Looking for some way to start a project and confused about taking the first step, a project initiation document is the best option to rely on. A good project initiation document can give a solid start to a project. It measures the success of the project. Project initiation documents can be called as the outline of the project. It covers the initial details like scope, objectives, key deliverables, team members and stakeholders. It is always good to have all these things sorted when you are starting a project.

Importance if project initiation document stays same for both the small and large project. The importance does not depend upon the size of the project. A project initiation document helps the team to figure out all the happenings of the project which will create a better vision of the project. The project initiation document can also be treated as the backbone of the project. The more clarity it has the easier it will be for the team to get the grip of the project.

Steps to create project initiation document:

A project manager is responsible to set up an initiation document efficiently. A project manager is not only responsible to bring the project to the completion phase but to manage it well by keeping the team aligned and involved throughout the project. Project initiation document is a step towards the successful completion of the project. Here are a few steps that you can follow to write your personalized project initiation document.

  1. Project Definition or statement:

To know the context is the foremost thing to initiate a project. You need to have a clear idea about the reason why you need to start a project. It will further lead to many questions and concerns which will open up the whole idea of the project. Define the success criteria, plan, scope, strategies involved throughout the project. Make a project outline by explaining the goals, objectives and the mission statement of the project.

  1. Project parameters:

You need to gather a competent team that can lead the project towards success. Project initiation document works on finding the right team. Know your resources, budget, timeline, vision and the target of the project. It will keep the team focused and aligned towards the needs of the project.

  1. Specifics of the project:

When you talk about the specifics it means the deliverables that will conclude the project successful or not. Knowing the needs is extremely important; it will design the tone of the project. This step also highlights the possible constraints and the expectations of the project.

  1. Work Breakdown Structure:

Keeping the deliverables and goals in mind, set up a realistic work breakdown structure. Assign the tasks as per the skills of each team member. State the start and end date of each task. The better the planning the better the execution. The work breakdown structure provides a better understanding of the project. Plan the resources according to the work breakdown structure.

  1. Define Roles and Responsibilities:

A project manager is well aware of the strengths of each team member working on a project. Assign the roles and responsibilities for each team member. Making a team leads to which everyone else is accountable.

  1. Identify risks & barriers:

To get the project on the right track and finish it according to timeline, you have to figure out the risks you can face. By knowing the risks beforehand you can carefully plan the way out of those barriers to keep the project running smoothly.

 Project Initiation Phase:

Project initiation is the primary step of project management. In this phase the root of the project is laid and the need of the project is figured out in a professional manner. This phase helps you to make decisions in the further phases of the project. Multiple things of the project are sorted out in this particular phase. Effective project planning is required to make the most out of this phase.  By carefully planning and managing this phase you can make a project profitable. The initial plan of the project is made by following these steps;

Business Case:

This document has great importance in project initiation and management.Basically aligns the needs of the project with its extensive plan. It documents the technical, financial and HR matters of the project to keep everything on a single page. It highlights the business aspects of the project. Doing so will help you get attention from the investors. Marketing team is likely to make a better business along with the help of the project manager. A good marketing plan requires extensive research about the market trends. This will help you to lay a strong foundation of the project.

Feasibility report:

As soon as the business case is approved, now you need to figure out the possible ways to make the project successful. The feasibility report will give in depth analysis of the constraints and assumptions likely to happen during the project. One major constraint is cost and most of the projects suffer setbacks just because of it. Marketing manager are the ones responsible to deal with these matters. They take care of investments and expenses and keep regularity between the both.

Project Charter:

The most comprehensive yet important part of the project initiation is writing a project charter document. This is expected to be the first document in any project management. It carries all major and minor details like; scope, purpose, objectives, business plan, goals, deliverables, team and stakeholders of the project. Project charter or project initiation document is more or less same and can be used alternatively. The main purpose is to build a framework or outline of the project. On this point of the project KPIs are defined to measure the success of the project.

