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Project Initiation Handbook


Ten tenets of major project initiation

Since the Major Projects Association’s formation in 1981, many events have been held and many reports have been written in the attempt to understand why major projects go well and to learn when they go wrong. Getting major projects set up right from the start is repeatedly highlighted as the critical factor in project success, and conversely, its absence usually leads to failure.

These ten tenets of major project initiation set out a framework to help all those working across the supply chain of major projects to adopt better project initiation processes.

01 Having a vision

Creating clarity and ownership of the vision.

06 Governance for confidence

Creating the right governance structure with early review points to check clarity and line of sight.

02 Where’s the value?

Establishing the robust business case to underpin investment.

07 People, people, people

Getting the team right, and keeping it together.

03 Leaders must lead

Owning the vision setting realistic and deliverable scope, objectives and measures for success.

08 A project for life

Defining and delivering a whole life investment approach.

04 Communications, engagement and consultation

Effective communication with society and communities.

09 Plan for change

Embrace change from the top – and be ready to challenge the status quo.

05 Managing the market

Creating an appetite to be involved by engaging the supply chain and ensuring contracts reflect the right behaviours from the start.

10 Successful feedback loops

Using the consensus of best practice, benchmarking, lessons and case studies to improve delivery.