Initiation is the formal authorization for the project to move forward. It starts with the identification of a problem, a business need, or a requirement that in turn sparks a project request. Events that trigger a project request are market demand, internal business need, legal requirement, new technology, external customer request, technological change, and social need.
The initial project request needs to be clarified to create high-level requirements, or the product description. High-level requirements and associated cost estimates are presented during a project selection process. This stage may be formal or informal, and may be done on a corporate basis or departmentally.
Project stakeholders are people who are involved in the project or people who will be impacted by the result of the project. Some project stakeholders you will likely encounter, besides yourself as the project manager, include team members, functional managers, customers (both internal and external), and end users. A project sponsor is a stakeholder who will promote the project and is available to mentor the project team as applicable.
The output from the Initiation process is the project charter. This contains the signature of the person or persons who have the authority to move the project forward. This document will be the basis for more detailed project planning. It should contain the project description, information on the project team, measurable objectives, and a high-level business case.