Establishing a central source of truth before a project begins is the best way to keep your team aligned. Using a project initiation document template can help you do this easily.Create your template
The project initiation phase is an important time to establish the foundation of a successful project. Laying out all the key information early ensures that your entire team is on the same page before your work even begins. The best way to do this? Create a project initiation document template.
A project initiation document (PID) is a type of document that project managers create before they begin a project. This document compiles key project information such as the project scope, goals, success criteria, business value, and potential project risks. This is also commonly referred to as a project charter or a project brief.
The main goal of the PID is to provide a high-level overview of a project so that key stakeholders can quickly understand the major project objectives and project approach. Key information like the five W’s of project management (who, what, when, where, why) are clearly laid out so team members can find them at a glance. This gives all project stakeholders quick insight into the project objectives, project plan, and key project deliverables.
A project initiation document (PID) template is a reusable outline of a project initiation document. It’s best used when you’re creating new projects so you can quickly duplicate the template, and then fill in the relevant project information. This saves project managers time so they don’t have to create a brand new PID every time they start a new project.
Using a project initiation document template provides your team with a few different benefits. Here’s how it can help you:
Establishes consistency across all projects: Using a PID template helps streamline the project creation process, so the project manager can easily follow the same steps every time a new project begins.
Allows for customization for specific teams: PIDs help standardize the project creation process, but one of the major benefits is that you can still customize it to fit the needs of other projects. The template provides the main structure for your project initiation document, but from there you can add and remove different sections based on specific project needs.
Quickly provide context for stakeholders: When stakeholders are managing several different projects at once, it’s important for them to get information quickly with as much context as possible. Using a project initiation document template makes it easy for them to find the information they need without having to hunt for it or have unnecessary status meetings.
A good project initiation document template will have all of the important project information a stakeholder needs to know in a glance. This template should include:
Project goals or objective: This clearly states what the project intends to achieve and the larger business objectives it connects to.
Success metrics: These are the specific metrics that your team is tracking to monitor whether or not this project is successful.
Project scope: In this instance, a project scope includes the scope of work, the allotted budget, and estimated timeline.
Communication plan: This details information on how your team will communicate throughout the project duration.
Resourcing strategy: Key resource information such as a resource allocation plan or a resource management strategy plan.
Key stakeholders: Important individuals involved in the project from individual contributors to higher management. A RACI chart would be included in this section.
Project risks: Information about project risks, such as a RAID log or a risk analysis would be included in this section.
Project Overview. Project Overview is your one-stop-shop for all important project context. Give your team a bird’s-eye view of the what, why, and how of your project work. Add a project description to set the tone for how you’ll work together in Asana. Then, share any important resources and context—like meeting details, communication channels, and project briefs—in one place.
Project Brief. A project brief is a way to communicate important details and dates to your broader project team. Make sure your team can easily access your project brief by putting it in a central source of truth like Asana.
Workload. Workload gives you a visual snapshot of team capacity by making it easy to see what your team members are working on across projects—all in one place. With this at-a-glance information, you can pinpoint conflicts, address risks, and keep projects on track by reassigning or rescheduling tasks. Check Workload regularly to make sure team members aren’t overwhelmed or underworked. If they are, you can easily reassign or reschedule low-priority tasks to unblock high-priority initiatives.
Goals. Goals in Asana directly connect to the work you’re doing to hit them, making it easy for team members to see what they’re working towards. More often than not, our goals live separate from the work that goes into achieving them. By connecting your team and company goals to the work that supports them, team members have real-time insight and clarity into how their work directly contributes to your team—and company—success. As a result, team members can make better decisions. If necessary, they can identify the projects that support the company’s strategy and prioritize work that delivers measurable results.
Slack. Turn ideas, work requests, and action items from Slack into trackable tasks and comments in Asana. Go from quick questions and action items to tasks with assignees and due dates. Easily capture work so requests and to-dos don’t get lost in Slack.
Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.
Zoom. Asana and Zoom are partnering up to help teams have more purposeful and focused meetings. The Zoom + Asana integration makes it easy to prepare for meetings, hold actionable conversations, and access information once the call is over. Meetings begin in Asana, where shared meeting agendas provide visibility and context about what will be discussed. During the meeting, team members can quickly create tasks within Zoom, so details and action items don’t get lost. And once the meeting is over, the Zoom + Asana integration pulls meeting transcripts and recordings into Asana, so all collaborators and stakeholders can review the meeting as needed.
Microsoft Teams. With the Microsoft Teams + Asana integration, you can search for and share the information you need without leaving Teams. Easily connect your Teams conversations to actionable items in Asana. Plus, create, assign, and view tasks during a Teams Meeting without needing to switch to your browser.
The best way to start creating a project initiation document is to use a project initiation document (PID) template. This provides you with the basic framework of everything you need to accurately create your document—all you need to do is fill in the information that’s relevant to that specific project.
A project initiation document template typically contains project goals, success metrics, project scope, communication strategy, resourcing strategy, key stakeholders, and project risks. This helps those who are working on the project and key stakeholders get a quick glance of project specifics without having to spend time searching for information.
The project initiation phase in project management is the beginning of project creation. Your team establishes the goals of the project, the problems you’re trying to solve, define the scope, and lay out important references such as the resourcing strategy and communication strategy. This phase is when you would use a project initiation template to create a document.
The four steps of project initiation are: create a project charter or business case, identify key stakeholders and pitch your project, run a feasibility study, and assemble your team and tools.
Standardize your project process with a waterfall project management template. Break your project into sequential phases that map to your end goal.
Keep track of project status and provide key stakeholders with at-a-glance progress updates with a project status report template.
Clarity doesn’t have to be complicated. With a weekly to-do list template, you can create a new task list in seconds every Monday.
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