The Initiation phase begins with a formal decision that is based on the pre-study plan. Milestone M-1: Initiated is now reached.
The purpose of the initiation phase is to find out if it is feasible to start a new project. The main task is to complete a pre-study and to get the approval from the business owner and the portfolio management for starting the project.
In the initiation phase, the project steering group does not yet exist since the project is still to be established. The business owner has the responsibilities that are later assigned to the steering group. The person who has been nominated to be in charge of the pre-study will plan and define the pre-study together with the business owner.
In smaller projects, a short one slide plan is enough for initiation. If the pre-study is very large then it is better to do it as a project. In this case, the pre-study has all the phases of a project as well as a steering group.
During the Initiation phase, all deliverables that are required to define the project are created. These include the project charter, business case, executive summary, project summary and a proposal for the business owner and the portfolio management to start the project.
Although we do not yet know if the pre-study will lead to the initiation of the project, there must be clear communication about the objectives, schedule and the key resources to the relevant stakeholders as soon as the work starts.
The outcome of the Initiation phase is the pre-study report, which contains the definition of the solution to be put in place by the time the target state is achieved. Typically, there must be more than one solution alternative (including risks) for decision-making. Once the decision is made, Milestone M0: Authorized is reached.
Steering group / Business owner
Project pre-study plan template: A plan with the schedule, responsibilities, quality assurance and status, all in one slide.
Project charter: Defines the project from the business owner’s point of view. Includes objectives, current state analysis, target
state definition, scope, business case, rough schedule, dependencies and risks.
Project business case & budget template: Defines the business benefits that the project will deliver and the costs to implement the change plus on going costs
Executive summary template: One page summary of the project charter.
Risk log template: For identification and management of the project risks.
Risk management matrix template: Presentation of the risks for the steering group’s decision-making.
Lessons learned template: A log for identification of lessons learned.
Communication plan template: A plan for communication with targets and channels, materials, responsibilities and schedule for the communication activities.
Stakeholder list template: List of all stakeholders by roles and names including everybody affected by the project or needed to support the project.
Project pre-study report template: Outcome of the pre-study including the current state analysis, definition of the alternative target states and solutions, schedule, costs and benefits and the proposal for the start of the project.