Project Ensemble Glossary

Project Ensemble has many different aspects to it.  This glossary provides a brief overview and definitions to some of the more common terms in this project.

Let us know if there are others to add at

Section I:  GMHEC & Project Ensemble

  • GMHEC Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium.  The consortium currently has three-member institutions.  1) Champlain College 2) Middlebury 3) Saint Michael’s College.
  • Project Ensemble  The GMHEC members are in the process of implementing new technology to support our strategic plans and better serve our institutions. Three major technology implementations are in process 1) RE NXT for Institutional Advancement  2) Oracle Finance and 3) Oracle HCM. Project Ensemble comprises more than just the technology implementations and is organized and tracked by 12 interconnected initiatives.
  • Governance Project Ensemble has a defined Governance Structure that enables collaboration between the three colleges and facilitates decision making.   The Roles and Responsibilities are described for the following groups:
  • Project Owners  Owners that set the primary direction to make sure it aligns with original charter.
  • Steering Committee the primary decision making authority for the Project.
  • Working Groups –  Members are Vice Presidents or department heads of functional areas (HR, Finance, IT, Advancement, Student Records/Advising/Faculty, Recruiting & Enrollment, Financial Aid/Student Financials, Stakeholder Relations)
  • Project Leadsa functional or technical person who is the overall project lead for their respective project area.
  • Local Leads – a functional or technical stakeholder who is the lead to represent their College in their respective project area.   
  • Subject Matter Experts (SME) – Team members from the consortium who are experts in specific areas of the solution and are responsible to articulate requirements and validate the solution.  Often referred to as a SME in conversation. 
  • Technical Team – Team members who have/will have an understanding back-end of the application technology and are responsible for building development objects.
  • Functional Team – Team members who have/will have an understanding of the front-end of the application and are responsible for configuring the software, designing the development objects, and testing the application.
  • Stakeholder Relations  Project Ensemble Stakeholder Relations Working Group has been created to improve organizational and institutional success of the technology implementation and process changes for advancement, finance, human capital management, information technology and potentially student.

