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November 01,2022 Leadership Development

Project Initiation

Project Initiation

Project Initiation

Project Initiation

Projects mean action. These are opportunities to solve an issue or take advantage of an opportunity. Projects begin with an initiation. This is a simple statement of what is to be done. For example, “I will move into my new apartment.” Very straightforward for explaining what you will  accomplish; it is the elevator pitch of your project.

The initiation phase will provide the background of the project. This is the historic perspective that gives the project context when explaining it in further detail. Back to our example of moving into a new apartment. “The school year is ending, and I will need to move out of the dorms. I have a job on campus and will be living near campus throughout the summer. I’d prefer to find a place where I can stay throughout the year because I don’t want to move again before school starts.” With this short background framework, we are also able to pull out requirements for future decision making. The need for an apartment, near campus, and one that will offer a year-long lease.

The impact statement is associated with the background. This is the effect of the project. In the business world, this is typically the return on investment or how much money we expect to make because we implemented the project. The same can be true in every project, because if the project has no impact, there is no point in doing the project. Back to the apartment example, “By moving into an apartment from the dorms, I will be able to maintain my job through the summer and lower my living costs.

Project Concept

The next step, once a purpose has been established, is to gather requirements. These are the quality standards at a high level of what must be accomplished and to what degree of quality. For example, in a final paper, the rubric explains how the professor will grade the paper. The rubric would be the requirements.

Associated with requirements is the assembly of the team. Typically, projects consist of more people than just working on items alone. The tricky aspect here is that many times, you will need the help of people to work on your project when it doesn’t benefit them, and they have no skin in the game. In the apartment example established earlier, it is easier and quicker to move with the help of others, family, friends, or even movers, than trying to do it by yourself. This is a point at which you can use your A-3 overview of the project to show the benefits and help elicit their support to motivate them to want to help.

Once you establish the team, you can begin to build the project charter with the champion and the project team. The project charter is a document in which the team further defines the specific objectives of what will be completed and its rationale. It analyses how much the project will cost, how much effort it will take, and what the timeframe will be. Lastly, it identifies the major players in the project and what they will be responsible for.

Project Charter

The project charter adds greater detail to the project concept document. Included is a greater defined scope, or all the work that needs completed. We will cover in greater depth a work breakdown structure (WBS) more in the project planning chapter, but a scope statement will typically have a high-level WBS. For example, if we take college as the project, the high-level WBS could consist of finances, room and board, academics, and employment.

Included with the scope in the project charter are initial constraints or items that will inhibit the project. In the above example, constrained by a limit to an on-campus house and a high cost of living for the area. These are the factors that you consider to aid your planning process. You will also identify your assumptions on the project. Keeping with the example, the assumptions could be that my parents will pay half of my tuition, or that I will be able to find part-time employment within two months of going to school. These become the key blocks of what you must factor into your planning to ensure that your plan is feasible.

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