Stephen F. Austin State University

Initiation

Overview

The first phase of the Project Lifecycle, Initiation, is the initial organization of all parties involved in the project as well as the clarification of project parameters. The following bullets represent the steps included within the Initiation phase of the Project Lifecycle. The Initiation phase establishes a Business Justification Document, if determined this document is needed.

Project Proposal

The Initiation phase of a project begins with a Project Proposal from someone within SFA for a solution to an issue or a need. This Proposal is documented through the Project Proposal Form which will provide the information to help determine the:

Once your project has been through the proposal process a Proposal Summary Review Form will be sent to the Director of Information Technology Services for consideration. Included in the Summary is a tentative timeline. These target dates allow the Project Office to work with individual requestors to ensure each project gets reviewed and approved in a timely manner. If approved, a Project Manager will be assigned to the project to begin the Business Justification process.

Business Justification

Approval of the Project Proposal Summary allows us to proceed with the Business Justification documentation process, when needed. The Business Justification is a document explaining the high level details of the proposed project. Key stakeholders of the project are heavily involved in the process of developing the Business Justification. The building of the Business Justification document helps the Project Manager solicit information from the team and the vendor concerning the issue at hand and the possible solutions. Feature requirement lists are created, demonstrations are scheduled to find a solution that fits the needs of the team, cost estimates are bundled together, scope and assumptions are defined, risks are noted, and a preliminary timeline is built.

Once a product has been selected to solve the business issue, the Business Justification document can be completed with the scope, cost, and timeline of the project. Once the Business Justification document is completed the Project Summary document can be updated and sent back to the appropriate approver for signature. This signing of the Project Proposal Summary signifies that the project has been approved and will then go through a selection process.

Project Selection

To ensure that projects support the strategic goals of the University, proper management practices must be followed. By scoring the expected impact of individual projects, new projects can be compared against each other and against projects currently in process (those approved to be implemented and those in the process of being implemented) to determine a balance to the combination of projects. The status of each approved project must be continually monitored to ensure that no single project will affect the status of other technology-related projects. This analysis yields the necessary information to determine which projects to halt, which to continue implementing, and which to put in the queue to be implemented.