What is a Project Initiation Document (PID) in PRINCE2

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25th Apr, 2022
What is a Project Initiation Document (PID) in PRINCE2

Every organization drafts a plan before initiating a project. In the plan, various elements play a crucial part in the success and failure of the project. One of the most important aspects of any project management is the Project Initiation Document. It acts as a foundation for the organization’s project.

This article will help you understand why and how to implement the Project Initiation Document in every project. But before explaining all about the Project Initiation Document, it is important to understand what is PRINCE2 and how it connects to PID.

PRINCE (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a process-based method that ensures effective project management within the organization. It lays down the fundamental skills for the project team to turn the ongoing project into a success. Prince2 is the latest framework update that easily tailors to a company’s project. Today, most of the management teams practice it to end the project effectively and successfully.

What is a PID? PID’s Definition in PRINCE2 Context

PID in PRINCE2 ensures that the project starts from the right place and through the right methods. It puts together all the important information and conveys the same to all the important members of the project.

PID PRINCE2 is a high-level plan that provides the most important details about a project to the project team management and stakeholders. You can create, refer, change, and update this document as required to extract as much information as possible.

In simple terms, PID cumulates all the necessary information and identifies the method through which the project’s objectives will be achieved. It is a reference point for both the project team and the customer to track the overall progress. This live document is revised and updated, as required throughout the project.

Without a proper PID, the risk factor increases due to the lack of engagement and direction from the stakeholders.

Learn more about the PRINCE2 training online, check PRINCE2 PID example and gain expertise on the subject matter for professional growth and experience.

What is a Project Initiation Document (PID) in PRINCE2

What Is the Purpose of the Project Initiation Documentation in PRINCE2? 

The purpose of PID in PRINCE2 is to define the project to efficiently track its progress and analyze the overall success. It provides the plan, scope, and direction of the project and creates a contract between the project board and the project manager.

The main purposes of Project Initiation Documentation are to –

  • See that the project is reliable enough before the members come on board and make any major commitment to it.
  • Act as a source of reference so that the joining project members can find all about the project and its management.
  • Act as the main document through which the project manager and board can easily access the progress, identify the issues and ask important questions.

PID is a living document that throws light on the current status, controls, and future plans of the project. It goes through regular updates and changes according to the requirements.

Both the initial and updated versions of PID are secured for future assessment while closing the project. PRINCE2 foundation certification training 

PID Composition

PID is one of the largest documents for every business project. The PRINCE2 PID contents include multiple parts for better understanding and implementation. PRINCE2 PID contents are as follows –

1.  Project Definition: One of the most important components of PID is the definition of the project – its scope, goals, and objectives. The project manager needs to identify the goals and steps to achieve the outcomes for a better understanding of his actions.

2.  Project Approach: This part defines the procedures and processes that are used by the members to accomplish the project objectives.

3.  Business Case: This briefs about the reason for adopting the project and the business goals it will help in achieving.

4.  Project Management Team Structure: A textual/organization chart that identifies the hierarchy of the project management team.

5.  Role Descriptions: This explains the roles and responsibilities of every member of the project management team.

6. Quality Management Approach: All the procedures and processes are employed to make sure that the quality of final products and services matches the customers’ expectations. Defining these quality standards and the measurement processes for quality control is important. It involves the drafting of all the auditing requirements for quality assurance.

7. Change Control Approach: If there are any mid-project changes, they are to be properly managed and they can create an abrupt ending for the entire project. It involves the decision-making regarding all the procedures and processes for the project change. These changes can relate to the budget, schedule, quality criteria, team, and other items in the PID. If any change occurs, the project manager deals with the same according to the document.

8. Risk Management Approach: Every project involves a risk factor and every project manager drafts a strong risk management plan for contingencies. The biggest projects always have a risk management department in place that drafts response plans for the predictable risks. Although small projects do not have the budget for the same, some risk management should always be in place. These response plans include the identification of risks that can affect the goal, analysis of those risks for probability and graveness, and development of effective response plans so that they can be instantly implemented whenever required.

