The (Often Overlooked) Importance of Project Initiation

PMI Moscow, Russia Chapter

Ilya Bogatyrev, PMP works for Segula Technologies in Moscow.

PM experts know the importance of the initiation stage, yet some companies will utilize all of the project stages except initiation. It’s often missed, and employees might thus assume that’s a reasonable and acceptable practice.

It often happens due to confusion in initiation functions: company staff may accept and follow a PM methodology, but not understand it completely. In this article, I consider some misunderstandings of the initiation stage—including functions that prevent its implementation, and ways to overcome them. I have experienced all of the misunderstandings and solutions described below in real project practice. 

To fully understand why initiation is important, it’s useful to think not only about deliverables, but about functions: What should we understand during this stage? What task(s) should we solve?

Here are three initiation stage functions where confusion often appears:

  • The definition of the outcome(s) that the project should realize
  • Attainability analysis of project objectives
  • Definition of project priorities

1. Definition of the outcome(s) that the project should realize. For each project, we should see what outcomes we are trying to realize—and how this project helps us succeed. Some companies think that’s the same as defining project objectives and focusing only on them—and they lose…

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