Section II:   Program Management

  • Program A program is a group of related projects, subsidiary programs and program activities that are managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually.   Project Ensemble is a program.
  • InitiativesProject Ensemble is more than technology implementations. There are 12 initiatives that have interconnected sub projects. They are Stakeholder Relations, Data Governance, Advancement Blackbaud, FInance Oracle Cloud, HCM Oracle Cloud, Training, Data Migration, INtegrations, Tech INfrastructure, Add-on Software, REporting, Student Systems.
  • Program Charter A document that authorizes the program management team to use organizational resources to execute the program and links the program to strategic objectives.
  • Program Management PlanA document that integrates the programs subsidiary plans and establishes the management controls and overall plan for integrating and managing the program individual components. The Program Management plan integrations the plans for all of the initiatives and sub projects in each initiative.  It also lays the foundation for how the program will be managed.
  • Project –  A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.
  • Project Charter A document that documents business needs and formally authorizes the existence of a project and authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.
  • RiskAn uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on one or more project objectives (often signified by the color yellow)..
  • Issue – A point or matter in question or dispute, or a point or matter that is not settled and is under discussion or which there are opposing views or disagreements (often shown in the color red).
  • Constraint –  A limiting factor that affects the execution of a project, portfolio, program or process.
  • Change Request –  A formal request to modify any document, deliverable or baseline.
  • Program Master Schedule A schedule model that links components, milestones and high-level activities necessary to deliver the program benefits.
  • Activity  A component of work performed during the course of a project. See also schedule activity. Activity Attributes [Output/Input]. Multiple attributes associated with each schedule activity that can be included within the activity list. Activity attributes include activity codes, predecessor activities, successor activities, logical relationships, leads and lags, resource requirements, imposed dates, constraints, and assumptions.  Source: PMI.
  • Actual Finish Date (AF) – The point in time that work actually ended on a schedule activity. (Note: In some application areas, the schedule activity is considered “finished” when work is “substantially complete.”)
  • Actual Start Date (AS) – The point in time that work actually started on a schedule activity.
  • Assumptions [Output/Input] – Assumptions are factors that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true, real, or certain without proof or demonstration. Assumptions affect all aspects of project planning, and are part of the progressive elaboration of the project. Project teams frequently identify, document, and validate assumptions as part of their planning process. Assumptions generally involve a degree of risk.
  • WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) [Process] – The process of subdividing the major project deliverables and project work into smaller, more manageable components. Criteria. Standards, rules, or tests on which a judgment or decision can be based, or by which a product, service, result, or process can be evaluated.  Source: PMI.
  • Critical Path [Output/Input] – Generally, but not always, the sequence of schedule activities that determines the duration of the project. Generally, it is the longest path through the project. However, a critical path can end, as an example, on a schedule milestone that is in the middle of the project schedule and that has a finish-no-later-than imposed date schedule constraint.
  • Critical Path Method (CPM) [Technique] – A schedule network analysis technique* used to determine the amount of scheduling flexibility (the amount of float) on various logical network paths in the project schedule network, and to determine the minimum total project duration. Early start and finish dates* are calculated by means of a forward pass, using a specified start date. Late start and finish dates* are calculated by means of a backward pass, starting from a specified completion date, which sometimes is the project early finish date determined during the forward pass calculation.
  • Decomposition [Technique] – A planning technique that subdivides the project scope and project deliverables into smaller, more manageable components, until the project work associated with accomplishing the project scope and providing the deliverables is defined in sufficient detail to support executing, monitoring, and controlling the work.
  • Defect – An imperfection or deficiency in a project component where that component does not meet its requirements or specifications and needs to be either repaired or replaced.
  • Deliverable [Output/Input] – Any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service that must be produced to complete a process, phase, or project. Often used more narrowly in reference to an external deliverable, which is a deliverable that is subject to approval by the project sponsor or customer. See also product, service, and result.
  • Documented Procedure  A formalized written description of how to carry out an activity, process, technique, or methodology.
  • Duration (DU or DUR) – The total number of work periods (not including holidays or other non-working periods) required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Usually expressed as workdays or workweeks. Sometimes incorrectly equated with elapsed time.
  • Effort  The number of labor units required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Usually expressed as staff hours, staff days, or staff weeks. Contrast with duration.
  • Estimate [Output/Input] – A quantitative assessment of the likely amount or outcome. Usually applied to project costs, resources, effort, and durations and is usually preceded by a modifier (i.e., preliminary, conceptual, feasibility, order-of-magnitude, definitive). It should always include some indication of accuracy (e.g., ±x percent).
  • Estimate to Complete (ETC) [Output/Input] – The expected cost needed to complete all the remaining work for a schedule activity, work breakdown structure component, or the project.
  • Execute Directing, managing, performing, and accomplishing the project work, providing the deliverables, and providing work performance information.
  • Finish Date  A point in time associated with a schedule activity’s completion. Usually qualified by one of the following: actual, planned, estimated, scheduled, early, late, baseline, target, or current.
  • Finish-to-Finish (FF) – The logical relationship where completion of work of the successor activity cannot finish until the completion of work of the predecessor activity. See also logical relationship.
  • Finish-to-Start (FS) – The logical relationship where initiation of work of the successor activity depends upon the completion of work of the predecessor activity. See also logical relationship.
  • Influencer  Persons or groups that are not directly related to the acquisition or use of the project’s product, but, due to their position in the customer organization*, can influence, positively or negatively, the course of the project.
  • Input [Process Input] – Any item, whether internal or external to the project that is required by a process before that process proceeds. May be an output from a predecessor process.
  • Lag [Technique] – A modification of a logical relationship that directs a delay in the successor activity. For example, in a finish-to-start dependency with a ten-day lag, the successor activity cannot start until ten days after the predecessor activity has finished.
  • Lead [Technique] – A modification of a logical relationship that allows an acceleration of the successor activity. For example, in a finish-to-start dependency with a ten-day lead, the successor activity can start ten days before the predecessor activity has finished. See also lag. A negative lead is equivalent to a positive lag.
  • Level of Effort (LOE) – Support-type activity (e.g., seller or customer liaison, project cost accounting, project management, etc.) that does not readily lend itself to measurement of discrete accomplishment. It is generally characterized by a uniform rate of work performance over a period of time determined by the activities supported.
  • Logical Relationship  A dependency between two project schedule activities, or between a project schedule activity and a schedule milestone. See also precedence relationship. The four possible types of logical relationships are: Finish-to-Start; Finish-to-Finish; Start-to-Start; and Start-to-Finish.

