PRINCE2 - Starting up a Project Process Tutorial

12.1 Starting up a Project Process

Hello and welcome to PRINCE2® Foundation Certification Course offered by Simplilearn. This lesson is about ‘Starting up a Project’ process.

12.2 Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to: ?State the purpose and objective of the ‘Starting up a Project’ process ?Identify the activities in the ‘Starting up a Project’ process ?Identify PRINCE2® recommendations for the ‘Starting up a Project’ process ?Describe the Project Brief and outline Business Case

12.3 Purpose of Starting up a Project

The purpose of the ‘Starting up a Project’ process is to ensure that the pre-requisites for initiating a project are in place by answering the question: “do we have a viable and worthwhile project?”

12.4 Objective of Starting up a Project

The objective of the ‘Starting up a Project’ process is to ensure that: There is a business justification for initiating the project, which is documented in an outline Business Case. Sufficient information is available to define and confirm the scope of the project in the form of a Project Brief. Individuals should be appointed to undertake the work required in project initiation and/or will take significant project management roles in the project. The various ways the project can be delivered are evaluated and a project approach is selected. The work required for project initiation is planned and prepared in the form of a Stage Plan. Time is not wasted initiating a project based on unsound assumptions regarding the project’s scope, timescales, acceptance criteria and constraints.

12.5 Starting up a Project—Overview

As shown in the image, project mandate triggers the project and is provided by the responsible authority who commissions the project. It should include information about the project and name of the Executive. Starting up a Project activities are likely to be shared between corporate or programme management, Executive and Project Manager. Corporate or programme management appoints Executive and Project Manager. Project Manager can also be appointed by the Executive. Project Manager captures previous lessons. During this process, the structure of the project management team is designed and appointed. There are other parallel activities which occur during the same time and one of them is preparation of the outline Business Case. Finally, the Project Brief is assembled and the plan for the initiation stage is prepared and submitted to the Project Board.

12.6 Starting Up a Project—Activities

PRINCE2® terms the trigger for the project as mandate. It should provide the terms of reference for the project and should contain sufficient information to identify at least the prospective Executive of the Project Board. The mandate is refined to develop the Project Brief. The Project Brief is prepared to provide the Project Board with sufficient information to take the decision to initiate the project for this purpose. The content of the Project Brief are later extended and refined into the Project initiation Documentation also called PID via the ‘Initiating a Project’ process. The multiple activities that occur during the ‘Starting up a Project’ process later get captured in the form of a Project Brief. To accomplish a task in a project, a decision-maker with appropriate authority is needed. In PRINCE2® methodology it is the Executive, who represents the interests of the business stakeholders and acts as the project owner. While identifying the Executive, it is important to ensure that the roles and responsibilities of Executive are established and that the Executive is available and ready to accept the role and is committed The first activity in this process is to appoint the Executive and the Project Manager. The appointment of a Project Manager allows the project to be managed on a day-to-day basis on behalf of the Executive. The Executive appoints the Project Manager and establishes the responsibilities and also prepares a role description for the Project Manager. The next activity is to capture previous lessons and then design and appoint the project management team. This is followed by preparing the outline Business Case. The next activity is to select the project approach and assemble the Project Brief and plan the initiation stage. The final activity of this process is to prepare the role description for the Executive and the Project Manager. The design of the project management team, outline Business Case, the content of the Project Brief, and the Stage Plan for the initiation stage may be influenced by lessons learnt from previous projects. A note is also made of project information that is not yet being captured elsewhere in the Daily Log.

12.7 Starting Up a Project—Recommendations

The project needs the right individual in place, with the authority, responsibility and knowledge to make decisions in time. So, PRINCE2® recommends the following: Design and prepare the project management team. Create role descriptions for the remaining Project Board roles and Project Assurance. Create role descriptions for the Team Managers, if needed. The Team Manager’s role is optional. Create the role description for the Project Support role, if needed and confirm the reporting and communication lines within the role descriptions. If risks are identified, add them to the Daily Log. The Business Case states the work is worth doing and, is a crucial element of the project. Considering the information available, the outline Business Case is likely to be only a high level view at this time. It provides an agreed upon foundation for a more extensive Business Case developed in the ‘Initiating a Project’ process. The Executive drafts the outline Business Case based on the current information of the project. PRINCE2® suggests that it is essential to understand the objectives of, and the reasons for, the project; that is, what the project is to deliver and how the project will be funded.

12.8 Project Brief

Project Brief is refined from project mandate and helps the Project Board to take the decision for initiating the project. Project Brief acts as an output of the ‘Starting up a Project’ process. It is on the basis of the Project Brief, Initiation Stage Plan is prepared to seek approval from the Project Board to initiate a project. Before any planning of the project can be done, decisions must be made regarding how the work of the project is going to be approached. An agreed upon Project Brief ensures that the project has a commonly understood and well-defined start point. The Project Brief defines project objectives and desired outcomes. It describes the project scope known at that point, clearly states the exclusions and constraints or assumption and also defines project level tolerances. The Project Brief includes outline Business Case, Project Product Description, project approach and project management team structure along with the role description of the team members.

12.9 Outline Business Case

One of the major activities of ‘Starting up a Project’ process is to prepare outline Business case. It is understood that it is not possible to have detailed planning of the project at the beginning. So PRINCE2® recommends to prepare an outline Business Case. It contains enough information to enable the Project Board to determine whether the project is worth initiating. It is a high level view of the detailed Business Case. It includes objectives of the project, reasons for undertaking the project, project’s contribution towards organisation’s objectives and funding arrangements for the project. The detailed Business Case also includes the time scales and total cost of the project. There are number of ways that ‘Starting up a Project’ process can be approached depending on the size and or complexity of the project. Whether the project is big or small, it is recommended that the ‘Starting up a Project’ process should not be excluded. Approval from corporate or programme management needs to be taken if required.

12.10 Starting up a Project Process—Exercise

Three exercises are given to test your comprehension of ‘Starting up a Project’ process. Please take some time to understand the questions and note the answers.

12.11 Quiz

The quiz section will help to check your understanding of the concepts covered.

12.12 Summary

Here is a quick recap of what we have learnt in this lesson: ?The purpose of the ‘Starting up a Project’ process is to ensure that the project is viable and worthwhile. ?The project mandate triggers the project and is provided by the responsible authority who commissions the project. ?There are multiple activities in ‘Starting up a Project’ process including assembling the Project Brief from the project mandate and preparing the outline Business Case.

12.13 Thank you

In the next lesson, we will discuss the next process, which is ‘Directing a Project’.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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