Re-Thinking Project Initiation and Project Management by Considering Principles of Sustainable Development

Re-Thinking Project Initiation and Project Management by Considering Principles of Sustainable Development

Roland Gareis (WU Vienna, Austria & Roland Gareis Consulting, Austria)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4177-8.ch008

Abstract

Project initiation and project management are specific processes of the project-oriented company. In order to improve the performance of these processes in their descriptions as well as in the design of the methods to be applied, the principles of sustainable development can be considered. Templates for some project initiation and project management methods considering SD principles are provided. This chapter is based on the results of the Research Project: SustPM, which was completed in May 2012. The overall research results are published by PMI in the book Project Management & Sustainable Development Principles by Roland Gareis, Martina Huemann, and André Martinuzzi (all WU Vienna)1.
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Project Initiation Process And Project Management Process

Project initiation and project management are specific processes of the project-oriented company. A diferentiation between the project initiation process and the project management process is necessary, as these processes have different objectives, different tasks, and require different organizations for their performances.

Project Initiation Process

The project initiation process is a process belonging to the group of project portfolio management processes. The initiation of a new project adds to an existing project portfolio of a company and therefore has to be analyzed within this context.

The objectives of the project initiation process are to decide if an investment is to be made or not, and to decide about the appropriate organization for initiating the investment. This can be the base organization of a company, a project, a chain of projects, a network of projects or a program (of projects). The tasks of the project initiation process are to analyze an investment, to make a decision regarding the realization of an investment, to define the organization, which shall initiate the investment, to make a decision regarding the appropriate organization, to initiate the investment with, and to assign a manager and a team with a project or a program (Gareis 2005: 447).

The project initiation process starts with the formulation of a need or an opportunity for an investment, and ends with the assignment of a project to a project manager or a project team (Gido/Clements 2008; Samset 2008; Wijnen/Kor 2000: 89). Problem formulation, investment analysis, understanding stakholders´ views, investment decisions, and project definition are mentioned as tasks to be accomplished in the project initiation phase (Samset 2008). Figure 1 shows the tasks of the project initiation process. The project initiation process is performed by a project initiation team, which is assigned by an investment promoter (See Figure 2).

Figure 1.

Project initiation process (Gareis, et al., 2013)

Figure 2.

Responsibility matrix of the project initiation process (Gareis, et al., 2013)

Outputs of the project initiation process are the investment analysis, the investment decision, the organization decision, the rough project management plan, and the project charter.

The project initiation process is performed by a project initiation team, which is assigned by an investment promoter (Figure 2). The investment promoter, who is interested in the investment, assigns a project initiation team. In the design of the project initiation process, the members of the project initiation team, the communication structures, and the methods to be applied in the process have to be defined. It also has to be assured that the values of the organizations and the individuals involved in the project initiation process fit.

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