The term document refers to the specific item which serves the purpose of providing a lasting and enduring record onto which all specific information regarding a project and any and all components of the project are recorded. The purpose of these documents is to provide a permanent record of all of these happenings in regards to the project, and the ultimate goal and role of these documents is to provide a legitimate medium upon which any person or machine can read the information and be provided with an update as to the status of the project. Examples of the types of information that may ultimately be recorded in a written format on a document include items such as project management plans, project specifications, project procedures, as well us user and/or instructional manuals for the purpose of helping to provide insight as to individual components of the project. In some cases, a buyer may require formal documentation of all project activities before signing off on a deliverable.
This term is defined in the 3rd edition of the PMBOK but not in the 4th.