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What are the things to consider before project initiation. I believe a lot goes on before the charter can be produced and PMBOk 5 is a bit silent on that point.

  • Different organizations will have different processes. My prior employer has developed at least three pre-initiation stages (Business Case, Statement of Work and Charter). Another group I worked with refused (with astonishing vehemence) to look at charters at all. The answer depends on organizational process assets. – Mark C. Wallace Jan 19 '16 at 16:52
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You need to conduct Feasibility study.

  1. Operational feasibility
  2. Economic feasibility
  3. Technical feasibility
  4. Human factors feasibility
  5. Legal/Political feasibility

Usually it is conducted by customer or consultant before hiring PM and Team. After studies there might be decision to not start a project at all. If customer gives a green light this study shall be a primary source of data for project charter.

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  • How does this tie with capability feasibility? – Motivated Jan 21 '16 at 17:02
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Yes, quite a bit goes on. Unfortunately, I think a lot of project managers are assigned to projects after pre-project work is done, so are stuck doing piece-work without necessarily having a broader business context... which can lead to bad decision-making down stream.

You should read up on the PRINCE2 standard, they have broken this out into the "Starting Up a Project" phase. Documentation produced and work done during that phase includes:

  • Project Mandate coming from outside the project which commisions the work and acts as the starting point for all that follows.
  • Appointment of a PM and project executive which establishes who represents the interests of the business stakeholders and has overall (executive) and day-to-day (PM) authority over the project
  • Review of previous lessons to avoid repeating mistakes of the past and ensure reproduction of things that worked
  • ID and appoint project management team to support the executive and PM as you start up the project.
  • Prepare an outline business case to establish the business value of the project vs expected costs. This will be refined after the project is initiated.
  • Select approach and assemble the Project Brief to define what the project will produce, how this will be done, which stakeholders need to be considered, what constraints/assumptions you are working under, etc...
  • Develop an Initiation Plan so that you have a path towards developing a full-on project plan once your project is approved
  • Approval to Proceed with Initiation from the project board/steering committee
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  • This still sounds very much like something that happens within a project. What about the points Alexander Averchenko alludes to? It's also assumes that the project management office is the practice that is engaged first and not another practice such as an enterprise architecture one? – Motivated Jan 21 '16 at 17:06
  • @ Motivated - First of two comments.... All of the feasibility aspects would be incorporated into the outline business case as they all reflect some kind of "cost" as opposed to benefit, IMO they are all integrated (e.g. anything is operationally feasible if you are willing to pay the price to hire new people or whatever to make it so) – Doug B Jan 21 '16 at 20:58
  • @ Motivated - Second of two comments.... This work all happens prior to monies being released for planning. If you call it part of the project you are welcome to, PRINCE2 nomenclature simply chooses to differentiate them. Your interpretation re. PMO is wrong, first thing to get is a project mandate... which comes from an authority appropriate for your organization, in my experience senior management – Doug B Jan 21 '16 at 21:02
  • For a business case to signal costs, it has to demonstrate benefits. Without the ability to showcase benefits, why undertake the process of feasibility or viability? While it may be operationally feasible, it may not be economically viable. – Motivated Jan 22 '16 at 6:55
  • As for your second comment and hence my earlier post is the sequence in which these occur. For example, the business has an idea. To test this idea, it needs to be able to demonstrate both feasibility and viability. Next, is the "mandate" or sign-off. All the subsequent steps are unclear to me since generally in my experience the Enterprise Architecture practice is engaged to look at perform a review of the current state, transition and future state across all areas of the business e.g. business (people, processes, etc), applications, data and technology. – Motivated Jan 22 '16 at 7:02

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