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Glossary >MNOP
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This glossary provides terms from the world of project management, without intending to be exhaustive.
In the end of the day, we want to understand each other well.


Main contractor

A strucutral contractor commissioned by crafts is called a main contractor, according to § 4, no. 3 of VOB/A (German Construction Contract Procedures, part A). For further partitial services, such as technical equipment and finishes, ancillary contractors are engaged.1)

Management of User requirements

Monitoring of feasibility studies

The practicability of a project depends on technical, economic and time-related aspects. Substantial factors for later operation are financing, building utilisation costs, merchantability and flexible utilisation. Feasibility studies check to what extent a building owner’s project targets can be achieved in the short, medium or long term.

Network plan

Pursuant to DIN 69900, a network plan is a graphical or schedular presentation of processes with their interdepencencies.1)


Term used in the Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers (HOAI) for the subject matter of the planning, i. e. buildings, outdoor facilities and extensions, engineering work and traffic facilities, structure, technical equipment and buildings for achievements within building and room acoustic services. The Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers does not include regulations for the division of several objects into single objects, with chargeable costs depending on the respective fee zone that are relevant for the fee to be paid for basic works and services at all performance stages (100 %), according to the fee tables. If a contract does not provide clear specifications, the lack of precision of the ‘HOAI’ often causes disputes when the final settlement of planner fees is checked.1)

Operational structure

Entity of measures to control work processes by means of work or method instructions. It encompasses, in terms of a control cycle, planning, co-ordination and decision procedures, nominal/actual value comparison, variance analysis, proposal/synchronisation and decision on adaptation measures for the control of the actual process, to meet the process targets.1)

Optimisation of building utilisation costs

Consultation for the building owner, with regard to possible reductions of the expected building utilisation costs.

Organisation handbook

An organisation handbook provides information about project targets, project structure, organisational and operational structure and the information and communication system used by the parties involved in a project. It includes a project-specific quality management plan, in the sense of DIN EN ISO 9000 et sqq.1)

Organisation management

Planning and co-ordination of project organisation

Organisational structure

An organisational structure defines tasks, competences and responsibilities for a company’s employees or other parties involved in a project. Principally, a clear definition of interfaces, delegation, decision and signing authority as well as information duties, performance-related remuneration and the specification of liability and damage claim provisions are required.1)

Partitial final payment

Pursuant to § 16 no. 4 VOB/B(German Construction Contract Procedures, part B), completed parts of a performance can be finally ascertained and settled by partitial final payment, regardless of the question if the other works have been completed or not.1)

Partitial payment

Client’s payment of the amount for the contracted works and services, shown in the respective partitial payment invoice. For building contracts refer to § 16 VOB/B (German Construction Contract Procedures, part B).1)

Partitial payment invoice

A client’s claim, set out in writing, for contractually perfomed partial services. For building contracts refer to § 14 VOB/B (German Construction Contract Procedures, part B).1)

Payment control

Performance factor

Work effort required to create a performance unit, e. g. paid hours used to lay 1 ton bar steel reinforcement, Ø 16 - 28 mm.1)

Performance value

Pursuant to DIN 69902, the resource unit capacity, i. e. the quantity of resource units which can be generated through utilisation or consumption of input within one time unit. Example: A backhoe with a bucket capacity of 1 m³ can excavate 50 m³ in one hour.1)

Peripheral services

Pursuant to VOB/C (German Construction Contract Procedures, part C) DIN 18299 no. 4.2 et sqq., services which are included in the contract, even without being mentioned, and therefore must be considered in the calculation of the agreed unit prices or the flat price, respectively.1)

planning approval procedure

Applies to planning in the areas of traffic law, laws pertaining to water and waterways and public supply. A planning approval procedure is an administrative procedure involving the parties concerned with the planning.
The procedure includes the imposing of the procedure by law, the hearing procedure and the official approval. Details are regulated by Provisions for Administrative Procedure (VwVfG).1)

Planning characteristics

Planning characteristics serve as orientation values and standards for the assessment of project efficiency. Some of them are rooted in regulations and guidelines, some of them are part of the architects´ and technical planners´ personal experience. Depending on their purpose and reference basis, they are divided into 3 ratio groups, i. e.
- for need derivation with measuring units as a reference basis, e. g., unit for measurement of surface area per school or kindergarten space / per hospital bed;
- for a cost-efficient conceptual design, as ratios of surface areas or volumes, e. g., m² gross surface area/m² main usable surface area; and
- for a cost-efficient creation of construction components, e. g., construction components or material characteristics indicating the allowed load, features and utilisation period, depending on operational demands.1)

Planning control

Planning control is aimed at a timely, correct and qualitatively optimised creation of project plans. Of fundamental importance are an economic and qualitative target specification and the available period of time, enabling early counteraction against variations on the basis of regular nominal/actual value comparisons.

PPP contract awarding


Presentations are to inform decision makers or persons who are not directly involved in the project process about complicated issues and to convey them in a comprehensible way. The technical and social competence of a presenter is supported through multimedia demonstrations, presenting the information in a descriptive and impressing way. The aim is to initiate or continue a constructive communication process leading to a unanimous decision.

Process analysis

Examination of single work steps with their influential parametres, e. g., the interaction of humans and equipment including their technological, spacial and time-related allocation (AHO (2004a)).1)

Process contol

Monitoring logically interrelated activities for the realisation of, e. g., a construction project.

Process control

By means of process control, the tasks are organised with regard to time and space related sequence, to enable a co-ordinated process, possibly without interruption and at constant capacity.

