Project Initiation

PMKI Index
the PMKI
Location:  PMKI > PMBoK Knowledge Areas > Project Initiation. 
The PMKI Library
This subject covers the work undertaken to develop the concept of a project or program to the point where it can be formally initiated and the project, or program charter approved.

Topics included in Project Initiation:

- Initiation Overview
- Opportunity Identification
- Project or Program Initiation

Other related sections of the PMKI:

- Portfolio Management
- Project Governance

Initiation Overview

The purpose of initiation is to define as accurately as possible what the project has to deliver, knowing this is a critical step towards a successful outcome! It goes without saying the what should be aligned with and contribute to the strategic objectives of the organization (for more on this see Aligning Projects, Programs and Strategy). This aspect of governance is closely aligned with portfolio management  and is assisted by an effective project or program classification system.

The two key questions that need to be answered before initiating a project are can we do it? and should we do it?. If there is any doubt about the first question a feasibility study is required, the question should we do it is answered by the Business Case.

Opportunity Identification

Project/Program identification including: Innovation, Requirements gathering, Strategic alignment, Front End Loading, Viability, and Feasibility.

WP: Feasibility Studies. A Feasibility Study asks the question ‘can we do this?’ it should be a precursor to finalizing the business case which addresses the question should we do this?.

WP: Project Definition. Defining the project's objectives to ensure it creates the 'right' deliverables based on the client's requirements.

Blg: When does a project start and end? Looks at the issues around defining the point in time a project starts and more importantly, the point in time a project manager's responsibilities end.  

PP: The Project Start-Up Conundrum. The conundrum is: That at the time when the project team can exert the greatest influence on a projects overall success (for the lowest cost), the team itself is at its least effective!!!

WP: Project Size and Categorization. Each project is uniquely different a classification system helps group projects by type, size and difficulty.

Programs, including defining size and classification are covered in the Program Management section of this website.

Requirements gathering is covered in the Scope Management section of this website.


Project or Program Initiation

Documentation to initiate a project or program including: the Business Case and the Project/Program Charter.

WP: Developing a Business Case. The Business Case is one of the most critical steps in the Project Life Cycle; it defines the overall value proposition for undertaking the project. The business case should define the value the project will create if successful, to justify its cost.

WP: Defining the Project Charter. The charter defines the project vision and objectives and summarizes the overall project strategy, scope, organization and implementation.This includes defining the project boundaries and authority levels delegated to the project managers.

Project Charter Template. Used in our PMP and CAPM courses can be viewed and purchased from our web shop.

The relationship between outputs, outcomes, benefits and value and the role of the project or program in facilitating this are covered in the Value and Benefits Realization section of this website.


Self-paced PMP Training

Self-paced CAPM Training