Chapter 8

Initiating projects

EXCEPT FOR THE PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT TEAM, which normally should be in place before the organisation undertakes a large number of projects, most of the project-specific roles emerge as a project gets under way. Some organisations would prefer that there were rules governing when a project steering group or project manager should be officially in place, but that depends on who is available and the political, strategic, legal and commercial priority of the project.

Consequently, initiating a project can be a hit or miss affair and rules will only partially succeed in regulating the chaos common when a project begins. What follows is a recommended approach. Those managing this process should remember that, at this time more than any other, the organisation may be uncomfortable with the proposed degree of governance, and therefore the need to sell the principles underpinning the whole approach to project management is likely to be greatest.

The project life cycle

Most people appreciate that a project should have a clear start and end, but it also requires structure around what happens between these points. Figure 8.1 shows the life cycle used throughout this book to describe the key deliverables and approval points.

8.1 The project life cycle

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There is an important point to make before considering this life cycle in more detail. Figure 8.1 shows the progression ...

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