Setup a Stakeholder Register:

Good communication and coordination matter a lot for the success of the project as well as to gather stakeholders. A well written project initiation document along with good negotiation will likely to get influential and impactful stakeholders. Stakeholders can either be internal or external but they play a major role in the success of the project. The project manager ensures the communication with the stakeholder and takes the input of stakeholders for better decision making. Stakeholder register records the involvement of the stakeholder. Communication mode, terms and frequency is also a part of it.

Setup project team and office:

Team is the asset of the project. Office space and environment play a great role in the progress of the project. A good working environment will bring out better results. Find the best team as per the requirement of the project. Assign them roles according to their skills and work capacity. The team needs to have very good communication to keep the project running smoothly on the right track. Pen down everything like a report so that no miscommunication as the project progresses.

Final review:

It is good to review everything before progressing to the next step. It will eliminate possible errors and keep you informed about the status of the project. Monitoring and controlling are major components of the project management life cycle.

Related Articles: Communication Management Plan

What is Project Initiation Documentation?

To get the rest of the planning of the project on the track, it is always important to start well. For the purpose project initiation documentation is done to align the stuff in the project. All the things are put together in a single document to ease the management plan. This document is self-explanatory and portrays the project’s plan. All the guidelines are identified in the initiation phase of the project. Good communication can improve your initiation document. Initiation document clearly defines the scope of the project; give a supporting justification to initiate a project, assign roles and responsibilities, and form the best suitable strategy from the start. Project Initiation Document is dependent on the organization conducting a project.

Most of the particulars are filed by the help of marketing and project managers. They are the ones responsible for effective documentation. It can also be called a stage based plan and treated as a baseline document. It also deals with the ongoing issues of the project to keep the progress under check. There are several templates available to help you out. Also you can construct your personalized project initiation document according to your criteria and plan. There is a variety of project initiation documentation each with its distinct features. Quality is extremely important for initiation documentation as it will represent your project.

To get the control of the project, you need to have a solid initiation document which requires extensive planning and effort. Always keep the record of such formal documents. You might see plan changes as the project progresses but it will always work as a roadmap of your project.

Why are projects initiated?

Projects are initiated by due multiple reasons but one main reason to initiate a project is the market demand. It is always a wise move to put a business idea that is highly in demand. It will gain quick response from the investing parties. To meet the social requirements several new projects are initiated to align with the needs of the masses. Apart from social needs, it is important to satisfy the stakeholder’s request. This can change the whole perspective of the project. The world of technology is evolving super-fast, and just to check new technologies certain projects are initiated and brought into existence. Such projects can favor the investors a lot by just being low cost due to advanced technologies.

With the growing population, the demands for even the basic needs have grown immensely. To meet the demands production is increased and multiple organizations start working on the production of the same product of various qualities. At times, customers put forward their requirements to the organization and ask them to work on them to fulfill their needs. Such customized projects have different business needs. It also helps you to gain customer satisfaction higher. Customers really enjoy it if they feel they are being heard. Industry has some legal requirements; in such cases ideas for projects are brought under consideration. With the help of technological advancement projects are initiated.

Project Initiation Template:

Project initiation is the backbone of any project and requires utmost attention and time. The process of project initiation is lengthy but worth it. It will help the project on the right track by carefully managing and planning everything on the project. Some steps or part of project initiation document template are mentioned below;

Program Business Case:

Most business cases are written way before the start of the project. It clears out why you need to undertake a project, the preparation of a business case is quite sensitive and needs a lot of effort. The organization is critical when going through such a phase. The detailed feasibility plan is put forward in the form of a business case. It has all the strategic plan of the project along with the goals, objectives and reasons to start a project. It also works as a trigger for the stakeholders and investors.

Business case also helps to figure out final matters and plan for the project. It explains the long term goals of the project. Business case is important as it justifies the investment plan by carefully analyzing the expense of the project. It forms the list of benefits to initiate a project. As the project progresses, you might experience changes in the plan and the business case monitor such changes and keep the things of the project aligned.

A business case template carries the project title, project manager, sponsor, starting date, ending date, date of approval, contribution to business strategy, benefits, timeline, cost, expected investments and the possible risks that are likely to happen during the progress of the project.

