A project must receive final approval before it can be actually undertaken. The competent, conscientious sponsor will document the cost and benefits analysis, the feasibility analysis, and the hazards involved in doing the project in a report to request final approval. Many organizations have established procedures to ensure this report is done. The report typically is a form with questions that are specific to the project decision-making process. The financials are always in it. A feasibility analysis also may be required. The current state of the operation, relative to problems and needs, also may be addressed. A gap analysis of the current situation of products or practices as related to a desired situation may be requested. The probability of losing the investment made in the project and mitigating strategies for dealing with such a hazard must be examined. This report basically says, "We have done our homework," to whomever has the power to grant approval for the project to continue.
Many companies have highly structured procedures to ensure that the investment in a project is well justified. The documents for justifying the project usually go one of two routes. They may go directly to the project file. Then the sponsor proceeds to initiate the project and commit resources to it as appropriate. More often, the documents go through a review procedure, where a project review board has the responsibility for coordinating and controlling project investments across the organization. This board may approve, delay, or reject the project, and they also may assign it a priority level. Once their approval is granted, the project manager can take over the project.