We've referred to "gaining consensus" and "getting agreement" on the answers to the important project defining questions several times. How do you do this? You write them down and get everyone to formally sign off on this document. We will refer to this document as the Project Definition document. In this section, we will review both the "must-have" elements and "good to have" elements of the Project Definition document.
There are many different names for the Project Definition document. Some of the most common alternative names are Project Brief, Project Charter, Project Initiation, Scope Statement, and Statement of Work.
We are using Project Definition, because this term best describes the purpose of the document.
First, let's review the must-have informational elements that should be included in your project definition document.
Whenever you are defining what is "in scope", it's a good idea to note what related work is "out of scope."
This will help clarify understanding and expectations regarding project scope.
As a rule, any work item that is related to your defined scope that someone could assume is included, but is not, should be listed as "out-of-scope."
To expedite the process of getting agreement on the project definition document, walk through an initial draft that you develop with the stakeholder group rather than starting with a blank slate.
The process of project definition and project planning is a process of iterative refinement (or what PMI refers to as progressive elaboration), so your draft will help facilitate the discussions, negotiations, and modifications that need to occur amongst the stakeholders.
Additional Elements to Consider
These are informational elements that may not always apply, but if appropriate, are recommended additions to Project Definition document.
The Project Definition document is a "living" document and should be updated to reflect the evolving circumstances, issues, and needs surrounding the project.
Changes are okay. The changes just need to be announced, reviewed, and approved by the relevant stakeholders.
Part i. Project Management Jumpstart
Project Management Overview
The Project Manager
Essential Elements for any Successful Project
Part ii. Project Planning
Defining a Project
Planning a Project
Developing the Work Breakdown Structure
Estimating the Work
Developing the Project Schedule
Determining the Project Budget
Part iii. Project Control
Controlling a Project
Managing Project Changes
Managing Project Deliverables
Managing Project Issues
Managing Project Risks
Managing Project Quality
Part iv. Project Execution
Leading a Project
Managing Project Communications
Keys to Better Project Team Performance
Ending a Project