Numerous projects never even get past the detailed planning phase and the main reason for this is because they have not been defined and scoped properly and as a result there is no buy-in into the project or sponsorship is lacking.

Following the following six steps to initiate your projects quickly and efficiently, should ensure that they get the correct buy-in and sponsorship from senior management, which will ensure their survival.

Step 1: Create a detailed business case.

This must be done in conjunction with the business owner and must be detailed enough for everyone to exactly know what the business requirement is. This document will become the foundation of the project and must be approved by the project sponsor.

Step 2: Do a Feasibility Study.

Undertake a feasibility study based on the business case to determine the different solutions for the business requirement. Based on the business case and feasibility study a preferred solution must then be determined.

Step 3: Create the Project Charter.

The Project Charter is a very important document as this will combine information from the business case and feasibility study to describe the new project and its vision, objectives, scope, deliverables, project team and a high level project and implementation plan. The same goes for the Project Charter as for the Business Case in that it must be approved and signed by the project sponsor, as this will be one of the official documents for your project.

Step 4: Define your Project Team.

Now that the project charter has been defined, you can now define the team based on this information. Here the Board or Steering Committee must be assembled and a Project Manager must be assigned. It is then the responsibility of the Project Manager to recruit the rest of the Project Team. Depending on the size of the project, the Project Manager can also only recruit Team Leaders, who then in turn will recruit the members of these sub teams. Ensure that there is a defined and documented project job description for every member of the team, so that everyone understands exactly what their individual roles would be.

Step 5: Setting Up a Project Office.

Once you know who will be on the project team, the next step is to create a physical environment from where the project will be managed for the duration of the project. This must provide all the premises, tools, material and equipment for every team member and it is best to create a detailed checklist to ensure that nothing is missed when setting up the project office.

Step 6: Review the Initiation Phase.

Once you have gone through the creation of your business case, done a feasibility study, created the project charter, established the team and have set up the project office, it is necessary to review this phase in order to ensure nothing was missed and that you get approval from all stakeholders that the initiation phase is complete and you are now ready to move on to the next phase of your project namely the Planning phase.

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