PRINCE2 Project Initiation Documentation

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What is this?

The purpose of the Project Initiation Documentation is to define the project, in order to form the basis for its management and an assessment of its overall success.

The Project Initiation Documentation gives the direction and scope of the project and (along with the Stage Plan) forms the ‘contract’ between the Project Manager and the Project Board.

The three primary uses of the Project Initiation Documentation are to:

  • Ensure that the project has a sound basis before asking the Project Board to make any major commitment to the project
  • Act as a base document against which the Project Board and Project Manager can assess progress, issues and ongoing viability questions
  • Provide a single source of reference about the project so that people joining the ‘temporary organization’ can quickly and easily find out what the project is about, and how it is being managed.

It is a fundamental collection of project information that builds on the Project Brief and includes:

  • Information on HOW certain aspects of the project wil be managed – 4 strategies (Risk, Quality Configuration & Communications)
  • How the project will be CONTROLLED – targets / tolerances & frequency of reporting
  • WHO is needed to run the project / role descriptions
  • WHY the project is require – Detailed Business Case
  • WHAT the project has to deliver & WHEN WHERE, BY WHOM – Project Product Description  Project Plan
  • HOW (buid inhouse / outsouces?) – project approach

Why it’s useful?

This is a FREE template as defined by the PRINCE2 Project Management methodology.

Whilst you can find this template in Appendix A of an official PRINCE2 manual, of course you may not have purchased a manual, or you may just prefer to have an electronic version of it.

How to use it?

This is a ‘vanilla’ template that accompanies the PRINCE2 methodology and is used as the basis for PRINCE2 exams.

Whilst you can use it in its vanilla format we recommend that you think about tailoring it (as suggested by the method itself) bearing in mind the following:

  • Industry / organizational specific terminology
  • Size / complexity of project
  • If the project is part of a programme
  • Any existing templates in your organization

The Project Initiation Documentation is  produced during the Initiating a Project process by the Project Manager and presented to the Project Board for them to ‘Authorise a Project’ in the Directing a Project process.

The PID is a living product in that it should always reflect the current status, plans and controls of the project. Its component products will need to be updated (during Managing a Stage Boundary process) and re-baselined (Directing a Project process), as necessary, to reflect the current status of its constituent parts.

The version of the Project Initiation Documentation (i.e. v.1) that was used to gain authorization for the project is preserved as the basis against which performance will later be assessed when closing the project.

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