Words Mean Things.

I recently taught a class in preparation for the Project Management Institute, Project Management Professional certification exam.  We were going through example questions and the verbiage was very specific and pointed to a specific answer from the four choices available.  When the answer was not what was selected there was an obvious level of disappointment from at least one of the participants regarding the words in the question and answers.  The words used in the questions were very specific and provided clues to the answers based upon the terminology as the basis for the certification.  Meaning, the words have very specific meaning, even outside of the project management context. However, to ensure we all know what we mean when we say things, a common dictionary can help.  The term “process group” should bring very specific things to the forefront of your mind, and this is different than the word process.  The reason for this specific language is  to facilitate communication and reduce the probability of a misunderstanding.  The choice of words is not just semantics.  This common lexicon helps in developing a shared understanding of the item under discussion.  This shared understanding of what is said is then able to critique or seek alternative perspectives that are bound in this common language.  These specific words may be a pain to learn this lexicon or the principles, but it is absolutely necessary to enable the building of the project organization.

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