Project Initiation Document (PID)

In some organisations this document is called the Project Definition or Design Document (PDD)

The PID is a summary containing all of the key information required to start a project.

It defines, at a specific point in time, what the end goal of the project is and how it is going to be achieved.

It should be worded in a way that anyone involved will understand what the project is about and therefore needs to answer the following points:

•   Why

It is usually important to understand the background, the reason why this project has been proposed.

What are the benefits that will be gained once the project has been completed.

There may be certain situations (i.e. risk containment, commercial confidentiality, financial imperative) when the full reason may have to be withheld.

This information should be included in the Business Case section of PerformWork.

•   What

What is actually going to be delivered, what are the products / features the customer / sponsor is expecting. Where any have been given a priority these need to be shown.
PerformWork generates this from the list of products / features.

•   Who

Who is undertaking the key roles and responsibilities.
Set out in Roles and Responsibilities.

•   Method

What methodologies are to be used to deliver the project.
The project summary and stage plans should describe how the project will be delivered.

•   Resources and Materials required

A common issue with small projects is the assumption by some managers that existing staff can take on an unlimited amount of small items of extra work.

By detailing the resources required everyone is made aware of what is expected and so they can highlight potential problems before the project is started.

The cost of materials and the cost and time of any resources that may be required can be set in the features section.

•   When will it be delivered?

Time scales should be set in the stage plans. These should be realistic and adjusted to take account of holidays and other absences.

•   What is it going to cost?

The project budget extracts the costs assigned to each product / feature and the totals can be shown with any agreed variances on estimated and budgeted items.

•   What are the risks?

Risk are assigned to either the whole project or to specific products / features. The risk register report lists those risks that have been identified.

Do I have to create a PID?

You don’t have to, but, you should always create one, even if it is only for your own records.

PerformWork makes life easier for the busy project manager, it creates your PID by collating all the information you have already entered.

Yes, if you are missing some critical data the PID will be incomplete but you can create another PID when you have obtained the missing items.

Can I create a Draft version?

You can create and save a DRAFT version, the word DRAFT will be written at the top and bottom of the document and all the Business Case section headings will be shown.

Why You should create a PID

It explains the significance of the project and in effect, forms the contract, between the project management team and the customer / sponsor.

In some cases it may be a condition that the PID has to be approved by the project board / customer /sponsor before the project can be started.

It is the project manager’s safety net, if you have an agreed / approved PID and the team stick to it then it makes it more difficult for anyone to say that the team got something wrong.

What happens if things change?

Significant contingencies are an important feature of large projects, so when things don’t quite go to plan there is a planned solution available.

Contingency planning is hardly ever considered within small projects, that is why when issues arise things often go “pear shaped” rather quickly.

This is why it is important that the risk sections, in both the business case and in the individual features, should include contingencies against every identified risk.

Publishing the PID

It is usually considered essential that those involved in a project read the PID, or at least an abridged version (i.e. without budget), to fully understand what is going on.

PerformWork enables you to give permission for others to view a PID - details on the PID/PDD log screen. NB. Draft versions cannot be published.

Requesting Approval

Once you have saved a PID the project sponsor or an executive board member can be asked to approve it - see PID/PDD log screen.