A vital resource for project management that may help you position your project for achievement is project documentation. Clear communication and a shared understanding among all project participants are ensured by documentation, which helps to ensure that projects are finished on schedule and under budget. In this post, we will explore types of project documentation and how to manage them.

What is project documentation?

RACI chart

A project’s documentation is a set of records and information that includes details about the project. In every phase of project management, a project manager typically gathers all pertinent work, including docs pertaining to proposals, objectives, specifications, layout, execution, financial management, testing, delivery, and maintenance.

Project managers can better monitor progress, maintain organization, and assure compliance with documentation. The project’s documentation makes the task at hand go more smoothly. You won’t have to waste time looking for paperwork or impede your team’s progress when you need to consult budgets or respond to requests from stakeholders for project proposals or designs.

What are the types of project documentation?

There are various types of project documentation such as graphs, diagrams, policies, project plans, reports, etc. Below are the commonly followed documentation with examples.

Project Charter

A project charter is an official document that gives permission and lays the groundwork for a project. The document defines the goals, extent, interested parties, outputs, limitations, presumptions, and high-level schedule of the project. Throughout the project lifecycle, the project team and stakeholders are guided by the project charter, which acts as a point of reference for the start of the project.

What should be included in project documentation?

To create project charter documentation:

  • Clearly state the name of the project and provide a brief overview of its purpose and objectives.
  • Define the specific goals, outcomes, and project aims to achieve.
  • Identify the individuals, groups, or organizations that have an interest or influence in the project.
  • Lists the products, services, or results that the project will produce or deliver.
  • Provide an overview of the project’s timeline, including major milestones, deadlines, and key phases or stages.
  • Include signatures or approval from key stakeholders indicating their commitment and support for the project.

Project Plan

A project plan, often referred to as a scope of work (SOW), is a detailed document that lists all of the steps, materials, methods, schedules, and deliverables needed to finish a project effectively. It gives a thorough summary of the project’s goals, objectives, and execution plan and acts as a roadmap for carrying it out.

The main elements that are usually included in a project plan or scope of work are broken down as follows:

  • Project Approach: Outlines the methodology, strategies, and techniques that will be used to execute the project.
  • Project Deliverables: Deliverables are clearly defined, measurable, and aligned with project objectives to ensure that they meet stakeholders’ requirements and expectations.
  • Work Breakdown Structure: Break down the project scope into smaller, manageable tasks or activities.
  • Risk Management Plan: It includes risk assessment, risk response planning, and contingency planning to minimize negative impacts on project outcomes.
  • Communication Plan: Defines the channels, frequency, and stakeholders for project communication.
  • Change Management Plan: Describes the process for managing changes to project scope, requirements, schedule, and budget.

Project change management plan

A project’s scope, requirements, timeline, and budget can all be changed. The steps involved in doing so are described in a project change management plan. It guarantees that, in order to reduce disturbances and preserve project success, modifications are assessed, recorded, authorized, and executed in a regulated way.

Project status report

A project status report is an extensive project documentation that gives a summary of a project’s performance, progress, and present state. It acts as a communication tool to keep all parties involved up to date on the project’s accomplishments, difficulties, dangers, and future plans. State schedule, blocked, postponed, dangerous, aborted, or important project choices, actions, tasks, or modifications since the last status report in few words.

How do you organize project documentation?

Organizing project documentation is essential for maintaining clarity, accessibility, and efficiency throughout the project lifecycle.

  • Choose a centralized location or platform to store all the documentation.
  • Develop a logical folder structure to categorize and organize different types of documentation.
  • Adopt consistent naming conventions for files and folders to ensure clarity and consistency.
  • Organize documentation according to the project lifecycle phases, such as initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure.
  • Implement version control mechanisms to track changes and revisions to documentation.
  • Assign appropriate access permissions to documentation based on role and responsibility.
  • Establish processes for regularly updating and reviewing project documentation to ensure accuracy, relevance, and completeness.


In short, project documentation is essential to making sure a project is successful. It keeps everything organized, promotes effective communication, and guarantees that project specifications are met.

Project managers may successfully monitor progress and solve difficulties as they emerge by recording essential information, including project objectives, plans, modifications, and status. Teams may minimize risks, expedite project execution, and accomplish project objectives more effectively with a complete and well-organized collection of project documentation.

Frequently asked questions

Why is project documentation important?
Project documentation is essential for facilitating clear communication, maintaining organization, and ensuring compliance with project requirements. It helps project managers monitor progress, address challenges, and achieve project goals efficiently.
What types of documents are included in the documentation for the project?
Project documentation includes various types of documents such as project charters, project plans, change management plans, status reports, and more. These documents capture key information about the project’s objectives, scope, timeline, resources, risks, and status.
How do you ensure documentation for the project is up-to-date?
To ensure documentation is up-to-date, establish processes for regularly updating and reviewing documents. Assign responsibility for document maintenance, implement version control mechanisms, and conduct regular audits to verify the accuracy and completeness of documentation.
What are the benefits of organizing documentation for the project?
Organizing documentation helps maintain clarity, accessibility, and efficiency throughout the project lifecycle. It ensures that stakeholders can easily access and retrieve relevant information, fosters collaboration among project team members, and minimizes the risk of confusion or errors resulting from outdated or disorganized documentation.
How can documentation for the project be accessed and managed effectively?
Project documentation can be accessed and managed effectively by choosing a centralized location or platform for storage, developing a logical folder structure, adopting consistent naming conventions, implementing version control mechanisms, assigning appropriate access permissions, and establishing processes for regular updates and reviews.