Starting Up a Project - 'Start Up'

PRINCE2 has seven processes that walk you through a project and 'Starting Up a Project' is the first of these. 'Start Up' has its own activities within it. Again, it is not imperative to follow these as a set list. It is possible to ignore some parts where necessary and can sometimes help to show what can be safely left out of the project.

This model in itself doesn't actually explain much. If anything, it adds more questions. Some of these might be...

✔ What exactly is this project about?

✔ How much money is available?

✔ Are there any other financial restrictions, such as when you can spend money?

✔ Is there a time limit to complete the project?

✔ Are there any other constraints placed on the project?

Before getting into any detail for planning any project, it is important to have the basic information sorted. This is Start Up, and it is easy to see how starting PRINCE2 before the project actually starts is highly logical.
Also, it helps answer an important question - "Is this really a project?". The task may just be a unit of work that does not justify the overheads of project control, or the idea is not actually so good afterall.

Start Up involves appointing some people to manage the work, setting down what the project actually is, look at any costs and benefits and checking constraints and compiling all this together in order to make a decision to continue or stop.

Some argue that you can leave out Start Up or simply include it in the main planning once the project is underway. However, this is unadvisable since it can help highlight early problems and can save hours of wasted time in the detailed planning of a project.

Start Up can make a project that looks overwhelming and huge look logical and straightforward, even if already experienced, Start Up is a helpful, sensible and quick approach.

Start Up - Do it quickly

Start Up can usually be done very quickly. It may take a few weeks in some cases, but it is more likely to take two days, in some cases only a few hours.

Getting together a group of people to collaborate information is an effective way of gathering information quickly. This should include people who can give advice on what the project involves (specialists) and what the project requires (users). Ideally, this board group should be between 4-12 people and should include key stakeholders such as...

✔ Business Owner of the project

✔ Line Managers

✔ Operational managers

✔ Representatives of an external suppliers to the project

✔ The project manager

For more information about the people involved in a project, click here

There are services available that offer consultants to help collaborate the Start Up workshops in order to help ensure it goes smoothly and help the project begin quicker.