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Project initiation stage – Project Initiation Document (PID). Duties of project owner and project team

Eric McConnell
April 22, 2010

Project initiation is the first project stage which usually entails generation of the concept behind a new project (project conceptualization). The primary purpose of the project initiation stage is to establish the scope of project, discover its boundaries and specify what project deliverables are expected to be produced.

Project Initiation Document – PID
The first stage of project results in creation of Project Initiation Document (often shortened to the acronym “PID”). This is an organizational document that brings together the key project data required to launch a new project in an effective manner, and to measure the risks and benefits associated with the project. Throughout the whole project life cycle, PID serves as a guiding line for all project participants. PID determines all main features of a project and establishes the basis for its successful management, assessment and completion. Project Initiation Document should be announced to and shared among all project stakeholders and approved and signed off by the business sponsor.

The project manager who is usually assigned to producing Project Initiation Document can get assistance of sub-project managers and project team members who are likely to include planners and estimators. An accurate and elaborated composition of PID depends on such factors as management attitudes and perceived complexity of the project.

Depending on the complexity and scope of a project, the overall Project Initiation Document may vary. Usually PID contains the following headings:

  • Project Definition (including goals and expected deliverables, scope, project organization and constraints).
  • Business Case (including requirements assessment, benefits, participants, sustainability).
  • Project Plan (including task assignments and time parameters).
  • Budget Plan (including testing and evaluation of the final products, monitoring, using performance indicators).
  • Risks and project controls (contingency plan, people responsible for managing risks).
  • Quality Management Plan (including quality criteria for project deliverables).

Duties of the project owner
Once Project Initiation Document is ready, the project owner is committed to ensuring that the document is checked against both project objectives and project scope which are defined and approved by the project sponsor. At the project initiation stage the project owner needs to review and confirm project plans that contain details on the first stage of the project and sub-projects. The project owner is responsible for selecting and appointing the overall project manager, as well as sub-project managers required to accomplish the initiation stage. The project owner agrees the project team in consultation with the project manager and sub-project managers.

Duties of the project team
During the stage, the project team is responsible for communicating with stakeholders and customers, conducting interviews and meetings for the purpose of getting the most accurate and exact information on project requirements. The project team also arranges brainstorming sessions to generate necessary information and get a clear visibility of the final product. The project team is committed to preparing Project Concept Statement, Project Feasibility Document, and Project Charter, as well as creating other important documents as stated in project organization standards.

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