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How to write a Project Initiation Document - Part 1

A project initiation document is a reference document produced at the outset of a project. It contains a range of information pertaining to the project including itís background, deliverables and ownership. One of the most comforting things to have as a Project Manager is a full awareness of the customerís requirements, the deliverables and the knowledge that the project has strong foundations with both firm ownership and sound business case. Capturing and documenting key information such as this before a Project kicks off is an essential activity and a Project Initiation Document or PID provides a place to store it.

Project Initiation Documents are nothing new and are part of many formal Project Methodologies. Too often when projects have problems, attempting to understand whatís going wrong and why can be difficult. In a poor project environment Ė things often go undocumented, and trying to unravel something that was agreed in conversation can be fraught. PIDís are good practice as they capture key information that can be used for reference throughout a project for guidance or when clarification is required. They also provide a method of communicating the benefits and business case that prove a project should be commenced in the first place.

Producing the PID at the right time is essential Ė the PID should be produced while the Project is being started. It can be authored by a mix of the customer and the Project Manager and should ultimately summarize your project in one document. As Projects can be big/small, simple/complicated the actual construction of PIDís may vary from Project to Project but there are some fundamentals that you should consider including in your PID.

In part two we'll look at the contents of a PID. How to write a Project Initiation Document Part 2


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