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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.


Quality assurance

Monitoring of maintenance of quality standards. Initiation of corrective measures mitigating variations.

Quality management

Definition of general or individual quality standards. Creating possibilities of control for monitoring of the maintenance of standards and, if necessary, adaption of standards.

Quality monitoring

Monitoring of maintenance of quality standards. Initiation of corrective measures mitigating variations.

Quarterly / current report

Report covering the state of a project and statement of accounts provided by the project management for the reference period. The following list shows the project management organisation with 4 fields of activity:
A. organisation, information, co-ordination and documentation,
B. quality and quantity,
C. costs and financing,
D. schedules and capacities.
Furthermore, the report should also refer to the risks for the defined quality, cost and time targets up to the end of the project. Required attachments are
- the current catalogue of measures or decisions;
- a listing of the decisions made;
- a listing of the documents created during the reference period;
- a graphical presentation of the budget as well as the nominal and actual values of order, achievement and payment amounts;
- an overview of costs and schedules, if possible, with further details.1)

Requirement planning

Pursuant to the national preamble of DIN 18205, requirement planning in the building industry means;
- a methodological analysis of building owner and user requirements;
- their specific preparation as ’demand’; and
- its conceptual formulation for planners, architects and engineers.
Pursuant to DIN 18205, item 4, demand planning is a process to;
1. find and analyse the needs, aims and limiting conditions (resources, space, etc.) of a building owner and important participants; and
2. to specify the problems arising from this situation, to be solved by the planner.1)


Reserves are set aside concerning the confirmation of the financial coverage of orders, covering possible future order extensions. The scale, usually between 3 % and 5 % of the order amount, shall be estimated for each individual order. The characteristic feature of this reserve strictly correspond to the microeconomic term, with regard to uncertainty of its necessity, amount and time of utilisation. Reserves that have not been used for the billing of an order, will be released and added to the balancing item.1)

Reverse float

The amount of time that the latest position of an activity can be delayed by without influencing the latest position of other activities or processes.

Room program

see construction program1)

Rough process planning

Serves to find dates, at least contract start and end date and, if necessary, contractual intermediate deadlines, for the contracting of planning and realisation for each contractor. Thus, it is an instrument of medium and long term process planning.1)


A schedule frame is being prepared during the project planning stages. It defines the duration of project stages and the dates for project-related decisions through only a few processes and events (§ 15).1)

Schedule controlling

Monitoring of the given due dates through suitable controlling instruments, e. g., nominal/actual value comparison.

Schedule planning

Planning of realisation or planning of a construction project, visualised through various schedule plans depending on the performance stage, according to HOAI (Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers). For both realisation and planning, there is a general process plan, a rough process plan and a detailed process plan.

Schedule planning

The control schedules for planning and realisation give a project manager support for schedule control through nominal/actual value comparison, variance analysis and, if necessary, corrective measures, in order to maintain the due dates given. They are developed by the project manager in the stages of project planning and preparation of project realisation, on the basis of the rough process planning for planning and realisation, and synchronised with the parties involved in the project. During the realisation, the project manager continues the control process plans, on the basis of key dates, taken from the object planner´s schedules and the company´s detailed process plans for realisation.

Scope of capacity

Specifies the capacities/resources expected to be required for planning and realisation. For determination of required capacities/resources, the human resource allocation and employment of staff required for planning and realisation, and maybe also the equipment required for the realisation shall be roughly calculated.1)

Scope of investment

see cost frame1)

Scope of services

Description of the architect and engineer services included in parts II to XIII, differentiated by basic and special services.1)

Sequential relationship

Quantifiable inderdependency between activities or processes; DIN 69900, part 1 differenciates between;
- Normal sequence from the end of one activity to the beginning of its successor;
- Start-to-start sequence, from the beginning of one activity to the beginning of its successor;
- End-to-end sequence, from the end of one activity to the end of its successor;
- Start-to-end sequence, from the beginning of one activity to the end of its successor;
A recommendable timing system for the building industry is
- approch A, defining both the start-to-start and the end-to-end sequence between one activity and its successor.1)

