Project Definition is the process of identifying and characterizing a proposed project through exploring all aspects of this project and examining the relationships between project activities, events, durations, and costs. It aims to state about project goals and objectives, describe possible alternatives or trade-offs, and reach a satisfactory balance of proposed project solutions.
In large and portfolio projects, the definition process is often transformed into a phase that may include numerous steps and involve multiple stakeholders. The definition phase is intended to complete the following tasks:
- Establish SMART project goals and objectives
- Elicit and describe project requirements or specifications
- Define scope including boundaries, assumptions, constraints
- Agree upon project schedule
- Develop project budget
In small projects all these tasks are often combined into a single process which requires lower effort and involves several stakeholders.
The project definition process/phase results in creating a document that formally states about a proposed project and its general characteristics. This document is called Project Definition Statement. It proves the proposed project is verified and ready for start.