The aim of a Project Definition Workshop is to ensure that project stakeholders understand and agree key information about the project before the project starts.
How long does it take to define a project? It might only take half a day to define a small, simple project. It can take many months to define a large complex project. In the latter case how do you ensure that stakeholders understand and agree the project definition? You could publish a document and hope they will all read and inwardly digest it (they won't).
Or you could hold a Project Definition Workshop.
For a small project, it may be possible from a standing start to define the whole project in a half day meeting. But for a huge project gathering key players cold in a room for half a day and expecting them to emerge with the project fully defined is not realistic.
To give some scale, imagine we are defining a large project. The project definition stage will, let us say, take 10 weeks. In week 7 we hold a pre-planned Project Definition Workshop. The aim is simply that all emerge with the same understanding of the project.
By week 7 of a 10 week project definition most aspects of the project should be pinned down so we will have something solid to put in front of the key players.
Who attends a Project Definition Workshop?
The project sponsor, steering committee members, the project manager(s) and other key role players must attend.
These are some of the key things that should be agreed in a Project Definition Workshop:
It is worth employing a professional facilitator to run a Project Definition Workshop (PDW).
There is more about Project Definition and PDWs in this
Free Online Project Management Book.
So You Want To Be A Project Manager?
Project Management in the Public Sector
Free Online Project Management Book
Risk Management in I.T. Projects
Quality Management in Software Development Projects
The Tale of Three Project Managers
Towards a Project-Centric World
Project Management Proverbs, Saying, Laws and Jokes
Copyright M Harding Roberts