The 10 essential elements of a Project Product Description
In this article, you’ll learn about creating a Project Product Description – one of the core project documents in PRINCE2 projects.
What is a Project Product Description?
A Project Product Description describes a project’s final product, detailing what the project is expected to deliver. It is used to get the user’s acceptance for project scope, establish the quality requirements of the product, and set acceptance criteria, methods, and roles and responsibilities for the project.
When is the Project Product Description developed?
The Project Product Description is first created in the process of starting a project. It is subsequently iterated in the initiation process, and evolves during the project at stage boundaries. Finally, it is an essential part of project verification in the process of closing a PRINCE2 project when the project will be assessed for delivery of expectations.
10 elements of a Project Product Description
The Project Product Description should detail the following 10 areas:
- Project title
- The purpose of the project
This should be clearly stated, defining the purpose of the product and who will use it. It may help to also include specifications such as quality, complexity, functionality, etc.
Define the complete scope of the project, and the major products that will be delivered.
This discusses the source products from which the project products are derived; for example, if modifications to existing products will be made. This may include feasibility studies and project mandates.
- Development skills requirements
Providing guidance on the skills which will be required to develop the project product. This may include the need to source skills from elsewhere.
- Customer’s quality expectations
You will need to outline the key quality expectations, such as:
- Quality management systems to be used
- Expected level of customer satisfaction
This will impact every level of product development, and therefore also on cost and time. These expectations can only be defined by consultation with the customer. If possible, quality expectations should be prioritised.
- Acceptance criteria
These are the criteria that the product must meet to be accepted by the customer. They should be clearly defined and measurable, and acceptable to all stakeholders. This may include ease of use, maintenance requirements, functionality, costs to develop and run, reliability, accuracy, performance, etc.
- Quality tolerances
The acceptable tolerances should be detailed, with tolerance criteria.
- Acceptance method
This describes the methods by which acceptance will be made. This includes confirmation of approval of the project’s products and quality, handover arrangements required, and phasing in of project products.
- Responsibility for acceptance
The Project Product Description must be clear about who is responsible for acceptance of the project products.
In my next article in this series discussing the seven core project documents in PRINCE2 projects, we will examine the project plan. In the meantime, for all your project needs, contact Your Project Manager today: