PRINCE2 Foundation Certification Notes 12: Starting Up a Project Process

PRINCE2 Foundation Certification Notes 12: Starting Up a Project Process

Important: The new PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner exams (PRINCE2® 2017) are available from 10 July 2017 (details of the changes here). Don’t worry, the changes are quite minor indeed as all the 7 principles, themes and processes remain the same. From now on until the end of 2017, candidates can take either the existing or updated English versions of the PRINCE2® exam. All PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner exams will be based on PRINCE2® 2017 from 1 January 2018. You can still seize the time to get certified based on the current version! Once you get PRINCE2® certified, your certification is still valid under PRINCE2® 2017 and onwards!

Introduction: In PRINCE2®, there are 7 Processes that provide guidance on every stage of the project from initiation to completion. The “Starting Up a Project Process” (which is also known as “Pre-project”) is the very first and a brief PRINCE2® Process aiming at ensuring the project is viable, feasible and worthwhile to undertake.

Starting Up a Project (SU) Process

Purpose and Objectives of Starting Up a Project Process

  • Purpose: to provide the project board with the necessary information (besides the project mandate) to decide whether to give a go for the project and to plan for the Initiation Stage
  • Objectives:
    • prepare the Outline Business Case (which will be refined in Initiation Stage as the Business Case)
    • take references to lessons learned from other projects/industrial recommendations/organization guidelines to establish the project approach
    • assign roles to individuals involved in the project
    • create the Project Brief — an overview of the scope and other information collected in the Process
    • formulate the Stage Plan for the Initiation Stage

Input(s), Activities and Output(s) of Starting Up a Project Process

  • Input(s):
    • Project Mandate (as the Project Trigger) — supplied by the management including reasons for the project, business case information and other datas
  • Activities:
    • Management to appoint the Executive, Project Manager and Project Management Team
    • Capture Lessons Learned from previous projects
    • Expand the Project Mandate into the Project Brief
    • Refine the Outline Business Case among the Project Board, Project Manager and Stakeholders iteratively
    • Create the Project Product Description (PPD), Project Brief and Stage Plan
    • Project Board to authorize Project Initiation
  • Output(s):
    • Project Brief — containing the following documents/information
      • Outline Business Case — contains the business justifications for the project
      • Project Product Description (PPD) — 1-3 page describing the project products
      • Project Management Structure (PMT) — describing the project management structure (i.e. the Project Board, Assurance, Change Authority and Project Manager)
      • Project Approach — the approach to project management
      • 6 performance targets, roles & responsibilities
    • Initiation Stage Plan — detailed activity plan for the Initiation Stage
    • Request to Initiate the Project — sent to Project Board for endorsement

PRINCE2® Recommendations for Starting Up a Project Process

  • Design and assign the project management team
  • Create role descriptions (including reporting and communication lines) for Project Board roles,  Project Assurance, Team Managers and Project Support role
  • Identified risks are to be added to the Daily Log
  • The Outline Business Case is only developed with a high level overview at this time — to be refined in the “Initiating a Project” process
  • Have a clear understanding of the objectives and reasons of the project (what to deliver and how the project will be funded)

Roles and Responsibilities for Starting Up a Project Process

  • Corporate or Programme Management: provide the project mandate, set the project tolerance and appoint the Executive & Project Manager
  • Executive: responsible for the Outline Business Case (with assistance from Project Manager)
  • Senior User(s): provide information for Project Product Description
  • Project Manager: responsible for the Project Product Description (PPD), Project Brief and Stage Plan
  • Team Manager: assist project manager


“Starting Up a Project (SU) Process” describes the purpose, objectives, inputs, activities, outputs and recommendations from the perspective of PRINCE2® project management methodology. The “Starting Up a Project (SU) Process” has the sole purpose to answer the question: “Is the project worthwhile and viable?” with the minimum efforts.

Wish you PRINCE2® Foundation Exam success!


Support website running for FREE, thanks!

If you find this post helpful and if you are thinking of buying from Amazon, please support the running cost of this website at no extra cost to you by searching and buying through the search box below. Thank you very much for your help!

Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *