Back To CourseProject Management Training
10 chapters | 96 lessons
Stephen has worked as a Project Manager and is PMP certified, as well as certified by the Scrum Alliance.
Zeke is a project manager at a financial services company. He has recently started training a member of his project team to be a project manager. While this team member has worked on projects before, her experience only involves projects that are ready to be worked on. Zeke has recently received a project request to add functionality to the company's website for researching investment options. He intends to use this project to provide training on how projects get to a state of readiness. This starts with the initiation phase.
The initiation phase marks the beginning of a project and is the first phase in the project management life cycle. In this phase, high-level decisions are made regarding why a project is needed, whether or not it can be done, and what is needed. It is most often associated with traditional, linear project management methodologies, but the high-level decisions are relevant for projects being managed using any methodology.
There are a number of tasks accomplished during the initiation phase. The first is establishing the purpose of the project. This is often referred to as a business case and answers the question, why is the project needed. Reasons may include, meeting a customer need, taking advantage of a market opportunity, and reducing risk or cost. Identifying the purpose is a crucial step because if it cannot be done or the reason is not important, the project should not be taken on. This step prevents wasting money, time, and effort.
For Zeke's project, the business case involves a customer need. Investors consider a number of factors when choosing their investment options. As investors look into making investments using the company's website, it is valuable for them to be able to do research. With a clearly defined purpose, the project is considered worth working on.
Once the purpose of a project is defined and the company decides that it is worth doing, the next step is to determine feasibility. This involves answering the question of whether or not it can be done and if it can be accomplished through research, studies, and/or testing. In order to be taken on, a project must be feasible. Feasibility can be considered in a general sense (whether it can be done at all) as well as in a specific sense for the company (whether the necessary capital, resources, etc. are available). Ultimately the project's stakeholders determine feasibility.
The investment research project has two main considerations for feasibility. The first consideration is whether or not data about investment options exists, as well as whether or not the company has access to this data. The second consideration is a legal one. The company needs to make sure it follows industry regulations regarding the data it provides to investors. After taking these things into consideration, the project stakeholders determine that the project is feasible, and they authorize Zeke and his team to move forward with it.
The primary purposes of the initiation phase are to determine why a project is needed and if it is feasible. Another important purpose is to determine what is needed for the project, which involves determining what the result will be, such as data, a prototype, proof of concept, or a working product. This is often done using a project charter, which, among other things, defines a vision for the project, sets objectives and scope, and details the deliverables. The project charter is the primary output of the initiation phase.
Zeke and his team will add pages to their company's website that offer the functionality to research investment options. Some might have thought that the product of the project was a compilation of data about the different investment options. While this is one of the deliverables, the overall objective is to allow investors to interact with this data on the company's website. By completing this portion of the initiation phase, Zeke and everyone else involved with the project should have the same expectations.
The final aspect of the initiation phase involves determining the individuals who will be involved with the project. This primarily focuses on establishing the project team and determining the roles and responsibilities for each person. It also includes identifying customers and stakeholders who might not be directly involved in the completion of the project but influence and/or are impacted by its outcome. The documentation of individuals involved is another element of the project charter.
The investment research project will involve a team of developers and testers creating the website functionality. Prior to the project being taken on, Zeke must procure these team members from his company's employees, or hire contract workers. He also must identify the stakeholders, who primarily come from the sales and marketing departments, as well as the main customer, who is an investor.
The initiation phase is where all projects should begin. It answers the questions, why is the project needed, can it be done, and what is needed for it to be completed. The phase starts by identifying the purpose of the project. This is a key step because it determines if the project is worth the investment. After the project is deemed worth taking on, the next step is to determine feasibility, or if it is possible to do. Like the purpose, feasibility must be established before the project begins. Once it is clear the project is worthwhile and possible, the outcomes of the project must be determined, such as scope and deliverables, and the individuals involved must be identified. Each of these steps is laid out in the project charter, the main output of the initiation phase.
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Back To CourseProject Management Training
10 chapters | 96 lessons
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