Service description

Pursuant to § 9 VOB/A (German Construction Contract Procedures, part A), it is important to differentiate between service descriptions with bill of quantities (comp. no. 6 et sqq.), i. e. a general construction description (specifications) and bill of quantities, structured by partitial services, and a service description with performance program (no. 10 et sqq.), i. e. a description of the construction project, giving all the conditions and circumstances, which are relevant for a bidder’s conceptual design and tender, and specifying the purpose of the completed work and the technical, economic, artistic and functional demands on it, and, if necessary, a temporary catalogue leaving some or all of the quantities open. Pursuant to § 9 no. 1 VOB/A, the service is to be described clearly and extensively enough to enable all bidders to understand the description in the light of its true meaning, and to calculate their prices on a secure basis without the necessity of extensive enabling works.1)

Special services

Pursuant to § 2 (3) HOAI (Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers), special services can complete or replace basic services, if the realisation of an order requires special measures, which exceed or change general works and services. However, they are not listed in the service descriptions. Special services are, pursuant to VOB/C (German Construction Contract Procedures, part C) DIN 18299, item 4.2 et sqq., services which are not peripheral services, pursuant to paragraph 4.1, and are only a part of the contracted service, if mentioned in the service description. If a client orders such special services after contract conclusion, the contractor can demand additional remuneration.1)

State of costs

Pursuant to DIN 276 (June 1993), costing should be based on the current cost level, to be provided with a date. Costs calculated for the time of project completion, should be shown seperately.1)


A sub-contractor has been engaged by a general or total contractor on the basis of a contract for work and services. There is no direct conctractual relationship between a sub-contractor and a general or total contractor’s client.1)


See sub-contractor1)

Supplementary management

A contract partner’s systematic handling of services, added to the service stipulated in the contract.

Technical planner

A technical planner is directly commissioned by the client for specific planning services, e. g., structural planning, the planning of technical equipment and the appraisal of the building ground. When a technical planner has been engaged, the architect often has the right to make proposals. A technical planner’s responsibility, liability and guarantee are limited to the respective field of activity.1)

Technical real estate evaluation

Analysis of technical and environmental factors, within the scope of a real estate transaction. Through evaluation of technical real estate, transparency is being created and future prospects are being discovered. Technical real estate is part of due diligence.

Tenant co-ordination

This service encompasses marketing, procurement of rentable surface areas, until the conclusion of lease contracts, and a direct contact, ensuring a continual support service for tenants.

Time-based fee

This fee shall be calculated on a fixed or maximum amount, on an hourly basis, pursuant to § 6 (1) HOAI (Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers), or through estimation of the probable time needed, pursuant to (2). If it is not possible to estimate the time needed, the fee shall be calculated on the actual time usage, on an hourly basis, according to (2). As time-based fees of between 30 and 80 €/hour, according to § 6 (2) HOAI, are not sufficient from the economic point of view, they should only be stipulated for planning services of small capacity, not included in HOAI.1)

Time Schedule management

Total co-ordinating contractor (TÜ)

Total co-ordinating contractors (TÜ) take on planning and realisation of a construction project, as total contractors (TU) do. In contrast to a TU, a TÜ does not perform any in-house planning and realisation activities. Therefore, the mentioned disadvantages of general co-ordinating contractors (GÜ) also apply for total contractors (GÜ).1)

Total contractor (TU)

Total contractors (TU) are commissioned with the realisation of construction works for all branches of industry and all planning services from concept planning onwards, i. e. all general contracting and general planning services. Sometimes, a total contractor acquires a piece of land on behalf of the client and manages the finances. Within the scope of limited (not public) tender procedures, TUs are mainly selected for the reason that their offers are based on general construction descriptions with performance program, according to § 9 no. 10 to 12 VOB/A (German Construction Contract Procedures, part A). The pursued aim is to expose the construction performance and the service concept to competition, in order to find the best solution for the construction scheme, with regard to technique, cost-efficiency, design and functionality.1)

Total float

Amount of time between the earlieast and latest position of an activity or process.


Training is part of the strategic personnel development planning, which can last between 5 and 10 years. Considering the fact that qualification of technical and managing employees is a key factor for economic success, weak points should be eliminated by means of internal and/or external, continual, professional and personal training, and personnel potential should be developed with regard to a company´s future existence.


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.