Project Initiation Process

I have an idea for a project, what are my next steps? It's easy as 1-2-3!

Evaluate a New Project Idea.

The purpose of the Project Proposal is to provide a formal mechanism for recognizing, identifying and evaluating potential projects and to reach a consensus on which projects to be selected. To provide an orderly and efficient approach to suggesting, reviewing, and judging the merit of a new project idea before significant resources are committed as an official project. This will ensure that University Services is doing the right thing at the right time with all its resources.

Easy as 1-2-3! Step 1: Develop Problem Statement. Step 2: Collect Project Information. Step 3: Set up a Project Proposal. SDLC Lifecycle Process.

Step 1 – Develop Problem Statement

Determine problem (or strategy) statement

Identify the problem or strategy statement. The problems you face can be large or small, simple or complex, and easy or difficult to solve. Regardless of the nature of the problems, a fundamental part of every employee's role is finding ways to solve them. A problem statement does not focus on multiple problems; does not suggest a solution; and does not assign blame. The key to a good problem statement is ensuring that you deal with the real problem – not its symptoms.

Having tools to solve problems and being a confident problem solver is important to your success. The PMO offers a variety of problem solving tool and templates. Click here to access the Problem Solving Toolkit.

Step 2 – Collect Project Information

Determine initial project team and project manager.

Identify the key staff required during the project definition. A business resource is critical to ensure all business processes described are accurate. A technical resource is necessary to help identify the work effort required. The entire team does not need to be staffed, but recommendations can be made for resource planning.

Align sponsors.

Begin to identify who would provide executive and/or technical sponsorship to the project. There should be one sponsor to turn to champion the effort and be a resource to the project team. Before a proposal can be launched as a project, an engaged sponsor and funding will be required.

Determine stakeholders.

Use this Excel template to help you determine the stakeholders for your project. Identifying all potential stakeholders at this point is critical. It will assist the team talk to the right areas to define the business needs, confirm who should be project sponsor, and assist in determining the funding model.  Download the Project Target Stakeholder List template.

Develop risk assessment.

Use this Excel template to help develop your risk assessment. This worksheet helps identify specific, tangible, and actionable risks that will be described in your business case. Not all risks may be relevant, but risk assessment is a brainstorming exercise for the entire core team.  Download the Risk Assessment template.

Step 3 – Create Project Proposal

Create a project proposal in EPM.

The Project Proposal form is an online form. This form will ask for information you have completed in steps 1 and 2. Click the link to the right to access the form. **You will need to login to Project Web App.** Access the Project Proposal form in PWA.