Process Group: Initiating Process Group

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The processes performed to define a new project or a new phase of an existing project by obtaining authorization to start the project or phase.

Within the Initiating processes, the initial scope is defined and initial financial resources are committed. Internal and external stakeholders who will interact and influence the overall outcome of the project are identified. If not already assigned, the project manager will be selected. This information is captured in the project charter and stakeholder register.

When the project charter is approved, the project becomes officially authorized. A project boundary is defined as the point in time that a project or project phase is authorized to its completion. PMI Project Management standard assumes that business case assessment, approval, and funding are handled externally to the project boundaries

The key purpose of this Process Group is to align the stakeholders’ expectations with the project’s purpose, give them visibility about the scope and objectives, show how their participation in the project and it associated phases can ensure that their expectations are achieved.

These processes help set the vision of the project—what is needed to be accomplished.

It is recommended that Large complex projects are divided into separate phases. In such projects, the Initiating processes are carried out during subsequent phases to validate the decisions made during the original Develop Project Charter and Identify Stakeholders processes. Performing the Initiating processes at the start of each phase helps to keep the project focused on the business need that the project was undertaken to address. The success criteria are verified, and the influence, drivers and objectives of the project stakeholders are reviewed. A decision is then made as to whether the project should be continued, delayed, or discontinued.

It is surely a good idea to involve the sponsors, customers, and other stakeholders during initiation phase itself. This creates a shared understanding  If success criteria, reduces the overhead of involvement, and generally improves deliverable acceptance, increased customer satisfaction, and other stakeholders satisfaction.

As part of the Initiating processes, the project manager is given the authority to apply organizational resources to the subsequent project activities.

Concluding Remarks: These Process Groups are part of every Project that is undertaken and many a times are overlapping in Nature.

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