Process flow structure

Entity of sequential relationships between the activities of the process elements.1)

Process planning

Initial task of the operational structure for the specification of nominal values for the technological, spacial and time-related sequence of single work steps.1)


Pursuant to DIN 69901, a project is a plan, mainly characterised by a unique combination of conditions, for example
- target specification;
- time-related, financial, personnel and other restrictions;
- differenciation from other projects; and
- project-specific organisation.1)

Project accounting

Includes all order and billing data of the technical planners, companies, public authorities and other institutions involved in the project. The aim is to always be prepared to provide information about the budget development, order and billing amounts, the status of the balancing item, reserves, unforeseen developments and exceedance of the upper or lower limit of nomial values, order and final billing amounts.1)

Project changes

A conscious change from the approved project status, with regard to standard or quantity, leading to a change of function, design or construction of a project or single project parts. Project changes have an impact on quality, costs and schedules. Therefore, all wanted or necessary changes of a current project status must be announced, in written format, by the initiating member of the client´s project supervision team, giving the reasons for the intended change and its impact on quality, costs and schedule. The announcement should be made early enough so that it can be realised, if possible, without delay, after approval, or avoided, after refusal. The client´s project supervision team decides on further prodeedings, after consultation with the client and experts involved. Approved project changes or extensions and their effects shall be documented by the client´s project supervision team in a project modification list, including notes of approval.1)

Project chronicle

Compilation of selected essential information about the project structure, the organisational and operational process, achieved project targets, and costs and due dates. A project chronicle delivers tips for the handling of current and similar future projects, throughout a project duration and beyond its completion.1)

Project control

Pursuant to § 31 HOAI (Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers), services provided by contractors, taking on client functions for the control of projects in a varying fields of special expertise. Pursuant to the Code of Professional Conduct as provided by the German Association of Project Managers in the Construction and Real Estate Industry (DVP), project control is a neutral and independent realisation of technical, economic and legal client functions, in the sense of $ 31 HOAI.1)

Project controlling

Project controlling is a part of the project management, used for the control of general service providers (general planners, general contractors, etc.).1)

Project handbook

A project handbook encompasses the current documentation of available plans, calculations and descriptions. Therefore, it is the current documentation compiled by a client’s project manager, usually consisting of
- an organisation handbook,
- a user demand program;
- a list of available and required planning documents;
- an overview of the status and further development of all permit procedures;
- an assembly of area surfaces and volumes, according to DIN 277;
- quality descriptions in the form of a report about the planning, a general constuction or project description and, as the case might be, a building and room program;
- current costing results with an associated report;
- current schedules with associated reports;
- a catalogue of measures and decisions; and
- a list of relevant decisions
each including information about the impacts on quality, costs and schedule, in consideration of the current trends up to the completion of the project .1)

Project handbook

Project information systems

The level of communication between the parties involved in the project, measured on a scale ranging from ’low’ to ’high’, is described by the words ’information’, ’co-ordination’, ’collaboration’ and ’co-operation’ (and in an order of importance respectively). Project information systems support the teamwork of a construction project group through electronic networks at all mentioned levels. Herewith, functions for the exchange and common filing of documents, for the exchange of information, and for the administration of addresses, calenders and processes controlled by workflows, are in the centre of activity.1)

Project management

Entity of management tasks, organisation, techniques and instruments required for processing a project (DIN 69901).1)

Project planning

Through project planning the factors of location, project idea and capital should be combined to create environmentally friendly, microeconomically competitive and macroeconomically social and real estates, creating and securing employment, for durable and profitable utilisation. Project development in the nearer sense encompasses the phase from project initiation to the decision for further development of the project idea through placement of planning orders or to the decision of cancelling all further activities because of the project risks. Project planning in the wider sense encompasses the whole life cycle of a building, from project initiation to the redevelopment of the building or its demolition at the end of the economically reasonable period of utilisation. It corresponds to the corporate real estate management (CREM).1)

Project stages

Summarisation of the 9 performance stages of HOAI (Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers), according to § 205 (scope of project control services), to form 5 project stages, including the prior performance stage 0:
1. project preparation;
2. planning;
3. preparation of the realisation process;
4. realisation;
5. completion of the project.

Project supervision

An organisational unit created for the duration of a project, and responsible for project planning, control and monitoring. It can be adapted to the requirements of the project phases (DIN 69901).1)

Proofs for use of capital

Records proving that the capital obtained was used for the purpose it was granted for.


1) AHO(2004a) Hrsg. - Untersuchungen zum Leistungsbild, zur Honorierung und zur Beauftragung von Projektmanagementleistungen in der Bau- und Immobilienwirtschaft, Heft 9 des AHO e.V., Bundesanzeiger Verlagsgesellschaft, Köln

2) AHO(2004b) Hrsg. - Neue Leistungsbilder zum Projektmanagement in der Bau- und Immobilienwirtschaft, Heft Nr. 19 des AHO e.V., Bundesanzeiger Verlagsgesellschaft, Köln

3) FM NRW (2003) Hrsg. - Public Private Partnership im Hochbau - Leitfaden "Wirtschaftlichkeitsvergleich". Finanzministerium des Landes NRW, Düsseldorf

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DU Diederichs Projektmanagement

Mother company DU Diederichs is one of the leading project management companies in Germany's building sector. Since 1978, DU has represented a high level of professionalism and independence with competencies in various fields including program management, project management, public private partnership, sustainable real estate consulting, urban planning, technical due diligence, supervision, and quantity surveying, composing whole and comprehensive range of real estate consulting services.