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3.1 TASKS AND ACTIVITIES
3.1.1 Identify the Opportunity to Improve Business Functions
3.1.2 Identify a Project Sponsor
3.1.3 Form a Project Organization
3.1.4 Document the Phase Efforts
3.1.5 Review and Approval to Proceed
3.2 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
3.3.1 Concept Proposal
3.4 ISSUES FOR CONSIDERATION
3.5 PHASE REVIEW ACTIVITY
The Initiation Phase begins when management determines that it is necessary to enhance a business process through the application of information technology. The purposes of the Initiation Phase are to:
IT projects may be initiated as a result of business process improvement activities, changes in business functions, advances in information technology, or may arise from external sources, such as public law, the general public or state/local agencies. The Project Sponsor articulates this need within the organization to initiate the project life cycle. During this phase, a Project Manager is appointed who prepares a Statement of Need or Concept Proposal. When an opportunity to improve business/mission accomplishments or to address a deficiency is identified, the Project Manager documents these opportunities in the Concept Proposal. (See figure 3-1)
The following activities are performed as part of the Initiation Phase. The results of these activities are captured in the Concept Proposal. For every IT project, the agency should designate a responsible organization and assign that organization sufficient resources to execute the project.
Identify why a business process is necessary and what business benefits can be expected by implementing this improvement. A business scenario and context must be established in which a business problem is clearly expressed in purely business terms. Provide background information at a level of detail sufficient to familiarize senior managers to the history, issues and customer service opportunities that can be realized through improvements to business processes with the potential support of IT. This background information must not offer or predetermine any specific automated solution, tool, or product.
The Project Sponsor is the principle authority on matters regarding the expression of business needs, the interpretation of functional requirements language, and the mediation of issues regarding the priority, scope and domain of business requirement.
This activity involves the appointment of a project manager who carries both the responsibility and accountability for project execution. For small efforts, this may only involve assigning a project to a manager within an existing organization that already has an inherent support structure. For new, major projects, a completely new organizational element may be formed - requiring the hiring and reassignment of many technical and business specialists.
Each project shall have an individual designated to lead the effort. The individual selected will have appropriate skills, experience, credibility, and availability to lead the project. Clearly defined authority and responsibility must be provided to the Project Manager.
The Project Manager will work with Stakeholders to identify the scope of the proposed program, participation of the key organizations, and potential individuals who can participate in the formal reviews of the project. This decision addresses both programmatic and information management-oriented participation as well as technical interests in the project that my be knows at this time.
In view of the nature and scope of the proposed program, the key individuals and oversight committee members who will become the approval authorities for the project will be identified.
The results of the phase efforts are documented in the Concept Proposal.
The approval of the Concept Proposal identifies the end of the Initiation Phase. Approval should be annotated on the Concept Proposal by the Program Sponsor and the Chief Information Officer (CIO). See the ITIM guide for further approval authority at http://dojnet.doj.gov/jmd/irm/whatsnewpage.htm (available to DOJ Employees only).
The following deliverables shall be initiated during the Initiation Phase:
3.3.1 Concept Proposal - This is the need or opportunity to improve business functions. It identifies where strategic goals are not being met or mission performance needs to be improved. Appendix C-1 provides a template for the Concept Proposal.
In this phase, it is important to state the needs or opportunities in business terms. Avoid identifying a specific product or vendor as the solution. The Concept Proposal should not be more than 2-5 pages in length.
At the end of this phase, the Concept Proposal is approved before proceeding to the next phase. The Concept Proposal should convey that this project is a good investment and identify any potential impact on the infrastructure/architecture.
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