Initiating Your Project - First Steps

Updated: Apr 10


So you know why your project exists and you have found who your stakeholders are. You are now ready to initiate your project. (Useful definitions)

The project initiation phase consists of: < Ensuring you have the authorization to begin

< Setting overall Project Objectives

< Establishing an initial Scope of Work

< Determining Key Performance Indicators

< Securing initial project funding

< Listing the Project Phases

< Doing initial planning

There is a good chance some of this work has been done before the project was assigned to you. Nevertheless, it is important for your understanding of the project and understanding of the project environment, to have Initiating Documents filled out, even if you have to fill them out yourself. And if you do have to fill them out yourself, be sure to get a sign-off from your boss or your sponsor as agreement of your understanding.

For your benefit, the exercise of filling out and reading documents is a very useful way to get familiar with the project and environment.

Here then is the list of Initiating Documents, you should have:


INITIATING DOCUMENTS:

You should have these documents in your project file and refer to them as you initiate your project:

a) Business Case, containing business need, and cost/benefit or other justification

b) Statement of Work

c) Project Charter. This is your authorization to begin.

d) Stakeholder Register.

Click the underlined words to see an example of each document.

About the PROJECT CHARTER

Project Charter: a document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project, and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.

Just like we need rights and responsibilities written down to live together in society, so we need a Project Charter to work together in a Project organization.

The Project Charter will ensure the vision of the project is maintained throughout its life-cycle. It becomes a point of reference. The Project Charter should include:

> Project Title

> Project objective

> Project Goal

> Excluded work, that is not in the Scope

> Project Sponsor

> Project Manager

> Background, present situation

> Assumptions and Constraints

> Success factors, Key Performance Indicators

> Key Stakeholders identified

> Responsibilities of Project Manager

> Rights and Authorities of Project Manager

> Reporting Relationships

> Assignments

> Necessary Resources

> Special Considerations

Not all of this information is available at the Initiating phase of your project. The Project Charter is updated as the Project progresses.

The Project Charter is signed off by the involved Functional Managers who agree to relinquish their Resources and authority to the Project Manager for the life of the project.

The Project Charter is read, and understood, by each member of the Project Team. Whether written or not, the understanding and agreement of a Project Charter must exist for your project to be successful.

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