- External objects: Underlying information about project scope and project stakeholder’s expectations
Within the framework of the Initiation Process the feasibility of a project is analyzed, strictly before any significant effort goes into planning or executing the project.
1. Collecting of information – also from the pre-project phase, when it’s available
The aim of this step is to establish a reliable basis of information, for all subsequent activities. Information about predefined project constraints (time limit, budget, scope…) should be analyzed likewise.
2. Formulating and validating the project description
To achieve clear project results, a project description is necessary. For this it is important to formulate statements describing why the project is required.
3. Categorizing the project
The project category is determined using a tool. On this basis the general framework, as well as the scope and course of the project management (i.e. minimum requirements), is determined.
4. Generating the project charter
The project charter ensures that all stakeholders gain insight into the project. For this, the project outcomes and expectations are documented and the project costs are roughly determined. The costs should be roughly determined according to the predefined project scope, the timeline and estimations about required resources.
5. Submitting the project charter
The project charter forms the initial planning document which is valid once approved by all key stakeholders. Also, the project charter serves as input document for the project plan and is subsequently replaced by the project plan.
6. Executing quality gate initiation
By executing quality gate initiation it is ensured that all information included in the project charter is reviewed in terms of completeness, consistency and contribution to the overall understanding of the project. The information included in the project charter also needs to provide an understanding of the project complexities/challenges before moving on to the next steps.
Project initiation describes a process to orderly propose and to initially analyze, validate, plan, review and approve/reject a project subsequently. The initiation process thus is aiming at only starting projects that are needed and aligned to the overall corporate strategy. Also the initiation process verifies if the project is realistically planned, if there are sufficient resources allocated to the project and if the project is committed to by participating organizations. Orderly carrying out the initiation process will increase the probability of the successful completion of a project.
Make sure that the project charter includes all necessary information (objectives, prime benefits, project procedure etc.)
Including the project team and the steering committee in scoping and planning, validates assumptions, creates a sense of security and establishes a common understanding.
Prototypes, models and simulations make scope and project objectives tangible and have a big impact on the success of the project.
The project charter is the basis for the work breakdown structure. You should therefore be careful to include a clear and intelligible definition of the deliverables.
You should document assumptions and dependencies as well as relevant topics that are outside of the project scope.