It’s project definition time. You’ve been given your brief or mandate. So, how do you get your project off the ground? Well, whether it’s a Definition, Charter, Initiation Document or some other title, it will set the tone.

This phase or stage is absolutely the best opportunity you have to engage all stakeholders. At the start of any venture, people are excited, motivated and enthusiastic. They will be eager to contribute because they see the chance to get their view in at the ground floor, so make the best use possible of this time.


A fantastic way to involve all the interested parties in your project and get them to contribute to the definition, is to hold a facilitated workshop session. Properly done, this can be a dynamic, fun and extremely productive activity for all. The key is to prepare well.

The most important part of the preparation in the project management is to get to know the participants personally and get their input prior to the workshop session. Try and visit each of the participants individually. You will be able to put their ideas into the mix and come up with a draft definition. It’s always easier to start from something concrete, however imperfect, than a blank page.

Project definition templates can be obtained from a variety of sources, but a classic outline contains the following elements and more:

Brainstorm, Review, Agree!

Focus on Facilitation to include Sponsors, Users, Teams and Other Stakeholders as much as possible. The more we get to know and engage our people, the better our Project Definition and our Project Management will be.