Project Initiation Guide for Beginner Level Agile Professionals

Project-initiation-guide

 

There are a lot of different projects running simultaneously in the project management paradigm. The question is: how many of them, do you suppose, were started in the most optimized way possible?

 

What is the optimal approach to ensuring productivity the right way?

 

Well, project initiation is a complex science, which you should master if you are even thinking of taking the first step to initiate something.

 

If you think that starting a project is a happy dandy process with no repercussions on the future workings of the projects then you are sadly mistaken. That peace and excitement that you feel at the start of the project fade away pretty quickly when things start going south.

 

So, what is project initiation and how can you make sure that you gain success in completing this step efficiently every single time? Let’s take a look at how it’s done.

 

What is Project Initiation?

 

What-is-project-initiation

 

Project Initiation is the first step in the overall project development process. The process is a part of the 5 steps that make up the entire lifecycle of a project. These steps are:

  • Project Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Monitoring & Controlling
  • Closing

 

Being the first step of the project development process, the project initiation is where the project kicks off with the team, the stakeholders, and the clients, all in a closed-loop so that there are no information gaps between the group, and everyone is on the same page.

 

To manage this widespread transmission of information among the masses, all of the documents and attachments related to the project sourced from the client, stakeholders, managers, and the team members should be gathered in one central hub, so that the project’s scope, cost, and timings can be determined.

 

After this information is gathered, you can easily define the stakeholders, goals, teams, and deliverables.

 

What Do You Need to Start a Project Initiation Phase?

 

Why the teams and the managers bother with an extensive project initiation phase is to attain a set of documents. These documents are:

 

If you want to make sure that your project initiation phase goes perfectly and you get to attain at least one of these two documents, then you need to focus on three areas of interest. They are very important to any and every project that you work on.

 

These areas of interest are:

  • People
  • Product

 

Let’s take a look at all of them in detail so that we can get to know their deepest darkest secrets easily.

 

1. People

 

Project-people

 

One thing that most people in the organizational paradigm don’t understand is that the most important resources at their disposal are the people that are going to make their ideas and dreams a reality.

 

The first batch of people that are the most important to give your project a proper shape is a Team that is going to work on the project development process. Let’s discuss the Team in detail.

 

Team

 

Whenever you are starting to work on a new project, you are going to assemble the best people around you for your project development process. This will help you make sure that you are not going to stumble later on in the future, and everything will go smoothly.

 

The following factors are most important while selecting a candidate to be on the project development team.

  • Skills
  • Stakeholders
  • Budget
  • Experience
  • Availability

 

One thing you need to make sure of is that you need to be upfront when talking about these factors to the potential candidates.

 

This will help you to make your seriousness about the project development process as visible and as audible as possible so that the candidates know from day one what they’re getting into.

 

The second batch of the most important people associated with the overall functioning of the project is the stakeholders. Let’s talk about them in detail.

 

Stakeholders

 

The first thing that you have to nail down regarding the stakeholders associated with the project is to define the people that are going to be involved in the loop and also when they are going to be associated with the project.

 

This step is very important as it is always important to be clear about who is going to be aiding with a specific task, signing off a deliverable, or giving specific feedback about something. This way there are no jurisdiction issues later on in the project development process.

 

The second thing that you have to make sure that you have made seamless for every single person associated with your project, is to set up impeccable communication channels throughout the company.

 

Another thing that you have to keep in mind is the stakeholder kick-off meeting to make sure that every stakeholder is on the same page and there are no information gaps between them.

 

The following are some of the things that should be included in the kick-off meeting agenda.

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Assumptions
  • Dependencies
  • Costs
  • Introductions
  • Deliverables
  • Risks
  • Timings
  • Team shape

 

 

2. Product

 

key-elements-of-product

 

The next area of interest is the product that we are going to discuss is the product. Let’s take a look at the key elements of the product that are the most vital in its development.

 

Requirements

 

The requirements are the set of conditions that are required to make sure that your product is as close to the product proposed by the client. You must gather all of the requirements in the project initiation phase so that there are no issues later on in the project development process.

 

Setting Deliverables

 

The second thing on the list is the deliverables set to achieve so that the project progress is apparent. These deliverables are milestones that are needed to be completed to complete the project development process.

 

Budgets and Timings

 

You also need to nail down the exact budget and the timings associated with the tasks and processes associated with the project development process. This will help you get a firm grip on everything which will help you in performing a seamless project development process.

 

What are the Challenges Facing the Project Initiation Process?

 

Here is a list of challenges that you may face while performing a project initiation process.

  • The first thing that you have to understand that everything good in this life takes its time. It doesn’t matter if it is your personal or professional life, you have to wait for it to complete its course otherwise you are going to have a premature product with no sustainability. For this, you can have different meetings with the clients and other stakeholders so that everyone knows that it will be a long process and talk to your development team to put their best effort in to complete the project in time.
  • One other possibility that you may face while working on a project is that you may start working on it mid-way. If that is the situation, then you need to make sure that you are clear about the requirements and the deliverables so that there are no hurdles in the project development process later on.
  • Another great challenge that haunts projects is that there is sometimes a lack of clarity regarding the project among the troops and other personnel associated with the project. If that is the case, then you need to revisit your requirements and communicate them over and over again with the team and other personnel. You can have kick-offs again in the project development process if the people are not clear about what they have to do.

 

General Tips to Know About Initiating a Project

 

These tips are as follows:

  • Setting the tone for the project as you like, but make sure that you do it as early on as possible
  • Getting your team’s buy-in early on, so that there are no issues later on
  • Get your team involved in the process
  • Make sure that there is ample communication among the masses
  • Ensure that everyone agrees on the steps you want to follow
  • Set a clear agenda for the project

 

Conclusion

 

You can use the above-mentioned tips to kick start your project. Feel free to share your feedback on fwilson@ntaskmanager.com.