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Document Analysis and its brief description | PMBOK® Guide

Document Analysis

Document analysis is a form of qualitative research in which documents are interpreted by the Project Management team and Project team members to gather information and supporting details for an assessment topic

For example, during risk identification process, various documents will be reviewed to look for uncertainties and unrealistic constraints and translate them in the form of risks. Other attributes like source of the risk, consequences will be further gathered to

Within Project management body of knowledge Document Analysis is used technique in the following processes

  • Close Project or Phase
  • Collect Requirements
  • Manage Quality
  • Identify Risks
  • Identify Stakeholders




Collect Requirements

Project Scope Management


Manage Quality

Project Quality Management


Identify Risks

Project Risk Management


Identify Stakeholders

Project Stakeholders Management


Close Project or Phase

Project Integration Management


The context and assessment topic will vary across various processes.

Collect Requirements

Document analysis consists of reviewing and assessing any relevant documented information. In this process, document analysis is used to elicit requirements by analyzing existing documentation and identifying information relevant to the requirements. There is a wide range of documents that may be analyzed to help elicit relevant requirements. Examples of documents that may be analyzed include but not limited to :

  • Agreements;
  • Business plans;
  • Business process or interface documentation;
  • Business rules repositories;
  • Current process flows;
  • Marketing literature;
  • Problem/issue logs;
  • Policies and procedures;
  • Regulatory documentation such as laws, codes, or ordinances etc.;
  • Request for proposal; and
  • Use cases.

Manage Quality

The analysis of different documents produced as part of the output of project control processes, such as quality reports, test reports, performance reports, and variance analysis, can point to and focus on processes that may be out of control and may jeopardize meeting the specified requirements or stakeholders’ expectations

Identify Risks

Risks may be identified from a structured review of project documents, including, but not limited to, plans, assumptions, constraints, previous project files, contracts, agreements, and technical documentation. Uncertainty or ambiguity in project documents, as well as inconsistencies within a document or between different documents, may be indicators of risk on the project.

Identify Stakeholders

Assessing the available project documentation and lessons learned from previous projects will help to identify stakeholders and other supporting information. The documents may include

  • Request for Quotation/ Proposal
  • Proposal
  • Contract
  • Business case
  • Project Charter
  • Requirements documentation
  • Risk Register
  • RACI Matrix

These documents could be from the current project or similar projects executed in the past

Close Project or Phase

Assessing available documentation will allow identifying lessons learned and knowledge sharing for future projects and organizational assets improvement.



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