There must be a basic business requirement that triggers the project. The question should be asked: ‘Do we have a viable and worthwhile project?’ No resources should be committed until this can be answered.
Responsibilities must be defined and key roles have been filled. Someone has to begin the project and make the first decisions.
Certain base information is needed to make rational decisions about commissioning of the project.
An initiation Stage Plan must be submitted for approval before the initiation stage can be entered.
Each part of a process is covered by standard headings as necessary:
This is the first process in PRINCE2®.
Once complete the Project Board can approve the start of project initiation.
In terms of a process it leads to Authorising Initiation (DPI).
The trigger for the project is the Project Mandate.
This will range from a verbal request to a complete Project Brief and will normally be provided by corporate and programme management.
The process expects the existence of information explaining the reason for the project and the outcome expected.
Starting up a Project should be relatively short in duration.
This process involves the production of 7 elements:
The objective is to enable a controlled start to the project by ensuring:
The project must satisfy an ‘opportunity’ or ‘definition of a problem’ that arrives from an external source.
Any information that arrives that triggers the project will be the Project Mandate and could be anything from a ‘feasibility study’ or simple notes.
The nearer this information is to that outlined in the Product Description the easier the process will be.
The Product Description is given in the file ‘Project mandate.doc’ in the product package.
Information concerning the Project Approach (for making the project end products) will prove useful in this process for creating the initial Stage Plan and the Project Plan.
When the project is part of a programme this process could be a lot shorter as they would provide a Project Brief, Project Approach and appoint some, if not all, of the Project Board members.
This process can be approached in 3 ways:
The Executive and the Project Manager must be appointed prior to the start of initiation, so that input for initiation can be prepared and appropriate decisions made.
Appointment of other members of the project management team may have to be delayed.
The Lessons Learned Report form previous projects should be referenced to inform the set-up of the current project.
The Project Approach may not be apparent. In this case a feasibility study may be necessary, the results of which will form could then form a Project Mandate for the main project.