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Project Initiation Phase (#26 in the Hut Project Management Handbook)
By Wouter Baars

The initiation phase begins with an idea for a project. No budget is yet available for the project. The goal of this phase is to write a project plan according to which internal or external financing can be requested.

Activities in the initiation phase

  • Elaborate the concept.
  • Examine the base of support.
  • Contact possible partners.
  • Investigate funding opportunities.
  • Prepare an initial global estimate of the control factors for the project.
  • Prepare a concrete estimate of the control factors for the definition phase.
  • Establish project boundaries.
  • Prepare a project plan.
  • Apply for funding or establishing contract agreements with possible customers.

Output of the initiation phase:

  • Approved and funded project plan
  • (Possible) contract with customer Operations/Decisions:
  • (Prospective) project leader
  • Client
  • (Possible) customer

If possible, installment financing is preferable to lump sum financing following the initiation phase. For installment financing, a relatively small amount of funding for the operations of the definition and design phases is requested during the initiation phase. Depending upon the outcome of these phases, a second request for funding for the rest of the project is made at the end of the design phase.

Next in the Hut Project Management Handbook:

Project Definition Phase

Previously in the Hut Project Management Handbook:

Risks of Cyclical Project Management

Wouter Baars has a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Science. He has been a project manager for several years for The European commission, Waag Society, KPN (Dutch telecom provider) and many smaller organizations. He is specialized in creative projects such as serious game development, e-learning and software development. Currently he is teaching project management and coaching organizations that are working on their project management. More info on his work:

Originally published by DANS – Data Archiving and Networked Services – The Hague

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