By far the most important stage in our project lifecycle is Initiation. It’s also, unfortunately, not sexy. We really do understand the areas of digital that get people passionate are the creative and the ‘expansive thinking’ workshops on required functionality. They get me going as well, it’s just that before we get to those parts of our process we need to lay a firm foundation of understating the basic elements of the work. Also, before setting off, we need to agree and capture the rules of the project:
- Ensuring we have the correct Terms and Conditions, signed by an appropriate member of staff;
- Writing the Project Definition Document (PDD);
- Agreeing a Draft Project Plan and synchronise the Payment Schedule in line with the plan.
How it works in Practice
It’s a good, honest and straightforward meeting with our project manager. We’ll ask some simple questions about your organisation, the project’s timescales, risks and sharing of contact details. I try to keep my instructions to the project management team simple – they can’t start a project unless I’ve signed-off the PDD (including a Payment Schedule), the Terms and Conditions are signed and our project plan is settled in my resource plan. It is only after the creation of a solid foundation to the project, which the Initiation stage provides, that projects can begin in earnest.