PMP Rapid Review: Initiating the Project

  • 8/15/2013


This section contains the answers to the “Can you answer these questions?” sections in this chapter.

Task 1.1: Perform project assessment based upon available information and meetings with the sponsor, customer, and other subject matter experts, in order to evaluate the feasibility of new products or services within the given assumptions and/or constraints.

  1. It is important that all projects are subject to a defined project selection process in order to standardize and provide a robust, defensible process for selecting projects from all the available projects that could be undertaken.
  2. Difficult financial criteria for assessing whether or not the project should go ahead include payback period, present value, and net present value, return on investment, internal rate of return and cost benefit analysis.
  3. The present value is $50,000/((1+ .1)2) = $41 322.31.
  4. The net present value equals -$30,000 + ($7,000/((1+ .08)1)) + ($10,000/((1+ .08)2)) + ($15,000/((1+ .08)3)) = $3, 037.65.
  5. The project sponsor is the person in the organization completing the project who takes ultimate accountability for the success of the project, and provides financial and political support as part of the project charter-approval process.

Task 1.2: Define the high-level scope of the project based on the business and compliance requirements, in order to meet the customer’s project expectations.

  1. The project statement of work contains as much information as is known and a narrative form about the work to be completed in the project. Given that it is developed during the initiating tasks, it does not contain as much information as a fully developed project scope.
  2. The project statement of work is typically in narrative form because that is the easiest way to describe the level of detail that is known about the work to be done at that stage in the project. It is highly unlikely that you can produce a detailed description using diagrams, plans, or drawings at this stage because it will be done at the planning stages.
  3. The product scope refers to the deliverable of the project, and might include technical specifications and requirements about the deliverable. The project scope includes the product scope and all the other work to be done as part of managing the project.
  4. It is important to define customer expectations of the project because they are the party that defines and ultimately pays the deliverable of the project. If you do not understand customer expectations, you will not satisfy them.
  5. It is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that the stakeholders’ expectations are gathered and documented. He or she might not actually do the work, but must take responsibility for ensuring that it is done.

Task 1.3: Perform key stakeholder analysis using brainstorming, interviewing, and other data-gathering techniques, in order to ensure expectation alignment and gain support for the project.

  1. A stakeholder is best defined as any person, group, or organization that can affect or be affected by your project.
  2. Stakeholders provide expectations and requirements of the project; the best way to gather these expectations and requirements is to use data-gathering techniques to communicate with stakeholders.
  3. This is an example of using brainstorming as a data-gathering technique.
  4. The stakeholder register contains information about stakeholders: their contact details; a description of their interest, influence, or impact on the project; and a description of how their expectations will be managed.
  5. This is an example of using the salience model to classify stakeholders.

Task 1.4: Identify and document high-level risks, assumptions, and constraints based on current environment, historical data, and/or expert judgment, in order to identify project limitations and propose an implementation approach.

  1. It is important to identify the high-level risks as soon as possible because they might affect whether the project is given approval to proceed.
  2. You will make several assumptions that influence whether or not the project is approved. These assumptions include future market conditions, demand for the product or deliverable, and quality of information used to approve a project.
  3. Typical examples of project constraints include time, scope, cost, and quality. Other constraints include risk, health and safety, and customer satisfaction.
  4. The type of project and its duration, complexity, and size dictate the best implementation approach to use. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
  5. This is an example of a phased implementation approach.

Task 1.5: Develop the project charter by further gathering and analyzing stakeholder requirements, in order to document project scope, milestones, and deliverables.

  1. You should begin development of the project charter as soon as you begin assessing whether the project will be approved. The final form of the project charter contains all the information needed to approve it.
  2. The purpose of the project charter is to document everything that is known about the project at the initiating stage and to provide enough information so the project has financial and political support to proceed to detailed planning.
  3. All projects, no matter the size and complexity, should have a project charter.
  4. If you are working on a project and discover the project charter was never formally signed off on, you should immediately discuss it with the project sponsor and stop work until it is signed.
  5. The sort of information captured as part of documenting stakeholder requirements includes technical requirements and other non-technical requirements for the project.

Task 1.6: Obtain approval for the project charter from the sponsor and customer (if required), in order to formalize the authority assigned to the project manager and gain commitment and acceptance for the project.

  1. The project manager should take responsibility for getting approval of the project charter, but it is the project sponsor and the customer who formally authorize the project charter.
  2. A project manager should have high levels of both responsibility and authority, and this should be documented in the project charter.
  3. In a weak matrix organization, the functional manager has more power than the project manager.
  4. The project manager should be identified and authority given during the development of the project charter.
  5. This is an example of the functional manager having the most power; it is a weak matrix organizational structure.

This chapter is from the book

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