The purpose of the PID is to define the project, in order to form the basis for its management and an assessment of its overall success. The PID 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 PID 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.
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 and re-baselined, as necessary, at the end of each management stage, to reflect the current status of its constituent parts.
The version of the PID 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.
The following quality criteria apply to a PID:
- The PID correctly represents the project.
- It shows a viable, achievable project that is in line with corporate, programme management or customer strategies or overall programme needs.
- The project management team structure is complete, with names and titles. All the roles have been considered and are backed up by agreed role descriptions. The relationships and lines of authority are clear. If necessary, the project management team structure shows to whom the project board reports.
- It clearly shows a control, reporting and direction regime that can be implemented, appropriate to the scale, risk and importance of the project to corporate, programme management or the customer.
- The controls cover the needs of the project board, project manager and team managers and satisfy any delegated assurance requirements.
- It is clear who will administer each control.
- The project objectives and approaches are consistent with the organization’s social responsibility directive, and the project controls are adequate to ensure that the project remains compliant with such a directive.
- Consideration has been given to the format of the PID. For small projects a single document is appropriate. For large projects, it is more appropriate for the PID to be a collection of stand-alone documents. The volatility of each element of the PID should be used to assess whether it should be stand-alone (e.g. elements that are likely to change frequently are best separated out).