The course of the project is already beginning during the project initialization phase. From a project planning perspective this phase includes the most important decisions for a successfull implementation of the project. Project initialization consists of the following steps:
The project initialization is implemented taking into account the project-specific business and technical requirements as well as possible risks and their prevention. The goal is to create a high quality project planning to minimize project risks.
With the help of a detailled checklist the status and the activities are checked together throughout the project initialization.
- Have nature and scope of the project been specified?
- Have the project objectives been identified regarding topic extent, scope, schedules and results?
- Are the criteria for goal achievement measurable in a quantative manner?
Efficient project management is not possible without project planning. This includes structurizing the project and estimating component expenses.Based on this information it is possible to plan time and ressource in detail.
- Have the milestones for measuring intermediate goals been defined?
- Is the project methodology accepted by all participants?
- Is there a defined and documented procedure for dealing with change requests?
- Is the project organization defined and documented?
- Is the project structured into clearly defined units?
Project risks can never be ruled out entirely, a successfull project is characterized by the prevention and effective response to the occurence of risks. These risks must be recognized, analyzed and evaluated. The preventive and corrective measures depends on this assessment.
- Have internal and external risks been defined?
- Have the risks been assessed regarding their likelihood and their impact?
- Is there an action plan regarding the risks?
Preparing the project kick-off
- The next project phase starts with the kick-off which is prepared during the project initialization.
- Have the participants for the kick-off been chosen?
- Have the relevant information from the initialization been identified and prepared regarding the target audience?
The requirements analysis is the basis for further steps in the project initialization. This requires a common understanding of the problem which has been documented and prioritized.
- Have all stakeholders been identified?
- Have the stakeholders' requirements been identified?
- Have the requirements been described clearly?
- Have all requirements been specified and prioritized?
Opportunities and Benefits Analysis
Only with a thorough knowledge of the opportunities and expected project benefits is it possible to clearly define the project goal and focus the project planning on achieving the goal and optimizing efficiency.
- What is the company's benefit from this project?
- What existing problems are solved by the project?
- Which potentials can not be used if the project is not implemented?
Project Goal Definition
The project objective is the central criteria success is measured by. It is where content and scope of the project are outlined and divided into topic areas. The deadlines and milestones are fixed in cooperation with the stakeholders.
A professional project initialization is the basis for a long-term success of a project.
Project planning based on the S&N process model allows for support for various methods of project implementation (Waterfall Model, V-Model, Agile Methods, etc.) and makes all the planning aspects of a project transparent. The holistic view and the assessment of the framework leads to a risk-minimizing design and is thus an element to guarantee the success of the project.