The process Initiating a Project (IP) is there to lay the foundations for the above principles.
It will follow Starting up a Project (SU).
It is triggered by Authorising Initiation (DP1), leads to 'Authorising a Project (DP2)' and invokes the Planning (PL) process to create the Project Plan and the Managing Stage Boundaries (SB) process to create the Stage Plan.
Initiation should always be the first stage in any PRINCE2® project.
The purpose of Initiating a Project is to draw up a ‘contract’ between the Project Board and the Project Manager.
The ‘contract’ is in the form of the Project Initiation Document.
There should be a common understanding of:
The Project Manager must always document the above understanding, no matter how small the project and no matter how informally this is carried out with the Project Board.
The document should be signed by the Project Board even this if this is only one person.
Formally the objectives of the Initiating a Project process are:
The amount of work here may be reduced if the project is part of a programme.
It is possible that the Project Initiation Document may already be completed and only the Stage Plan and initial versions of the appropriate logs and files may need to be created.
However, the Project Manager still has the responsibility to make sure that the products provided by the programme are current and complete.
For small projects this process may be satisfied by documenting answers to the questions identified in the key criteria of Preparing the Project Brief, together with the Project Plan and the next Stage Plan (which may be the same plan for a small project).
It is possible that the Project Manager has agreed with the Project Board to combine the two processes of Starting up a Project (SU) and Initiating a Project (IP).
If this is the case, the sub-process of Authorising Initiation (DP1) may be replaced with an informal agreement between the Project Manager and the Project Board.
This process brings increased levels of information which may require repetition as feedback is sought from the Project Board.
If the project is well defined and planned at the start initiation can be very rapid.
The Communication Plan (as part of the Project Initiation Document) should clearly identify the reporting structure with any programme management.
Before presenting any Project Initiation Document to the board get feedback form any stakeholders that are not Project Board members.
Refer to previous Lessons Learned Reports for any guidance, advice and information.