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5.1 Initiation


Initiation is the process of formally recognising that a new project exists or that an existing project should continue into its next phase. This formal initiation links the project to the ongoing work of the performing organization.

Projects may be initiated for various reasons.

5.1.1 Inputs

  1. Product description
  2. Strategic plan
  3. Project selection criteria
  4. Historical information

5.1.2 Tools & Techniques

  1. Project selection methods
  2. Expert judgement

5.1.3 Outputs

  1. Project charter
  2. Project manager identified/assigned
  3. Constraints
  4. Assumptions









Projects are initiated for various reasons

Projects are typically initiated as a result of:

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5.1.1 Initiation - Inputs Product description

The product description documents the characteristics of the product or service that the project was undertaken to create. The product descriptions will generally have less detail in early phases and more detail in later ones. This is also called progressive elaboration.

The product description should:

  1. document the relationship between the product/service and the business need.

  2. be detailed enough to support later project planning.

Where a buyer provides a product description for a project it is also called the statement of work. Strategic plan

All projects should be supportive of the performing organization's strategic goals - the strategic plan of the performing organization should be considered as a factor in project selection decisions. Project selection criteria

Project selection criteria are typically defined in terms of the product of the project and can cover the full range of possible management concerns, eg Historical information

Historical information about both the results of previous project selection decisions and previous project performance should be considered to the extent it is available.

When initiation involves approval for the next phase of a project, information about the results of previous phases is often critical

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5.1.2 Initiation - Tools and Techniques Project selection methods

These may fall into two categories:

These methods are often known as decision models. Decision models include: Expert judgement

Expert judgement will often be required to assess the inputs to the process. Examples are other units, consultants, industry groups.

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5.1.3 Initiation - Outputs Project charter

A project charter is a document that formally recognizes the existence of the project. It should include:

It provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities. Project manager identified

The project manager should always be assigned as early as possible. Constraints

These are factors that will limit the project management team options, for example, a pre-defined budget or the provisions of a contract. Assumptions

Factors that, for planning purposes, will be considered to be true, real or certain.

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