Project Initiation Process – Part Three



By Dan Epstein

New York, USA


3.0 Document Requirements and Obtain Project Authorization

Note: This article is based on the book Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman, published by J Ross Publishing in 2014. The book describes PM Workflow® framework, the step-by-step workflow guiding approach using project management methods, practical techniques, examples, tools, templates, checklists and tips, teaching readers the detailed and necessary knowledge required to manage project “hands-on” from scratch, instructing what to do, when to do and how to do it up to delivering the completed and tested product or service to your client. While PM Workflow® is the continuous multi-threaded process, where all PM processes are integrated together, this article will attempt to describe the initiation set of processes as a stand-alone group of processes that can be used independently outside of PM Workflow® framework. It will be difficult in this article to not venture into processes outside of project initiation, such as planning, quality, risk, communications and other project management processes, so they will be just mentioned. For more information, please visit www.pm-workflow.com.

For part 1 and part 2 of this article please visit:

Part 1: https://pmworldjournal.net/article/project-initiation-process/

Part 2: https://pmworldjournal.net/article/project-initiation-process-part-two/

In part 1 of the article we discussed the following:

  1. New project request and the benefit statement, which provide the delivery team with a general idea about the project and the expected benefits from the project.
  2. Calculation and the sample of the cost-benefit analysis to establish whether benefits from the project justify expenses.
  3. Project Control book, a tool for keeping all project documentation in one place.

The part 2 of the article advised on:

  1. Business Requirements Analysis —The article guides you to obtain detailed project requirements and to analyze them.
  2. Traceability Matrix —The requirements traceability matrix is a tool for documenting, updating and tracking all requirements and changes to the project scope throughout the life of the project. The template for the traceability matrix was provided.

The initiation process flow diagram was presented in the Part 2 of the article. Please refer to it in order to follow descriptions below.
Once the new Traceability Matrix, described in Part 2 of this article, created and all requirements documented, the Business Requirement Document (BRD) will be created.

3.1 Create Business Requirements Document (R6)

BRD is a document which, when signed off by the Requirements Manager, which is a role assigned by project manager, and clients’ management, represents a baseline for requirements. The project authorization is based on those requirements. The Business Requirements Document (BRD) never changes, because it is a baseline set of requirements, used to obtain client’s approval for the project and funding.

The traceability matrix is a dynamic document. It reflects the current status of requirements; therefore, it changes during the course of the project. It contains, along with the baseline requirements, the history of all changes to requirements during the project life cycle. Based on the contents of the Traceability Matrix, the first client deliverable document can be produced in the process Business Requirements Document (R6), which provides details of all business requirements.


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About the Author

Dan Epstein
New York, USA


Dan Epstein combines over 25 years of experience in the project management field and the best practices area, working for several major Canadian and U.S. corporations, as well as 4 years teaching university students project management and several software engineering subjects. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the LITMO University in Leningrad (today St. Petersburg, Russia) in 1970, was certified as a Professional Engineer in 1983 by the Canadian Association of Professional Engineers – Ontario, and earned a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University in 2000 and the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in 2001.

Throughout his career, Dan managed multiple complex interdependent projects and programs, traveling extensively worldwide. He possesses multi-industry business analysis, process reengineering, best practices, professional training development and technical background in a wide array of technologies. In 2004 Dan was a keynote speaker and educator at the PMI-sponsored International Project Management Symposium in Central Asia. He published several articles and gave published interviews on several occasions. In the summer of 2008 he published “Methodology for Project Managers Education” in a university journal. His book, Project Workflow Management – The Business Process Approach, written in cooperation with Rich Maltzman, was published in 2014 by J. Ross Publishing.

Dan first started development of the Project Management Workflow in 2003, and it was used in a project management training course. Later this early version of the methodology was used for teaching project management classes at universities in the 2003–2005 school years. Later on, working in the best practices area, the author entertained the idea of presenting project management as a single multithreaded business workflow. In 2007–2008 the idea was further refined when teaching the project management class at a university. In 2009–2011 Dan continued working full time in Project Management. Dan can be contacted at [email protected].