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Topics: Information Technology
What are the irreducible minimum project artifacts?
What would you say the absolute core, irreducible minimum project artifacts needed for project success on an IT (hw or sw) development project? I mean PMLC, not SDLC (aka,not counting rqmts since that varies based on planned vs agile).

I came up with
- Business Case
- Budget
- Project Charter
- Project Plan
- Issue Log
- Risk Log
- Change Request
- Communications Plan

I know there are many more any given organization could choose to use, what i'm trying to list are those that are not optional.
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That's a good list of the core documents. The sad thing is, I've run projects that were missing one or more of those docs, except project plan and risk log. Some organizations do not want time spent on things like the charter or comms plan, other orgs get started without business cases or budgets. I push for the development of all of the docs you listed, but the customer makes the final decision.
Vivek -

It all depends on the complexity and scale of a project. Small, straightforward non-discretionary projects might get by with a charter and not require a formal business case.

I've also seen the Comms Plan as a section of a PM Plan rather than a separate artifact...

I prefer to consolidate Risks/Actions/Issues & Decisions into a RAID log (or even add Assumptions and make it a RAAID log)...

Kiron
Is about your organization needs to deal with the only thing that must drive a project: risk.
Agreed, i've also been on several engagements without one or more of these. They stumbled and delayed until we had them setup.

Also, agreed Kiron that they can be merged into fewer documents, but each section needs to be clear.
Nature of industry, project requirement and the maturity of the company can play major role
I would say the business plan is not always needed, and like Kiron suggested, it depends on the project's size and complexity. Some areas wont need detailed plans.
Good list, and agree it depends on the environment what you focus on.

From my experience, there are often no business case or plan, no risk log (register), and the term 'project plan' is interpreted differently, so I like calling it project management plan. Budget is also vague, is it the budget limit as called out in the charter or the committed budget baseline spread over the project duration?

I miss the org chart, the schedule baseline, the status report, the meeting minutes.
Personally, I recommend the stakeholder register incl. analysis and engagment plan, if these are not separate.
Timesheets. I would challenge if there is a project without a way to charge back effort :)
The one document I absolutely can't do without on projects of any size is a project schedule. Depending on various factors (project size, project complexity, etc.) I can get away with omitting the other documentation, but without a project schedule I'd be in trouble.
Agree with Kiron
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