PRINCE2 - Initiating a Project Process Tutorial

14.1 Initiating a Project Process

Hello and welcome to PRINCE2® Foundation Certification course offered by Simplilearn. This lesson is about ‘Initiating a Project’ process. As a part of ‘Directing a Project’ process, the Project Board decides to authorise the project or cancel it. ‘Initiating a Project’ helps the Project Board to take such decisions.

14.2 Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to: ?State the purpose and objective of the ‘Initiating a Project’ process ?Identify the activities in the ‘Initiating a Project’ process ?Identify the strategies defined in the ‘Initiating a Project’ process

14.3 Purpose of Initiating a Project

The purpose of the ‘Initiating a Project’ process is to establish solid foundations for the project, enabling the organisation to understand the work that needs to be done to deliver the project’s product before committing to a significant spend.

14.4 Objective of Initiating a Project

The Project Board should determine whether it is worthwhile to invest in the project. The Project Board needs to check the viability of the project. They should have detailed information about the project based on which the decisions can be taken. Objective of is to ensure that there is a common understanding of: the reasons for undertaking project, scope of project work, cost and timescales, expected benefits, risks, issues and their management, quality expectations and management, decision making authorities, information distribution and monitoring and controlling the project progress. The ‘Initiating a Project’ process helps in understanding the scope of work and establishing solid foundation for the project. This process ensures that there is a common understanding of the reasons for undertaking the project, the benefits expected and the associated risks. The project management team has common understanding about the scope of the project and what the product of the project has to deliver. This process also helps to determine how and when the project’s product will be delivered and at what cost. During this process, the guidelines for achieving the quality, establishing and controlling the baselines are finalised. One of the most important actions that is performed as a part of this process is to define various strategies for risk, configuration, quality and communication management.

14.5 Initiating a Project—Overview

The image shown depicts how this process interacts with other PRINCE2® processes such as ‘Directing a Project’ and ‘Managing a Stage Boundary’. The ‘Initiating a Project’ process allows the Project Board, via ‘Directing a Project’, to decide whether the project is sufficiently aligned with corporate or programme objectives to authorise its continuation. The activities of ‘Initiating a Project’ are shown within dotted rectangle. After authorising an initiation of the project, the Project Manager will be creating the suite of management products required for the level of control specified by the Project Board during the ‘Initiating a Project’ process. The Project Manager creates various management products like Risk Management Strategy, Communication Management Strategy, Configuration Management Strategy, Quality Management Strategy, Project Management Plan, Risk Register, Issue Register and Configuration Item Records.

14.6 Initiating a Project—Activities

In this process, the activities are Project Manager oriented. The Project Manager prepares Risk, Configuration, Quality and Communication Management Strategies. The Project Manager also sets up the project controls, creates the Project Plan, refines the Business Case and assembles the Project Initiation Documentation. During this process, the scope of the project is clearly defined and along with the time and cost estimates. The detailed Business Case is prepared during ‘Initiating a Project’ process. Apart from the objectives, benefits, and dis-benefits Business Case also contains the time scales and costs. The Business Case is refined during this process. The management products can be developed in parallel as they are inter-dependent. However, it is recommended that the Communication Management Strategy is completed in the end as it will need to include any communication required of the other strategies. Once the strategies have been defined, it is possible to set up the project controls and create the Project Plan. Once the controls have been established and a Project Plan created, it is then possible to complete the Business Case as the forecast of time and costs of developing the project’s products, and managing the project, are now fully understood. The final activity in the ‘Initiating a Project’ process is to assemble the Project Initiation Documentation. This is a compilation of all the documentation developed during initiation that will be used to gain Project Board approval.

14.7 Risk Management Strategy

Risk Management Strategy describes the goals of applying risk management. It includes the risk management procedure that will be adopted, the roles and responsibilities, the risk tolerances and the timing of risk management activities. It should also describe the tools and techniques that will be used for identifying, analysing and controlling the risks and the reporting requirements. The Risk Management Strategy is prepared during ‘Initiating a Project’ process. However before this process is executed, the ‘Starting up a Project’ process and some activities of the ‘Directing a Project’ process are also executed. Though the Risk Register is prepared in accordance with the Risk Management Strategy in ‘Initiating a Project’ process, there is a need to make note of the major risks in outlined Business Case and in the Daily Log. Once the Risk Register is created, the risks are transferred from Daily Log to the Risk Register.

