Defining requirements specifies the capabilities, features or attributes of the project’s deliverables. Stakeholder needs, wants and wishes are analyzed to derive the requirements. Requirements are prioritized to determine which requirements will be included and excluded from the project.
When initiating a project you need to identify staff resources needed to complete the project. The two aspects to this task are:
Identify staff roles: A preliminary or high-level description of roles, responsibilities, skills, time commitments and sources of key project staff. This can be in the form of a list of titles and positions (i.e., customer contact, lead programmer, systems analyst, operations and support specialist etc.).
Identify planning team members: The names and titles of team members assigned to perform the planning activities in the Plan Stage.
This activity identifies high-level targets or milestones for the project. Milestones are deliverables or major events to be achieved on a specified date. Milestones can be viewed as ”how are we doing” thresholds indicating whether a project is on track to finish as expected.
Note: At the Initiate Stage, information is at an overview level. Milestones identified at this early stage may be further broken down and revised during the project planning stage when the project schedule is created.
A communications strategy defines a high-level plan for how members of the project will communicate during the course of the project.
A general communication strategy is all that is needed. The more detailed communication plan is completed in the Plan Stage and includes the details of who, what, when, where, why and how of the communications.
A good communications strategy addresses the following:
A quality management strategy defines the required level of quality for the project and the approach to be used to ensure the specified standard of quality is met. A more detailed quality management plan is developed in the Plan Stage.
An issue management strategy helps the project manager resolve issues in a timely way to prevent the impact of problems from growing or to exploit an opportunity that presents itself. An issue is a situation or concern that arises during the Execute and Control Stage of the project, was not addressed in the project plan, requires resolution, and may impede the progress of the project. When an issue cannot be resolved by the project manager and project team, it is escalated to outside help. Some issues, if not addressed, could adversely impact the success of a project.
A change management strategy defines at a high level the factors to be used to control changes that occur after the project baseline has been established in the Plan Stage. The project baseline includes a detailed description of scope, budget, schedule, and plans for managing quality, risk, issues, and change.
The change management strategy produces a statement in the project charter that includes:
Anticipated change management challenges
Key project constraints
Key customer practices for managing change
A concise statement of change management practices
A risk management strategy defines a high-level plan for how project risks will be managed during the course of the project. Risks are possible events that may cause deviations from the planned outcomes of a project. Deviations can be positive (opportunities) or negative. Risk management is an iterative process that begins immediately and continues throughout the life of a project.
A general risk management strategy is all that is needed in the Initiate Stage. The more detailed risk management plan is completed in the Plan Stage and includes the details of how to manage risk.
A good risk management strategy addresses the following:
Risk management objectives
A preliminary, high-level assessment of the general areas of risk associated with the project
The project charter is formally accepted and approved by the project sponsor and other designated stakeholders. Formal approval acknowledges the completion, review and acceptance of all the deliverables produced during the Initiate Stage.
Signatures on the project charter document mark final approval of the charter, which is the go-forward agreement.