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Initiation Reviews and Project Management Templates

March 31 2008

Project Management Templates used in Initiation Reviews

The last step in the Project Initiation phase is the completion of a Phase Review. This review is undertaken to determine whether all the planning activities and tasks have been successfully completed and to request approval to proceed to the Planning stage of the project.

Phase Reviews are completed at the end of the Initiation, Planning and Execution phases, to review the progress of the project to date and to seek approval to proceed to the next phase. There is no Phase Review at the end of the Closure phase, because approval to close the project is covered in the Project Closure Report.

The Project Manager documents the results of each Phase Review by using Project Management Templates. In order to obtain approval, he or she will usually present the project’s current status to the Project Board for consideration. The Project Board, which is chaired by the Project Sponsor, may then decide grant approval to begin the next phase of the project, undertake further work in the existing phase of the project, or cancel the project.

The following steps describe the procedures involved in undertaking a Phase Review for the Initiation phase of the project.

Identify Phase Review Criteria – Project Management Templates

The first step in performing a Phase Review is to identify the review criteria. The criteria provide the basis for assessing the overall performance of the project to date. Examples of Phase Review criteria for the Initiation phase are provided in the following table:

  • Has the business problem or opportunity been adequately defined?
  • Did the team research the environment that contains the problem or opportunity?
  • Were the key business drivers listed?
  • Do team members have a complete understanding of the business requirements from the project management templates?
  • Were a detailed set of alternative solutions identified?
  • Were the benefits and costs of each solution documented in the project management templates?
  • Was the feasibility of each solution assessed?
  • Were the risks and issues associated with each solution described?
  • Were the alternative solutions compared and rated fairly?
  • Was a recommended solution identified?
  • Is there a clear implementation approach for the recommended solution?
  • Has the team documented the project vision, objectives and scope in the project management templates?
  • Is there a clear set of project deliverables?
  • Have the project customers and stakeholders been identified?
  • Are all the roles and responsibilities within the project clear?
  • Is there a well-defined project structure?
  • Was a generic project schedule created?
  • Have the key milestones and dependencies been listed in the project management templates?
  • Is there a clear process for the recruitment of staff?
  • Have all project roles been fulfilled with appropriately skilled staff?
  • Was the role of the Project Office clearly defined?
  • Does the Project Office have all of the required resources?
  • Has the Project Office been established in a suitable location?
  • Have all the required Project Office tools been procured?
  • Was a Business Case documented and approved?
  • Was a detailed Feasibility Study undertaken in the project management templates?
  • Has the Project Team been appointed?
  • Is the Project Office complete?