Initiate Phase

The Initiate Phase focuses on defining and scoping the project.  The preliminary business requirements are developed, along with an estimated timeline and budget.  A preliminary Project Charter, which documents the formal authorization for the project and is a source of reference for the project team, is a major deliverable of this Phase.  A thorough vetting process clarifies project objectives and urgency.   A link to Project Management Life Cycle templates/tools/examples referenced on this page is available here and at the bottom of this page.

INITIATE Phase Activities

Assign Project Manager The Project Manager should be chosen based upon the qualifications of the individual and the complexity of the project.  Typically the project sponsor or his/her delegate appoints the Project Manager.
Document Business Requirements

The business requirements describe the needs of the business that provide value when satisfied.  Security, Performance, Availability, and User Requirements should be documented. 

Perform Stakeholder Analysis

Identifying and effectively managing stakeholders is a key component of successful project management.  Proper stakeholder management is vital to gain support for a project and for anticipating resistance, conflict, or competing objectives among project stakeholders.

Conduct Initial Security Review

After security requirements have been documented, a review with UNH IT Security needs to be performed to understand potential risks and/or technical concerns prior to developing the project plan.

Develop the Preliminary Project Charter

The Project Manager is responsible for fully describing the project scope and preparing the Project Charter.  It should identify the stakeholders, define the project timeframe, describe the rationale for the project and establish measures of success.  This Charter is preliminary because further flushing out of business requirements, budget, risks, etc. during the Plan Phase may necessitate modifications.

Approve the Preliminary Project Charter

Sponsor review and approval of the project ensures support for the project and provides the Project Manager the authority to apply university resources to project activities.

Conduct Phase Gate Review

Phase Gate Reviews help determine whether the required tasks and steps of the current Phase were completed satisfactorily; the required deliverables receive sign-off before the Phase is considered complete and the project is deemed ready for the transition to the next Phase.


INITIATE Phase Deliverables

Approved Preliminary Project Charter An approved project charter is required for all Tiers 2-5 projects. The Project Charter-Standard Template is typically used.
Fully Developed Business Requirements The business requirements document distinguishes between the business solution and the technical solution; it details the business solution for a project including the documentation of customer needs and expectations.
Stakeholder Analysis Stakeholder Analysis is the technique used to identify the key people who have influence over your project.
Project Meeting Agenda and Minutes It is highly recommended that the Project Meeting Agenda and Minutes Template be used for all project meeting notes.


Additional Resources

Project Stakeholder Register Template

This template is designed to be completed over time, beginning with identification of the skill sets required, proceeding through identification of staff and estimated work effort for each.
Project Charter-Complex Template This template is provided more for reference than for use, as it is designed for more complex, cross-functional, often multi-year projects.
RACI Chart Template and Examples A RACI chart is valuable for stakeholders to understand their responsibilities and accountabilities for the project.  This template explains RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) and provided several examples.
Business Requirements Document Template The business requirements document distinguishes between the business solution and the technical solution; it details the business solution for a project including the documentation of customer needs and expectations.
Phase Gate Review - INITIATE Template This document is a required deliverable for Tiers 3-5 projects.  A phase gate review is an assessment of the current status of the project; it is needed to determine whether or not the project is ready to proceed to the next phase of the project management life cycle.
Stakeholder Analysis Grid This document is an example of an action plan for communicating with identified stakeholders considering their influence on and interest in a project.
White Paper on Project Initiation Educational material
Understanding Your Role in a Requirements Session Educational material
15 Types of Questions to Use in Requirements Discovery Educational material