Project initiation: What, when & why?

What is project initiation?

When can we say project definition is complete?

Why do it at all? Why not just get on with the job of producing the required application?


Suppose you wanted a computer application produced for you. A reputable supplier comes along and says they can do it for lots of money in very little time. You agree, sign a contract, and the person disappears.

How do you know the supplier really will deliver all that you need?

Will they provide user training? User manuals? Will the software be any good?

What if they come back with a minimal, poorly written application and demand their money?


Suppose you are put in charge of a project to produce a system. You produce time and cost plans which are agreed by the management.

Part way through the project, users realise there has been an omission in the specifications. They ask for some software to handle this additional requirement.

You agree to do this, and make it clear that the changes will delay implementation.

When the project is complete, senior management "haul you over the coals" for completing late and over budget.

The project manager's contract

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