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Value Management Office
Value Management Framework - Initiate


  • Initiate
  • Define project parameters

Initiate begins with the identification and establishment of expected project objectives, roles and outcomes. In the Initiate phase, creating a good foundation leads to project success. The project team, sponsor and business organization, and external stakeholders must agree upon a vision of what is being undertaken, and understand what to expect as the project takes shape; as well as achieve clarity on each group’s roles and responsibilities. In this phase, the project is formally initiated through the completion of foundational deliverables.

INITIATE Expectations Templates, Tools, and Guidance Participants
Effective Sponsorship is the key to success.

The Business needs drive the projects.

Stakeholder engagement is a strategic matter.
INITIATE Guidance:
Sponsor Checklist INITIATE
Steering Committee Basics
Steering Committee Purpose and Role

INITIATE Templates:
Charter Template
Project Plan (Draft WBS)
Steering Committee Reference Template (Operating Procedures)

Resource Estimation Toolkit
Risk Register Toolkit (including
Dependencies and Constraints)
Stakeholder Register Toolkit
Steering Committee Agenda Toolkit

OCM Phase 1: Prepare for Change:
Agency Engagement Center Impact Gathering Tool
Agency Engagement Center OCM RACI (ARCI) Matrix
Agency Engagement Center Sponsor Roadmap
Agency Engagement Center OCM Strategy Outline
Agency Engagement Center OCM Work Plan
Agency Engagement Center Stakeholder Analysis Tool

OCM Phase 2: Manage Change:
Agency Engagement Center ADKAR Progression

INITIATE Phase Review (Charter, Project Plan, OCM Work Plan)
Note: Additional deliverables may be required in your particular PMO
Project Manager
Organizational Change Manager

Steering Team
Technical Unit
Business Unit
Procurement *

(optional *)
  1. The sponsor and organizational change manager work together to develop the Sponsor Roadmap to guide and plan sponsor actions over the life of the project.

  2. The sponsor and project manager form a steering committee. Steering committees may serve as an advisor to the sponsor or serve as the final authority for significant project decisions. Factors to be considered in forming the steering committee include the number of separate business entities or stakeholder groups, how the needs of the separate entities or groups are to be represented and integrated in shaping the overall project approach, and the general size and complexity of the project. Guidance related to selecting and seating the steering committee, as well as meetings and steering committee operating principles are included in the Steering Committee Guide and steering committee operating principles template. The steering committee operating principles, along with meeting agendas and minutes, should be maintained as part of the project documentation.

  3. The project vision statement developed during CONCEPT should be reviewed and discussed with the steering committee to ensure broad acceptance of the project vision. This discussion, any amendments, and final acceptance should be documented and retained in the project repository.

  4. The project manager, with the assistance of the sponsor, completes the project charter template which is then approved by the steering committee. A charter is a formal document providing authority to the project manager to conduct a project within scope, quality, time, cost, and resource constraints as described in the document. The charter is maintained in the project documentation.

  5. The project manager, with the assistance of the sponsor, creates the RACI matrix which is then reviewed with the steering committee. The RACI matrix identifies the phases, lists the deliverables for each phase, and responsibilities (such as approver, signatory, responsible, or informed) of various stakeholders with respect to those deliverables. RACI is an acronym based on four key types of responsibilities that are described in the matrix: responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed. The RACI matrix tool or a similar template can be used to document the RACI.

  6. In parallel with the RACI, the organizational change manager completes the OCM RACI (called the ARCI), which focuses on the roles and responsibilities of the change management resources.

  7. The project manager and sponsor complete a risk register which is documented in the risk analysis toolkit. The risk register and associated analysis helps identify risks that are likely to affect the project and documents the characteristics of each risk. Risk analysis addresses both internal and external risks. It also documents the potential impact or consequences (tangible or intangible), either positive or negative, should the risk occur. Risks are usually categorized as high, medium, or low likelihood and impact. The project manager and sponsor also prepare the risk management plan and mitigation responses to help manage risks and prevent them from becoming issues and to project how the project team will respond if a risk becomes an issue.

    As risks materialize, they may be classified as issues and worked as part of the project plan. Good risk identification and management helps projects be more successful in completing on time, on budget and with the desired outcomes. The risk register can be created in project management software or the risk register toolkit.

  8. The project manager and sponsor also document known dependencies, constraints and assumptions and include these in the project repository. Dependencies, constraints, and assumptions should be discussed with the project team. If material, they should also be discussed with the steering committee addressed in the project plan. Dependencies can be documented in the corresponding task in the project management software or may be included as added tabs or separate spreadsheets in a format like the risk register.

  9. The sponsor and organizational change manager conduct a stakeholder analysis and document stakeholders in the stakeholder register.

  10. Using the risk and stakeholder information, as well as other project related documents, the organizational change manager completes the OCM strategy outline and formalizes the OCM work plan. These documents are reviewed with the sponsor and shared with the project manager. Milestones from the OCM work plan are integrated into the overall project plan to ensure the project manager is aware of the major OCM deliverables and where they fall on the critical path.

  11. The project manager completes resource estimates using either an agency specific template or the resource estimating toolkit. The toolkit workbook contains estimated costs for everything necessary to complete a project: hardware, software, personnel, consultants, facilities, etc. The projection is performed early in the project to provide a reference point but is refined (and discussed with the sponsor and steering committee) throughout the project.

    The initial projections should be a rough order of magnitude with an expected deviation of +- 50%. At the conclusion of PLAN, this deviation should drop to around +-25% and, after sourcing, should be within +-10% of final costs. At the conclusion of PLAN, change orders are used to manage changes to cost, scope, and/or schedule. The resource estimating toolkit or a similar template should be maintained in the project documentation.

  12. Using known factors about the project and the standard project plan template, the project manager drafts the initial project plan, creating a work breakdown structure (WBS) and critical path. The WBS is a depiction of the logical relationship between and among tasks in a project. The critical path sequences activities that have the least amount of schedule flexibility (showing the shortest time to completion). The project manager and sponsor confer on the WBS and critical path and discuss it with the steering committee. If the project team has been using Workfront, the Value Management Framework Project Plan may have been the template you used to create the project. If the team is using a different project management software, please import the steps in the template in to the project management tool so that key steps associated with benefits realization are not omitted. Generate and understand the critical path and include a pdf of the plan and critical path in the phase review information.

  13. The sponsor approves the required deliverables and the project manager submits the deliverables to agency governance for review. The Initiate phase review is a formal examination of the INITIATE deliverables to ensure the foundation of the project has been established and the supporting information to promote advancement to the next phase is completed.

    At the completion of the INITIATE phase, approval to proceed by agency governance releases funding for the PLAN phase.