Prince2 header
products page

PRINCE2 - Initiating a Project (IP) part 7

Assembling a Project Initiation Document (IP6)

Fundamental principles

This document answers the ‘what, why, who, how, where, when and how much’ for the project and provides a focus for agreement with the stakeholders. It also provides guidance and information for those involved in the project.


This sub-process takes all the information from the other IP processes and combines them in the Project Initiation Document.
This is then used for the Project Board to decide on whether to authorise the project, covered in 'Authorising a Project (DP2)'.
It will also invokes Managing Stage Boundaries (SB) to summarise the performance of the initiation stage and prepare the next Stage Plan.

Process description

The objectives are:

  • Provide a basis for the decision to be made in Authorising a Project (DP2)
  • Provide a benchmark for all the other management decisions that need to be made during the life of the project
  • Provide an information base for everyone who needs to know about the project
  • Prepare a plan for the next stage for Project Board approval

The objectives using information that can be presented in various ways.
The Project Initiation Document may not be a single physical document.

The objectives will be achieved by carrying out a number of steps which include:

  • Invoke the Managing Stage Boundaries (SB) process to prepare the next Stage Plan and draw the initiation stage to a close
  • Decide how the information can best be packaged and held so that these objectives can be met for this particular project
  • Assemble the information from the previous sub-processes
  • Assemble the project organisation structure from the project management team structure and job descriptions; this may include finalising any roles not allocated during SU2 and SU3
  • Construct the project definition from the contents of the Project Brief and Project Approach, modified by the Project Plan contents
  • Carry out a final cross-check of the information in the various elements to ensure that they are compatible
  • Add an narrative, explanatory or navigational information requires, including the background
  • Create the Project Initiation Document
  • Forward the information required for 'Authorising a Project (DP2)'

The Project Initiation Document must be reviewed for any changes by programme management that may affect their portfolio if the project is part of a programme. Agreed changes should be reflected in the programme portfolio.
If the information in the Project Initiation Document could affect any other projects they should be informed.


The Project Manager is responsible with assistance from Project Support with close consultation from those with Project Assurance responsibilities.

Information needs
Management informationUsageExplanation
Project BriefInputProvides information for the Background and Project Definition sections of the Project Initiation Document (PID)
Project management team structure and job descriptionsInputInformation for the Project Organisation section of the PID.
Project ApproachInputTo be incorporate into the PID.
Project Quality PlanInputTo be incorporate into the PID.
Project PlanInputTo be incorporate into the PID.
Business CaseInputTo be incorporate into the PID.
Risk LogInputTo be incorporate into the PID.
Project controlsInputTo be incorporate into the PID.
Communication PlanInputTo be incorporate into the PID.
Project tolerancesInputTo be incorporate into the PID.
Project Initiation DocumentOutputTo be incorporate into the PID.

These are given in tabular form in the file ‘IP6 assembling a project initiation document.doc’ in the product package.

Key criteria

  • Will the Project Initiation Document provide all the information needs of the recipients?
  • Is it easy to update the dynamic parts of the document?
  • Is the information compatible across all sections?

As for many documents that require presentation make sure they focus on the key points with other less critical detailed information put into appendices.
It may be a good idea to discuss the format with the Project Board so that it delivers the information as efficiently as possible.
This will also apply to a programme. In this case, it might be useful to have help from programme management in developing the Project Initiation Document.

This product contains EVERYTHING in the publications:

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 - 2005 edition
Managing successful Projects with PRINCE2 – 2009 edition
Directing Projects with PRINCE2.
The Complete Project Management package.

And much more besides - at a fantastic price.