic and performance-related decision-making.


related articles: building an effective enterprise portfolio management process

project portfolio

A set of project proposals, projects, programs, sub-portfolios and operations managed together to achieve an organisation's strategic objectives.

For instance, a company in the energy sector might have as business objective to "reduce carbon emissions". This portfolio could include sub-portfolios such as "improving efficiency of solar energy production" or projects such as "streamlining transport routes".

Defining portfolios allows project-rich organisations gain an overall perspective on their current and future projects and give priority access to resources to those projects that are most likely to help them achieve their strategic objectives.


see also: program(me), project portfolio management, enterprise project portfolio management

related articles: an in-depth analysis of best practices for r&d and portfolio management with michael menke, planisware recognized as a leader in gartner's 2019 "magic quadrant for project portfolio management", best practices in resource planning and forecasting to improve portfolio management

project portfolio management (PPM)

A series of tools, methodologies and strategies to analyse, prioritize and manage the elements of a project portfolio.

Project portfolio management aims at evaluating projects as accurately as possible to assess their strategic importance, relative use of resources and actual/projected profitability, and make corresponding allocation and go/kill decision.

Its second objective is to group and sequence projects in such a way as to ensure an optimal use of existing resources, leverage common work products and processes, balance risk, costs and constraints, anticipate capacity and resource needs, and meet strategic objectives.


see also: project portfolio, enterprise project portfolio management

related articles: planisware enterprise demo: project selection & portfolio optimization

project proposal

A project that is still in the planning stage, that hasn't been yet staffed or started. Project proposals also include any idea projects and idea campaigns, ie projects or campaigns whose aim is to generate new ideas for future projects.



resource management

In the context of PPM, a set of tools, strategies and techniques used to actively allocate resources within a project, program or portfolio. Resources include workforce skills, budget, inventory, technical infrastructure, production resources etc.

Whereas capacity planning is concerned with the organisation as a whole and considers resources from a high-level point of view, resource management handles resources more actively and with more granularity within a smaller perimeter (a project, a program or a portfolio).


related articles: planisware enterprise demo: capacity planning, planisware enterprise demo: operational resource management