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How to Initiate Projects Successfully (Part II)

Mary Lewinson
June 18, 2010

A few steps for managing the Initiation Phase

project initiation glagIn the Part I of the article, three steps of the project initiation phase have been depicted. Here are the last two steps…

  1. Assign the Team

When the project is defined and the Project Chart is developed, it is time to acquire and assign the team. At this step of the project initiating phase, the Project Board is to be established, and the project manager takes responsibility for acquiring the team and assigning it to tasks and activities. The manager also needs to recruit the team leader(s) who will assist the project manager in initiating the project by selecting and recruiting required personnel. The team leaders take responsibility for making team assignments, and the manager approves those assignments.

During the project initiating phase, the core activity for making right team assignments refers to developing job descriptions. A job description is a formal project initiating document that states and explains what roles are required to complete project work and produce deliverables, what targets each role is assigned to, and how to measure the targets and to access performance of each role.

Every team member should be assigned to a detailed job description which defines a individual role and responsibilities within the project. While developing project roles the team leaders need to consider the project initiating documents (Project Charter, Feasibility Study, Business Case). You can learn more about the project initiation phase and required project initiating documents by reading the Project Management Guidelines.

Developing job descriptions is actually a time consuming and challenging task within the initiating phase, but it is crucial to setting the right targets for each role. A complete project job description includes the following information:

  • Purpose of the role
  • Job responsibilities of the role
  • Name of the person who will be assigned to the role
  • Name of the person who will supervise the role
  • A list of skills and experience required for obtaining the role
  • A list of the key performance criteria
  • Salary and working conditions

  1. Review the Project

Once tasks have been defined, project duration has been set and the project team has been assembled and appointed, your next step is to perform a project review – a procedure of tracking statuses of project initiation tasks to ensure that all of the required activities are undertaken and to make formal approval of the project initiating documents, in order to proceed to the next phase: Planning.

  • Ensure that the project environment is provided with necessary premises, equipment, materials, tools and processes.
  • Review the roles and responsibilities of the project team to ensure right task assignments and role allocation
  • Approve  required to enable the members of the project team to perform their roles successfully
  • Ensure that all required activities are completed
  • Formally approval the project initiating documents (Project Chart, Business Case, Feasibility Study)

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