Chris Croft
Tips of the Month Archive

Project Management Tip 16


Blow your own trumpet

Be assertive at the start

What is a Gantt Chart?

Avoiding people problems

Listing all the tasks

Internal projects

How to discover the key project driver

Three methods of project costing

Why I love Gantt charts

Three ways to handle uncertainty

Overspend or underspend?

Why PM is difficult

My instant guide

Why review?

Some eccentric PM abbreviations

What exactly is a PID?

Its never too late to plan

Why PM is good

Good questions to ask a project manager

PIDS are the latest thing. Everyone's got one. Have you?

PID = "Project Initiation Document"

But what exactly is a PID? What should be in one?

Well all it is a definition of what the project is, why it's being done, and what exactly will be delivered (measurable)

So it should include:

a) List of tasks or a Work Breakdown Structure (tree diagram of all tasks)

b) Time needed: Gantt chart showing the order of the tasks, the times for each, and the total time required

c) Total cost - broken down as necessary

d) List of risks and how we'll reduce the likelihood of them happening / how we'll cover them if they do happen

e) Assumptions:
for example 'that there are no archaeological remains discovered under the foundations' .or 'we get the written text from you by end April'

f) People required - who and when (ideally with names). Could be just a list, or on the Gantt chart.

That's it. Except for perhaps the most important thing: the PID should be signed by the customer and all stakeholders to say "If you deliver this we'll be happy".

Remember - the PID is for you, as well as them.

It will stop them moving the goalposts during the project, and/or complaining afterwards that it wasn't exactly what they wanted.

If they want to change the PID half way through then they will probably have to wait longer and pay more for the project.

Power at last!

Onwards and upwards


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