Define a project or programme

The purpose of this competency is to achieve the goals of the definition process, i.e. to:

  • develop a more detailed picture of the project or programme;
  • determine whether the work is justified;
  • create governance policies that describe how the work will be managed;
  • gain the sponsor’s authorisation for the delivery phase.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. obtain appropriate resources for detailed scope definition
  2. research, describe and document scope
  3. plan the governance and delivery of the work
  4. maintain communication with the sponsor
  5. consolidate, summarise and present information to the sponsor for authorisation
  6. perform any pre-authorisation work as necessary  and mobilise the project or programme after authorisation
  7. assure the quality of the process

This process can range from a simple exercise performed predominantly by a project manager to, in effect, a project in its own right.

These performance criteria are relevant to any scale of work and the competency can be tailored to suit a manager preparing a short document for approval to a team doing extensive research, testing prototypes and managing a complex approval procedure.

The principles also apply to contexts that approach scope in a different way. Agile projects may not require such detailed scope definition at the start of the work but they still need some clear objectives and documented plans – albeit in the agile form.

The knowledge of relevant functions refers to areas such as diverse as requirements management, risk management, financial management, organisation management, mobilisation and so on, since they can all have a role in this process.

Knowledge and understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the goals of the process
  2. the typical activities that make up the process
  3. the context of the work and its impact on the process
  4. how to perform the relevant functions to suit the context of the work
  5. the purpose and content of both governance and delivery plans
  6. how to identify pre-authorisation work and agree it with the sponsor
  7. how to mobilise for the first stage or tranche of work
  8. how assurance applies to the process



Please consider allowing cookies to be able to share this page on social media sites.

Change cookie settings
8th June 2015Errors in numeration of performance criteria corrected
Back to top