Project Initiation Phase

The Project Initiation Phase is the first Project Phase and is usually represented by the conceptualization of the project. The purpose of this phase is to specify what the project should accompalish.

The basic processes of the Project Initiation Phase are:

  • Creation of a Product / Project Description Document. This is an informal, high-level statement describing the characteristics of the product / project / process to be created.
  • Development of Project Feasibility Document. This identifies project constraints, alternatives and related assumptions applied to the end product to be developed. Project feasibility is characterized by four basic components:
    • Business Problem Description.
    • Approach Overview to be used to develop.
    • Potential Solutions of the problem.
    • Preliminary Recommendations.
  • Development of Project Concept Document. It determines What is to be done? How will it be done? and Why is it to be done? Thus determining the business value achieved after project completion.
  • Creation of Project Charter. Project Charter formally communicates the initiation of the project. It consists of Project Scope, Project Authority and Critical Success Factors.

During this phase, Project Team is responsible for the following activities:

  • Conducting Interviews and yellow pad sessions with customers and stakeholders.
  • Conduct research and brainstorming sessions for generating more necessary information.
  • Preparation of Project Feasibility Document, Project Concept Statement and Project Charter.
  • Preparation of other ancilliary documents as defined in the organization standards.

Some common barriers and problems are faced by Project Managers during the Intiation Phase which hamper the project to get started. Let us have a summarised look at some of the common problems:

  • Project Team Frustration builds up as the project does not seem to get started.
  • There is a Lack of Committment from the Management and Key Stakeholders.
  • Customer Indecision may arise due to non-visibility of the end product by the customer.
  • Locating the right people can be difficult while assembling the Project Initiation Team.
  • Lack of consensus on Project Objectives can kill the project before it starts.

Other resources

  • The benefits of a kick-off meeting
    Once a project team is built, an excellent way to make sure milestones and goals are efficiently accomplished is by fostering good communication among project team members on a continuous basis. Team meetings are, indeed, a crucial communication method when working with teams. The first project team meeting, also known as the project ‘kick-off meeting’, is of extreme importance because it is the time when the project goals and expectations are clarified, roles are defined, and team members can meet one another. A vital part of any project, this first meeting is normally held right after the project has been awarded, and often even before base lining the project plan.
    Read more: Kick-off meeting
  • Top ten time management skills
    The secret to managing time successfully is being able to manage yourself, although we often think we don't waste a minute of our time in reality this is far from true and there are many ways which we can manage ourselves more efficiently which ultimately leads to more successful time management.
    Read more: Time management skills
 
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