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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.


Unforeseeable events

Costing method used for highly complicated projects, in particular for alterations. Unforeseeable events should be estimated at approx. 5 - 10 % of the total costs.1)

User demand program

Task and aim of a user demand program is to clearly and completely define and describe expected user demands, to set the benchmark for the project targets, in order to provide reliable information as to what extent the planning and realisation results are in line with the project targets, throughout all project stages. Therefore, a user demand program is the result of requirement requests, in terms of benefit, function, surface space and rooms, design and equipment, budget, building utilisation costs and schedule, (preferably) mostly generated by the prospective user.1)

Utility analysis

A utility analysis applies, if the microeconomic or macroeconomic partitial targets cannot be evaluated with monetary units but only with utility points. Therefore, it allows consideration of multi-dimensional target systems. The partitial targets, measured on an interval, ordinal or nominal scale, are reduced to a common denominator, through evaluation with utility points, and weighed according to their meaning for the total utility. The utility points of each partitial target multiplied with the weighing factors equal the weighed utility points. The outcome of the summation is the total utility of the analysed alternative. A utility analysis cannot produce a judgement on a single measure but a statement about its relative advantage, after comparison with alternative measures, and enables the creation of a ranking list.1)

Variance analysis

Identification of variances between planned nominal values and incurred actual values for, e. g., quality, costs and schedules, with regard to causes and quantity, to find the origin, possible corrective measures to achieve the nominal values and, as the case may be, liability provisions and damage claims.1)

VOF tendering procedure for freelance and professional services

The Professional Services Contract Regulations (VOF) regulate the award of orders from public authorities. VOF § 6 regulates the participation of experts in the selection procedure, to ensure quality and objectivity.

Work breakdown structure

Representation of all main interdependencies between the elements of a project, with the possibility to differenciate between organisation, operation, basic conditions and other criteria. WBS is the fundament for the codification of project works, for plans, descriptions, costing, cost control, schedule planning and monitoring as well as for the assignment of orders, budgeting and inventory (DIN 69901).1)


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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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.