Stephen F. Austin State University



A Project Definition Document (PDD) is created during the Planning phase of a Project Lifecycle, if determined is needed. A PDD is the primary planning document for projects and contains detailed information concerning the Triple Constraint Triangle (scope, cost, and timeline) for a particular project. Its purpose is to provide a complete definition of a particular project implementation. As with any planning document, the PDD is a living document and will be updated periodically as the project progresses

The PDD also includes the following plans for the project, when applicable:

Triple Constraint Triangle

A balance exists between the three project dimensions and its overall impact on the quality of a Project Lifecycle. A change in one will impact the other dimensions. For example, if the scope dimension increases then the schedule and cost dimensions will also increase to maintain the quality. If the scope dimension increases, but schedule and cost stay the same, then quality decreases.


The scope of a project includes the major project activities for each phase of the project, planned process improvements, and out of scope activities critical to the success of the project. Primary objectives are also included within the scope of the project and the success of the project is measured against the attainment of the project objectives. Therefore, primary objectives must be measurable and have associated project success criteria. Any assumptions concerning resources, priorities, legacy systems, governance, access, training, data migration, testing, and modifications are to be identified during scope planning and identified in the PDD.

Many projects fail to come in on time and within budget due to lack of scope control. Any change to the scope during implementation that will affect time, cost, or scope will be required to be approved through a change management process.


Within the PDD, an overall project budget is presented which defines who the budget will be monitored and managed by.


Within the PDD, an overall project timeline is presented which includes the processes required to accomplish timely completion of the project. This timeline includes the purchasing the software and hardware, installing the software and hardware, conducting a project kickoff meeting, setting and attending training dates, and configuring and testing the software. To create a timeline the following are addressed:

To determine the actual due dates for each of these activities, the project manager will request that the project team create a blackout calendar for the project that shows dates team members will be unavailable to work on the project.