Related Topic: Resource Management Plan

Program Management Plan:

A project management plan is a formal document that manages the project and leads the plan towards execution. The project management plan has all the details of the project which is an asset of the project. The document is written in such a way that it carries information nearly about everything in the project. A project manager is the one responsible to set up a project plan. The steps which will help you to write a project management plan are;

  • Identification of goals of a project
  • Scope
  • A roadmap of the project’s plan
  • Get the input of the team on project’s plan
  • Make a final plan that you want to work on
  • Gantt chart can be used to organize stuff
  • Distribution of project’s plan
  • Evaluation of project’s plan

The main components of the template are project title, issue date, final date, date of approval, signature of the project manager and stakeholder, phases of the project, key activities in each phase, deliverables, reviews about each phase, entry and exit criteria, developmental approaches, scope, timeline, total cost, quality parameters, resources, communication mode, risks, procurement and list of stakeholders.

Read More: Program Management Plan

Project Charter Template:

Project charter is the final document on the statement of work. Through these documents the project manager gets the authority to spend the budget as per the requirement of the plan. Project charter document can also be interchanged with project initiation document, both of them acts as a basic pillar of the project management lifecycle. The project charter is mainly the carrier problem statement, business case with its benefits, goal statement, scope of the project (in scope, out of scope) also the team members working on a project are part of project charter details. The templates might have different arrangement for these details but more or less main idea remains same.

Feasibility Report:

A feasibility report creates a path for a project to gain attention and persuade the decision makers. The stakeholders or investors have multiple projects in the pipeline, you need to make a realistic yet eye catching feasibility report to attract the client.  Feasibility report also goes through your resources and tasks that will lead to the success of the project. The report carries solutions to the potential risks or barriers of the project. Some main components of a feasibility report are; Summary or introduction, background of the project, outline, objectives, work breakdown, cost, conclusion and recommendations.

Project Portfolio Management:

This tool is used for executive management to meet the demands and goals of the organization. The project portfolio management helps in decision making by managing one or more portfolios at a time. It is constantly working on the efficiency of the project. It works for the evaluation of the project. Project portfolio management is a good tool to deal with multiple projects just because it brings everything that requires management on a single page which makes the adjustment easier. There are various templates available both paid and free, project manager is the person responsible to select one template to work on.

Stakeholder Vision Analysis:

Stakeholder vision analysis is one main component of project management. The purpose is to establish the purpose, vision, and mission also, identify the stakeholder and his/ her involvement. With the help of it you can work on strategies for organizational development. Stakeholder vision analysis helps us learn about the vision of the stakeholder. The process starts to define the mission which will directly help you read their vision.

Project Interfaces Worksheet:

The project interfaces worksheet defines the technical, organizational and interpersonal characteristics of the project. It also deals with the internal and external matters of the project and works a bridge to create a smooth transition where ever required.

Work Order Request Form:

Work order request form prioritizes the tasks that are to be done immediately depending upon their importance. It also helps you to notify the departments from which you are requiring certain work. It provides you a chance to deal with the operations of the project easily. The work order request for carries company name and data, request name, contact details, priority level, owner of that task, due dates of the task, description of the task, description of the work done so far in the project, explanation of the work not completed yet, date of the work completion and the person who has done approval are the part of project order request form.

Download: Project Portfolio Dashboard Template

Project Dependence Template:

Project dependency template will schedule, track and visualize various aspects of each task of the project by breaking them into easily manageable states. It also identifies the potential barriers that can lead a project to delays. In a project nothing is running independently, the status of task is related to the other one and requires extreme management and evaluation to make sure that everything is running in the right direction.

Product Launch Checklist:

It is a list of actions that you need to complete a project. It takes you to the steps and process that will ultimately add value to the progress of the project. Product launch checklist helps you to stay prepared for the unforeseen situation of the project. Keeps you updated about everything on a project, better teamwork, makes the project activities manageable and also gives you better work organization.

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