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Project Management 2 Initiation

This phase is the first in a project, the one that starts it. Among all the traits to be considered in this phase, it is necessary to focus on:

Goals: the customer’s request. This is the desired output. By definition it must be clear, and defined, like the objectives, it must be SMART

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic/Relevant
  • Timely

Scope: it is the definition of the project limits, what is included, and what is excluded. Having a clear scope, and the work perimeter, then allows you to manage any changes appropriately.

They must be well defined

  • Resources
  • Timeline
  • Budget

Once the limits are defined, it becomes easier to describe what is in-scope (mandatory to complete) or out of scope (nice, nice to have, but not essential).

  • Deliverables: tangible and non-tangible results of the project. The final product of the project is not the purpose of the project, but it is the product that I produced to achieve the goals. In the project, there are often several deliverables, i.e. several partial products that can be one step after the previous one or not.
  • Success Criteria: criteria that determine whether a project is finished or not and how
  • Stakeholders: all people/groups involved in the project. Who approves the project? Who had the idea, who has the problem?
  • Resources: all resources needed to complete the project
    • Budget: costs of all types
    • Team: people who will execute the plan
    • Materials: physical or non-physical material
    • Tools: all necessary tools, software, management systems, etc.

To define all of the above points, the greatest impact comes from contact with the customer.

The time spent with the customer and the various stakeholders will lay the foundations of the project. Active listening to understand the requirements, functionalities, needs and limits of the project must be clear and in-depth in this phase.

Once the requirements and specifications have been defined, it is advisable to move on to a cost-benefit analysis

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Understanding whether a project makes sense from a business point of view goes through this type of analysis.

What is the value that the project brings?How much time is spent on the project?
How much time will be saved?What is the amount of one-time costs?
Will it bring money to our customers?Costs during project development
Will it improve the user/customer experienceWill it improve the user/customer experience?

To understand and evaluate the value of the project, let’s ask ourselves the following questions:

Note: it becomes more difficult to carry out an analysis regarding intangible costs and benefits such as brand perception, reputation, customer satisfaction. They should never be underestimated.

It is never superfluous to remember the definition of Return on Investment which gives us a value (not exhaustive) useful for understanding whether a project is profitable or not.”

ROI = (G-C)/C

  • G = gains
  • C = costs


Scope creep is the set of uncontrolled changes/factors that affect the project after its start.

They can be External or Internal, but they must be kept under control. Having everything clear, shared, and accepted and being all aligned helps in this practice.

  1. Best Practices
  2. Define project requirements with all stakeholders
  3. Clearly define steps/times
  4. Determine what is out of scope
  5. Provide alternatives
  6. Establish a process for managing changes
  7. Say NO!

Another important step in the initial phase is to define all roles.


RACI is an acronym to represent the various properties that each stakeholder has.

Responsible, the one who takes care of executing something

Accountable, the one who is responsible for something

Consulted, the one who gives feedback

Informed, the one who must be informed after a decision has been made

In the Initiation phase there are always two documents

Project Proposal

The first document is related to the project. It is used to present the project itself and “sell” it to the customer.

Project Charter

A formal document is drawn up at the end of the phase and defines the project in its entirety with the details described above.


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