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The purpose of the Initiation Phase is to develop the Project Charter to formalize project goals and deliverables, identify project participants, and establish roles and responsibilities.

Activity Description Inputs Outputs Owner Notes and Resources
Set up project During project setup, the Project Manager establishes the tools needed to manage the project. This should include a collaboration space for storing project documents and project tracking system for managing project schedule, resources, and estimates. Project proposal Collaboration space set up Project tracking system set up Project Manager See your departmental PM lead or PMO for information on setting up your collaboration space and project tracking system.  
Information gathering The purpose of information gathering is to confirm understanding of the project scope, identify project team members, identify impacts, define measures of success, identify risks and plan for contingencies.     Project proposal Data for the project charter Project Manager and Project Sponsor   It is helpful for the IT team to meet first to discuss the information that has been gathered to date regarding the business needs and objectives to be accomplished by the project. It is also important for the project manager to meet with the project sponsor early on in this process to confirm understanding of the project scope, risks, and timeline. Discovery meetings provide a forum for project participants and customers to share their thoughts and opinions. Discovery meetings bring all the participants together, introduce them to the project, and give team members a forum for voicing their opinions early on in the process. Use the Risk Toolkit to assist in identifying risks.
Draft charter The project charter acts to define a number of key project elements including a project description, scope definition, and role/responsibility definition. The documentation and review of these key project elements at the beginning of the project helps to avoid misunderstandings or confusion later and sets a baseline for high-level expectations. The following are components of and are defined in the University of Illinois IT Project Charter:
  • Project scope
  • Work and project processes (includes change management process)
  • Risks
  • Contingencies
  • Impacts, dependencies, & assumptions
  • Preliminary estimates
  • Project team members
Project proposal Information gathering activities Project charter Project Manager and Project Sponsor A template for a project charter is available.  
Get approval Once the project charter has been drafted, reviewed, and revised, it should be approved by the project manager and the project sponsor. Draft of project charter Approved project charter Project Manager and Project Sponsor Project Sponsor’s approval may be obtained by email
Hold Kick off The main goal of the project kick-off meeting is to: familiarize the project team with the project, review the project charter, review the change management and receive buy-in from all project participants. Future meeting schedules will be discussed and defined and meeting minutes will be documented.   For large or high risk projects there will be enhanced requirements regarding project monitoring and control. The procedures should be reviewed at the project kick-off meeting so there is an understanding of these requirements as well.   Approved project charter Information gathering activities   Project Manager A PowerPoint template for a project kickoff meeting is available.