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Lesson 1

Project Life Cycle Initiation

Here's a definition of the project initiation phase of the Project Life Cycle in software development:
Project Initiation Phase
The project initiation phase is the first stage of the software development project lifecycle (SDLC). It focuses on laying the foundation and determining if a proposed project aligns with business needs and is worth pursuing.
Key Activities in the Initiation Phase:
  1. Problem or Opportunity Identification: Clearly defining the business problem being solved by the software or the opportunity it aims to capitalize on.
  2. Feasibility Study: Analyzing whether the project goals are technically achievable, if they are within budget constraints, and if they are likely to deliver the expected benefits.
  3. Stakeholder Identification and Analysis: Determining who will be impacted by the project, their roles, their power and influence over the project, and their specific needs.
  4. Project Scope Definition: Outlining the boundaries of the project, what's specifically included and what's deliberately excluded.
  5. Risk Assessment: Identifying potential challenges and obstacles that could jeopardize the project's success.
  6. Project Charter Creation: Developing a high-level document that summarizes the essential project information, including objectives, scope, budget estimates, timelines, stakeholders, and risks.
  7. Securing Approval: Seeking formal approval and commitment of resources from project sponsors and key decision-makers.

Goals of the Project Initiation Phase
  • Establish Project Viability: Determine if the project is worth pursuing based on its alignment with business goals, costs, benefits, and risks.
  • Set Clear Expectations: Ensure all stakeholders have a shared understanding of the project's purpose, goals, and constraints.
  • Secure Commitment: Obtain the necessary buy-in and resources to start the project and move into the detailed planning phase.

Software Creation from Concept to Delivery

How do you get from nothing to something that will become a computer application? The first step is to understand what you are being asked to do.
The project initiation phase is where you frame the problem to be solved and define the process to solve it. This is achieved through two tools: a problem statement and a data dictionary. You will use your project's problem statement to determine the project’s context and its scope, and to identify constraints that may limit the development, selection, and implementation of a software solution. You will use a data dictionary to define the problem domain’s vocabulary. Your data dictionary will help you, the project team, and users to resolve any conflicts over the interpretation of key project terms.
Module Learning Objectives
In this module, you will learn:
  1. How the three key elements of a problem statement—context, scope, and constraints—affect your analysis and modeling
  2. How to capture the problem domain vocabulary in a data dictionary

Information Technology Project Management
The Project Initiation Phase is the first phase in the Project Management Life Cycle, because it involves starting up a new project. You can start a new project by defining its objectives, scope, purpose and deliverables to be produced. You will also hire your project team,review the project, in order to gain approval to begin the next phase.
There are six key steps that you need to take to properly initiate a new project. The Project Initiation Phase is the most crucial phase in the Project Life Cycle, because it is the phase in which you define your scope and assign work to subordinates. Only with a clearly defined scope and a suitably skilled team, can you ensure success.

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