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Stage 3: Project initiation documentation

Purpose

The purpose of this stage is to produce the body of documents that make up the Project Initiation Documentation (PID).  In doing so, solid foundations for the project are created and the organisation can gain an appreciation of the work that needs to be done before expending substantial funds. 

The PID is one of the most important artefacts in project management.  Its purpose is to define the project in detail and provide a reference point throughout the project.  It forms the basis for the project’s management and how the project’s overall success is assessed.  It is a ‘living’ product as it should always reflect the current status, plans and controls of the project.  The documents that constitute the PID will require updating, where necessary, at the end of each stage, to reflect the current status.

Also produced during this stage is the Benefits Review Plan.  This Plan defines how and when a measurement of the achievement of the project’s benefits can be made.  The Plan is updated periodically and up to the Project Closure Stage.

At Gate 3, the Benefits Review Plan and the components of the Project Initiation Document will be checked to ensure they contain the right information and that information is correct as far as can be determined.  The information will be used to make a decision as to whether the project is still viable and desirable, and whether it should continue to be funded.


What happens

During this stage the Project Executive, who represents the interests of the business stakeholder(s), is appointed. 

The Project Manager is also appointed. The Project Manager represents the interests of the Project Executive and manages the project on a day-to-day basis. 

The remainder of the Project Board is appointed. The Project Board is accountable for the success of the project.

The Project Manager produces or coordinates the production of the body of documents in this stage which constitute the PID which will include some or all of the following:

• Project Definition
• Project approach
• Business Case
• Project management team structure
• Role descriptions
• Quality Management Strategy
• Configuration Management Strategy
• Risk Management Strategy
• Communication Management Strategy
• Project Plan
• Project Controls

During this phase the Project Manager will seek input from keys stakeholder groups by holding a Risk Workshop.

On completion of the PID, the Project Board holds a review at Gate 3.

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