Chapter 2: Project Initiating


Project leaders have responsibilities related to setting and enforcing priorities, ensuring that project details are planned and executed, and ensuring integration both within and outside the project. They are also responsible for the formal human resources and personal human relations aspects of acquiring, overseeing, and rewarding project personnel. Project leaders also need to promote the project in order to secure and maintain the commitments of key project stakeholders at each stage in the project lifecycle. These responsibilities are summarized in Table 2-1, with the initiating stage highlighted.

Table 2-1: Project Leader Responsibilities: Initiating

of Project
Leadership Task

Project Leadership Stage





Project Priorities

Align project with parent organization

Understand and respond to the customer

Authorize work

Audit project

Project Details

Perform risk analysis

Oversee detailed plan development

Monitor progress and control changes

Terminate project

Project Integration

Justify and select project

Integrate project plans

Coordinate work across multiple projects

Capture and share lessons learned

Human Resources

Select key project participants

Select remainder of project participants

Supervise work performance

Reassign workers

Human Relations

Determine team operating methods

Develop communications plan

Lead teams

Reward and recognize participants

Project Promotion

Develop top management support

Motivate all participants

Maintain morale

Celebrate project completion

Project Commitment

Commit to project

Secure key stakeholder approval

Secure customer acceptance

Oversee administrative closure

Chapters 2–5 cover the four project lifecycle stages. Each will be divided into the seven major categories of project leader responsibilities. Each section will start by demonstrating project leaders' challenges using the fictitious example of the company introduced in the case study, California Semiconductor Manufacturers (CSM). The project leadership considerations will be presented to help project leaders use the CSM project to assist them in resolving real-life issues on their own projects.

Each section will be summarized with a project leadership lesson displayed inside a box. The lesson will be titled with the project stage column and the category of leadership task row that correspond to the specific cell shown in Table 2-1. For example, the first lesson applies to aligning the project with the parent organization. This deals with the initiating stage and the project priorities row, so it is labeled Initiating—Project Priorities.

Project leaders usually do not finish one responsibility before starting another; there is often considerable overlap and interaction between and among various responsibilities. For simplicity we will present project leaders' responsibilities in as close to a logical order as possible. First we will concentrate on the task responsibilities: Leaders need to have an understanding of the project work before they know what type of personnel, how many, and when each will be needed. Each project stage will culminate in a commitment of some kind.

Our coverage of the first project stage, initiating, starts with the project priority task of aligning the project with the parent organization, the project detail task of performing a risk assessment, and the project integration task of justifying and selecting the project. Next is the human resources task of selecting key project participants and the human relations task of determining project team operating methods. Finally the project leaders must complete the project promotion task of securing top management support and the commitment task of securing the public and personal commitment of each key project participant, often in the form of a signed charter.

If a project leader successfully shepherds a project through these seven project initiation tasks, the project will be ready to proceed into the planning stage (covered in Chapter 3). If the project leaders cannot successfully complete all project initiation tasks, maybe it is a poorly conceived project that does not deserve to be planned and executed. One reason for the project initiation stage is to quickly (and inexpensively) weed out inferior projects, so the failure of some projects to proceed further should be expected.

Project Leadership
Project Leadership
ISBN: 0071388672
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 106

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