9. Communication Management Approach: Even if every process and procedure doesn’t run smoothly and there’s a strong communication channel in the middle, the projects can turn out to be successful. That’s how important and beneficial communication is. The communication management document includes the identification of stakeholders (team, board members, investors, passive stakeholders, owners, regulatory bodies, and more) and their requirements.

10. Project Plan: This is one of the most crucial parts of the PID PRINCE2. It involves the analysis of all the available resources for the project plan. After the analysis, the members create a budget and schedule, divide the tasks amongst the resources, and define the management stages for the entire project. The project plan ensures that the resources are readily available and decides on a timeline to measure the project’s progress.

11. Project Controls: Project control is an important step that makes sure the project is within the schedule, budget, and other success criteria. This pre-determines the tolerances and ensures continuous reporting and measurement of the project.

12. Tailoring to PRINCE2: PID defines how PRINCE2 fits within the project.

Top Project Management course are available for professionals to learn about the processes and procedures of PID.

PID Chronological Order

For the successful implementation of the Project Initiation Document, it is important to follow a step-by-step method. This will not only help you as a project manager to control the processes and procedures but also take your team to the end goal.

What is a Project Initiation Document (PID) in PRINCE2

Directing a Project 

One who is responsible to direct a project will act as the leading person throughout the planning, implementation, analysis, and control.

Authority to Initiate a Project: After careful consideration as to whether the project is plausible or not, the first step is to grant authority for its initiation. This will include the team members coming together and agreeing to tailor the requirements as per the need. This includes preparation of the –

a.  Risk management approach
b.  Quality management approach
c.  Change control approach

Initiating a Project

1. Communication Management Approach:  The next step is to create a proper communication channel through which all the tasks, processes, risks, progress, and outcomes can be discussed. This step majorly involves –

  • Set up of project controls
  • Creation of the project plan

2.  Refine the Business Case: It involves the analysis of the project plan progress and its comparison with the initial idea/goal to make the necessary changes.

3.  Assemble the Project Initiation Document: Once the draft of the entire project plan is ready, it is time to assemble the PRINCE2 PID template.

Stage Boundary Approaching and Managing a Stage Boundary 

This involves two processes –

1.  The project manager provides an overview of the project to the board, updates the project plan, and creates a plan for the next stage.

2.  This information allows the project board to evaluate the current stage, approve the next stage, and evaluate the updated project plan.

The main objective of managing the stage boundary is to –

  • Review and update the documents, including PID, business case, risk register, and project plan.
  • Assure the board members that the products in the current stage are approved.
  • Prepare the stage plan and request authorization for the next stage.

Request to Deliver the Project 

The last stage of PID is to request the project deliverables.

Project Initiation Documentation Derivation

The project initiation documentation’s derivation depends on the project brief. The project managers are responsible for the creation of the project brief and the executives are responsible for its approval.

PID Format and Presentation 

There is no proper format for the project initiation documentation. It can include a collection of documents or a single document including multiple components. The PID format can also be in the form of a collection of items within a management tool.

Quality Criteria of PID

The PRINCE2 PID checklist for quality criteria are –

  • Correct presentation of the project
  • The project is achievable and corresponds with the program management and customer strategies
  • The team structure is a complete and proper assignment of all the roles
  • A proper control, report, and directional code of conduct
  • Controls cover the requirement of the project manager, project board, and team managers
  • The administration roles are clear
  • Consistency in project approaches and objectives with the social responsibility of the organization
  • Consideration for PID format according to the demand of the project


PID is a collection of documents that is available to the project board as a reference point. It is a bundle of information that provides a foundation throughout the business project for both the project team and customers.

KnowledgeHut PRINCE2 training online is a complete program that will explain all about the processes, methods, and you will get PRINCE2 PID sample to work with. Check out reasons to study PRINCE2.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q.  What is a PID PRINCE2?

A project initiation document is an essential part of the PRINCE2. It acts as a framework for the project team and stakeholders from which the members can take the reference and achieve the result.

Q.  What goes in a PID PRINCE2? 

PID PRINCE2 contains the project description, document information, scope and exclusions, purpose, project objectives, interfaces, project deliverables, and assumptions.



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