14.8 Configuration Management Strategy

Configuration Management Strategy defines: The Configuration Management procedure, for example, planning, identification, control, status accounting, verification and audit. The issue and change control procedure, for example, capturing, examining, proposing, deciding and implementing. Timing of configuration management activities and issue and change control activities. The roles and responsibilities for the procedures; consider whether a Change Authority and/or Change Budget should be established and the scales for priority and severity of issues.

14.9 Quality Management Strategy

A key success factor of any project is that it delivers what the user expects and finds it acceptable. This is achieved if these expectations are both stated and agreed upon at the beginning of the project along with the standards to be used and the means of assessing the achievements. As quality is significant, there should be a mechanism to ensure that such agreements are captured and maintained. The management product called the Quality Management Strategy describes these expectations, standards that need to be followed during project and the means of assessing the products of the project. The Quality Management Strategy is prepared after reviewing the Project Product Description to understand the customer’s quality expectations and to verify that the project’s acceptance criteria are sufficiently defined. The Quality Management Strategy includes: The quality management procedure (for example, quality planning, quality control, quality assurance). Quality assurance is outside PRINCE2® project and is the responsibility of corporate or programme management. The quality assurance is different from Project Assurance. The Quality Management Strategy also includes the roles and responsibilities for quality management activities, the timing of quality management activities and the tools and techniques that will be used.

14.10 Communication Management Strategy

PRINCE2® recommends that information needs associated with, the Quality, the Risk and the Configuration Management Strategy be determined before preparing the communication management strategy. The Communication Management Strategy should contain the details of how the project management team will send information to, and receive information from, the wider organisations involved with, or affected by the project. In particular, where the project is part of a programme, it should detail how information is to be fed to the programme. It is essential to analyse the stakeholders to find their influence on the project and interest in the project. The communication management strategy includes the communication management procedure, timing of communication activities, the roles and responsibilities for communication activities and stakeholder analysis.

14.11 Initiating a Project—Strategies

The organisations have a mission to achieve and so the business strategies are developed by the corporate or programme management. The projects are undertaken by the organisations and should follow the organisation’s guidelines. All the strategies are derived from corporate or programme management strategies, standards and practices. These strategies are defined by the Project Manager. Project Assurance reviews the strategies and the Project Board approves the strategies. Project Support creates Quality Register, Configuration Item Records and the Project Manager approves these documents.

14.12 Initiating a Project—Assemble the Pid

The image shown illustrates the process of assembling the PID. Before committing to major expenditure on the project, the timescale and resource requirements must be established. So a Project Plan is created. Planning is not an activity that the Project Manager does in isolation, it should be done with close involvement of the users and suppliers. The outline Business Case produced during ‘Starting up a Project’ process must be updated to reflect the estimated time and costs, as determined by the Project Plan, and the aggregated risks from the updated Risk Register. The detailed Business Case will be used by the Project Board to authorise the project and provide the basis of the on-going check so that the project remains viable. A Benefits Review Plan is also created and it describes how the achievement of each benefit is to be measured and how often project benefits needs to be reviewed. The Project Initiation Documentation is a collection of many management products created during initiation and used to gain authorisation for the project to proceed. The PID should be preserved and baselined. It would be later used to compare the project’s actual performance against the original forecasts that formed the basis of approval. The PID includes project’s management team structure and role descriptions, Business Case, Quality Management Strategy, Configuration Management Strategy, Risk Management Strategy, Communication Management Strategy, and Project Plan.

14.13 Initiating a Project Process—Exercise

Three exercises are given to test the comprehension of ‘Initiating a Project’ process. Please take some time to understand the questions and note the answers.

14.14 Quiz

The quiz section will help to check your understanding of the concepts covered.

14.15 Summary

Here is a quick recap of what we have learnt in this lesson: •The purpose of the ‘Initiating a Project’ process is to enable the organisation to understand the work that needs to be done before committing to spending on it. •‘Initiating a Project’ activities are Project Manager oriented. •Strategies for risk management, configuration management, quality management and communication management are defined in the ‘Initiating a Project’ process.

14.16 Thank You

In the next lesson, we will discuss the next process, which is ‘Controlling a Stage’.

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