Section III:  Blackbaud

  • Blackbaud Blackbaud is the company that owns the products:  Raiser’s Edge NXT, NetCommunity, Everydayhero Pro, and
  • Raiser’s Edge NXT (RE NXT)Raiser’s Edge NXT is a complete fundraising and supporter management solution that enables nonprofit professionals to operate more efficiently and raise more support for their missions.
  • Raiser’s Edge Database view – Sometimes referred to as the database view or RE 7, this is the older version of Raiser’s Edge NXT.  It will be used primarily by gift administration, events staff, donor relations, and constituent records.  Blackbaud is slowly migrating all functionality to NXT.
  • Blackbaud NetCommunity (BBNC) Grow™   BBNC is a content management system that integrates with The Raiser’s Edge® (RE), Client’s system of record for constituent data, to facilitate online marketing, communication, fundraising, event and transaction management. It will be our source for online giving pages, event registration, and email marketing. 
  • Everydayhero Pro  Everydayhero Pro is a crowdfudning tool that helps to 1) engage supporters and their networks to raise more money 2) Build awareness and acquire new donors 3) Deploy branded fundraising campaigns quickly.
  • is a leading social media listening tool  for nonprofits that utilizes data to understand our how are constituents are talking about us on social media and to identify our champions
  • JIRA Jira is being used by Blackbaud and GMHEC as a project tracking tool.
  • Confluence –  Confluence is being used for project document management tracking.  It is integrated with Blackbaud’s JIRA instance.
  • Other Blackbaud Acronyms –  Click here

Section IV:  Hitachi and Oracle

    • Hitachi Hitachi Consulting  is the Oracle Implementation partner that is engaged with GMHEC  to help implement Oracle Finance, Procurement and Human Capital Management systems. Website:
  • Oracle  Oracle Corporation is the vendor that is providing the Cloud based solutions for the Finance, Procurement and Human Capital Management systems that are being implemented.

Oracle Applications

  • ERP – For the Oracle applications that GMHEC is implementing,  Enterprise Resource Planning encompasses Finance and Procurement.  This is a common term used to indicate a system is enterprise wide.
  • HCM – Human Capital Management, including Payroll. 
  • EPM (also known as EPBCS)  – Enterprise Performance Management (Budget & Planning)
  • Cloud computing – capability provided to GMHEC to use Oracle applications running on the infrastructure and platform that is managed by Oracle.
  • SAASsoftware as a service.  Oracle provides capability to use applications running on a Cloud Infrastructure.
  • PAASplatform as a service.  Oracle provides a complete and integrated Platform as a Service (PaaS) that allows business users and developers to cost-effectively build, deploy, and manage application workloads seamlessly on premises or in the cloud.
  • TaleoOracle’s fully integrated talent acquisition solution includes recruitment marketing and employee referrals to source talent, provide end-to-end recruiting automation, and streamline employee onboarding.

Technical Terms

  • Development Object Technical work which requires developers to write/deploy code, map data elements, and/or customize the application.  Objects include data migrations, system integrations, custom reports, and workflows
  • SaaS Software as a Service.  Software licensed on a subscription basis and centrally hosted.
  • Jira Project management software used for the Oracle projects for  tracking work execution.
  • SharePoint – This tool is being used for the Oracle projects for document management.  
  • UAT  User Acceptance Testing
  • RICEW – Reports, Interfaces, Conversions, Enhancements / Extensions and Workflows.


    • Waterfall Development – Traditional development approach based on linear, sequential project phases for design, development, testing, and deployment.
  • Agile Development – Software development approach based on rapid prototyping and iterative development cycles which are constantly evaluated and prioritized to focus on key areas that deliver value and minimize risk.
  • Sprint – Single iteration/cycle of development which will typically last approximately four weeks.  The scope of the sprint is confirmed near the start of the cycle, and monitored through frequent cross-workstream discussions.