Initiation deliverables and objectives

Methodologies are a tool box comprised of processes, guidelines, techniques, software, and templates. The tools and how they are used are selected to fit the project so that the risks and complexities can be appropriately managed for that unique project. The chart below outlines project management deliverables and tools that can be used in project initiation. An 'x' indicates that deliverable or template is highly recommended based on a project's size or complexity.  Larger initiatives are also included in the chart, since they can also benefit from some of these tools.


Small Medium Large Initiatives
Project charter

(last revised Dec 13, 2016)

  x x  


x x x x


x x x x

Success criteria

x x x x

Stakeholder register

(last revised Nov 8, 2023)

  x x x

Project kick-off

(last revised March 23, 2023)

  x x  

RAID log (risks, actions, issues, decisions)

(last revised July 9, 2015)

  x x  

The project initiation phase defines and communicates what the project is and authorizes the project manager to proceed. The initiation process does not define how (this is done during the planning phase) and does not approve a project (this was done during the pre-project process).

The definition of what the project is must contain:

  • scope, as understood at the time of initiation
  • project roles and responsibilities
  • initial establishment of objectives through measurable success criteria to determine project success, answering the following questions:
    • Did the project deliver what was asked for?
    • Are there benefits to what was delivered?
    • Did the process used to get to the end point work well?

If not already completed before project initiation, an Information Risk Assessment may also have to be conducted.  Depending on the impact to stakeholders, organizational change management should also be started with key stakeholders being identified and included in project initiation and kickoff.

At the end of project initiation, an approved project charter by the sponsor authorizes the Project Manager to execute the project according to what is defined in the charter and stages the project for project team formation and planning. It is understood that changes may have to be made during project planning and execution as more information becomes available, especially with larger projects. These changes will be documented and approved in a project management plan with appropriate change requests (DOCX).

PMO services to support project initiation

  • assistance towards
    • determining success criteria for your project
    • assessing project size and/or complexity
    • defining and educating on project roles and responsibilities
  • project artifact library to research historical projects with similar characteristics

To request these services, please submit a request to the PMO.

Project initiation inputs and outputs

diagram of inputs and outputs for project initiation process

Project initiation process