Project Inception is a preliminary phase in most projects to explore the reason for starting a project, identify a solution for implementation, define benefits to be gained upon successful completion, estimate time required to do the project, and request for funds necessary for project execution. The purpose is to begin to define the overall project parameters and establish an appropriate management environment required to launch and manage the project.
Other names of the inception phase are Initiation, Exploration, Pre-project, Pre-planning, Startup. Regardless of what name is used, the phase carries out the following key processes:
- Perform an environmental analysis (e.g. SWOT, PERT) to identify internal and external factors that have a positive, negative or neutral impact to the company’s environment.
- Define the problem or what should be solved to reach a desired state of the business environment.
- Propose a solution to the problem.
- Analyze options or alternatives to the proposed solution.
- Perform feasibility analysis to prove the solution’s technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness.
- Assess risks that may jeopardize success.
- Develop a timeline that defines time required to implement the solution.
- Request for approval or develop a project proposal document that aims to request necessary funds and explain the problem to be addressed, the solution to be implemented, and the benefits to be gained from developing the project.