Project Documentation Naming Conventions and Repository Guideline
The purpose of the Project Documentation Naming Conventions and Repository Guideline is to establish project documentation naming standards and structure for project documentation repositories. This guideline is intended to help the project manager organize the project notebook by providing a simple set of rules for creating and storing project documentation, and illustrates the application of these rules to a sample project.
Two important components of any Project Management Repository (PMR) are a standard project repository structure and standard project naming conventions. Other important components of a PMR include the physical repository (file store or database), as well as, the processes related to creating, managing, and archiving the project management documentation.
A project documentation repository supported by an established project repository structure (taxonomy) provides an area for creating, managing, and archiving project management data and documents for a specific project. It enables the project team to work together in an efficient manner, and supports re-use of data and documents in executing project management practices on future projects.
Project naming conventions include a standard format for the name and unique identification of each project, and standard identification for each project deliverable. The naming conventions also include version control attributes for both project management and software development (engineering) documentation.
Project naming conventions and a project repository structure provide a number of benefits that are important for improving project management practices. Specifically, they enhance:
Projects are classified as Class A, Class B, or Class C using the Project Classification Criteria template. The project classification criteria are:
Impact on Citizens, Operations, and Agencies
Impact of Not Completing the Project
Maturity of Technology
Agency Project Management Capability
A complete explanation of project classification can be found in the PM Guide, PM Handbook, SD Handbook, or Project Classification Criteria template.
Class A and Class B Projects – Project Repository Structure
For Class A and Class B projects, the project manager and team use the Software Development Project Handbook or the PM Handbook as a reference for executing each project. For the Class A and Class B projects, the project team creates and manages a significant number of project deliverables to maintain adequate control of the project. For these projects, the project manager should consider establishing a project repository that is aligned with the methodologies and required deliverables. Table 2 provides an overview of a recommended project repository structure for Class A and Class B projects. The project repository structure includes a reference Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) ID that is matched to schedule and cost information, folder name, and associated project documents/deliverables.
Table 2. Project Repository Structure – Class A and B Projects
The project manager should use the information contained in the above table to create a project folder for each project. The project manager should create a project folder on a shared drive and/or as a shared folder to establish a project repository for the project team. Other options may include web site or version control type software. The following is an example of a shared folder that may be created for a project.
Class A and B Project Documentation – Taxonomy The project manager should consider creating sub-folders within the main project folder that correspond to the WBS structure. Project documents associated with each WBS item would be managed and stored within the corresponding sub-folder. For example, all test documents regardless of when they are initiated in the project life cycle, would be managed in the folder designated as 1.5 Testing.
To further organize and manage software development and project management deliverables for each project, the project manager should consider sub-dividing the folder designated as 1.8 PM – SD (Project Management and Software Development practices) into a number of sub-folders. The following chart provides a suggested structure for the sub-folders. The project manager and project team may then use the sub-folders for organizing and managing the deliverables identified by WBS 1.81 – 1.89 listed in Table 1.
Project Management - Software Development Practices Taxonomy
Class C Projects – Project Repository Structure
For Class C Projects the project manager and project team typically manage project activities less formally, requiring a smaller number of project deliverables and less structure in the project repository. It is important to note however, that although Class C projects are smaller or less critical, the project manager should still manage the project using the principles and practices outlined in the PM Guide and handbooks. For these smaller projects, a checklist has been provided which summarizes the important activities and deliverables that are required of the project manager and team.
Table 3 provides an overview of a recommended project repository structure for Class C projects and includes a folder name and the types of associated project documents/deliverables.
Table 3. Project Repository Structure – Class C Projects
Folder or Sub-Folder Name
Main folder containing project information. Project’s name appears on folder.
Sub-folder containing information used in project planning.
Sub-folder that contains requirements, design, and development information.
Sub-folder that contains testing, documentation and training, deployment, and support information.
Documentation and Training Plans
Release Readiness Review
Project Management-Software Development (PMSD)
Sub-folder that contains information required to manage and control the project.
The project manager should use the information contained in the above table to create a project folder for each Class C project. The project manager should create a project folder on a shared drive and/or as a shared folder to establish a project repository for the project team. The following is an example of a shared folder that may be created for Class C projects.
Class C Project Repository Taxonomy Project Naming Conventions
The organization has adopted a set of standard naming conventions for projects and associated project deliverables. The project manager should consider adopting these standards for each project, which will help in organizing project information; facilitate the sharing of information between projects and aid in searching and retrieving historical information.
The naming convention for project deliverables includes the document designation, abbreviated project name, preparation date of the document for version control, and the standard (3- letter text) extension associated with the software program used to create the document. The following illustrates the standard naming convention for a Software Requirements Specification, created as a Microsoft Word Document, for the SCORE project on October 21, 2001.
The original template for the (above) illustrated project document was Temp_SRS or Blank_SRS (if a blank template was used). To create the project document designation, the project manager or team member should modify the original template as follows:
Delete the “Temp” designation and the first underscore ( _ ) associated with each template.
Insert an underscore ( _ ) and the project abbreviation after the document identification.
Insert an underscore ( _ ) and the date (in mmddyyyy format) the document was created following the project abbreviation.
For further elaboration, the appendix of this document provides a list of all the potential project documents. This table includes the initial template name designation, project naming convention, and an example illustrating how the naming convention should be applied to a project.
A standard project repository and project naming conventions help the project manager and project team to organize and share information efficiently. Additionally, standardization of a project repository structure and project naming conventions will help organizations establish an effective PMR, archive project information, and use this information as input or a starting point for future project documents.
References and Related Guideline
Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK 2000 Edition)
Project Integration Management
Appendix - Naming Conventions and Examples
Project Documentation/ Deliverable
Template Name (These are the document names that will be found on the web site if the user attempts to download a template with instructions, blank template, or example template.)
Project Documentation Example (This is the naming scheme that a user should use when naming a template that will be stored in their project repository)