Initiating Process Group
Essentially, the initiating processes formally start a new project or project phase by incorporating all the needs of the organization into the project charter and preliminary project scope statement.
The initiating processes can begin with the project in varying states. Sometimes feasibility studies have been completed, and sometimes not. Sometimes the projects are selected from a list of possible projects before project initiation, and sometimes this is done within the initiating process group. In any case, the project charter and the preliminary project scope statement are the major outputs of this process group.
Inputs to the Initiating Process Group You do not have to memorize inputs.
If you know what the initiating processes are, watch how easy the inputs are to guess.
- Business need
- Product description or product scope description describes the product requirements as they are known
up to this point. In other words, what is the project being asked to do?
- How the project fits into or supports the company’s strategic plan
- Who are likely to be stakeholders
- Contracts, if the work is done under a contract
- Industry standards
- Company change process
- How the company does business; defined processes and procedures
- Past relationships with the sponsor of the project, likely stakeholders and team
- Templates from past projects
- Historical WBSs
- Historical estimates
- What is going on in the company today? What are the major projects? What might their impact be
on this project?
- The company’s future
- The company’s culture
- People who may be good team members
How many of the items on this list were also on yours? I think you had a lot of them. Now let’s move further and consider what should be done during the initiating processes, by completing the next exercise.
As you check your answers with the following list, remember, what needs to be done depends on the specific project and the industry. Make sure you understand the following as being done during the initiating process group.
You may notice that many of the items in the previous table (e.g., estimates, assumptions, constraints, product scope, etc.) are begun in the initiating process group and refined later in the project management process. Here are some other items needing further clarification.
Project Manager Assigned You should notice in the previous exercise that the project manager is assigned early in the process. This means that the project manager is involved in the project initiating processes. Are you? Assume you are involved and make sure you understand what is going on during the initiating processes.
Business Need Do you know why your project was started? Does it matter? The reason the project was started will be taken into account throughout the project. It will influence how the project is planned, what changes are allowed, and the design of the scope of the project. Projects are initiated for many reasons. You need to know your reasons.
High-Level Planning Is Done During the Initiating Processes The other important thing to notice in the previous exercise is that high-level planning may be done during the initiating processes. Such planning may include creating a high-level WBS, order of magnitude estimating, preliminary project scope statement and high-level risk identification. How else can you come up with project objectives of schedule, cost, scope, etc.?