Initiation Phase

During the Initiation Phase, an initial definition of the project’s high-level objectives, scope, resource needs, responsibilities, and timeframe are leveraged from the Project Proposal Summary (PPS) that the Business Analysis team will provide. The project manager (PM) is assigned and the PM and owner/technical lead will work closely with the sponsor to complete and gain approval on the project charter. This phase concludes when a kick-off meeting is held and the sponsor will officially charge the team.

Steps and Output


For a more detailed view of the Initiation phase in the context of an entire project lifecycle, see the Project Management Process Overview swimlane (PDF).

Helpful Tips

Gather Information
  • Hold planning meetings to bring all the participants together, introduce the project, and give team members a forum for voicing opinions early in the process. It is helpful for the team to meet first to discuss the information that has been gathered to date regarding the business needs and objectives to be accomplished.
  • Planning meetings help to confirm understanding of the project scope, identify project team members, identify impacts, define measures of success, identify risks and plan for contingencies.
Ease Team Collaboration and DIT Reporting
  • Give the project a descriptive name, such as 'DIT Website Redesign'. ServiceNow will automatically create the following standardized naming convention: Year_Portfolio_ProjectName. For example: 2017_ATEX_DITWebsiteRedesign. The naming convention will allow for easy sorting/filtering and roll-up reports.
  • Work with the Office of Service Strategy to create a project repository in Google Drive or Box to use for team collaboration on key documents. Name the folder the same as the project name above. The PM will manage permissions and folder structure.
Use the Project Charter As a Contract
  • It will be the baseline against which you’ll mark changes to requirements.
  • It will be the quick reference guide to what is in or out of scope.
  • Everyone on the team and all stakeholders will have access to it to ensure transparency and alignment.
Involve IT Security in the Creation and Review of the Project Charter
  • IT Security may have constraints or concerns that are important for project scope and requirements.
  • Also, ensure that Security is invited to the Kick-Off meeting.
Hold a Kick-Off Meeting
  • Familiarize the project team with the project, review the project charter, review the change management process and receive buy-in from all project participants.
  • Determine team preferences for project meetings and frequency.
  • Maintain administrative content in the project document repository.