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Directing a project vs Initiating a project

Blog   |    30th July 2021   |   Rupali



As a project manager,you have a good chunk of the business. You are putting absolutely everything into a product. And that product is going to work wonders for the business.

So where do your ideas go? Into a product. And how does that work? Answering this throughout a project is what directing the project is all about.

But essentially, your ideas are going into a product. Yes, into the product. So you will need to start doing it at some point. That is what starting or initiating a project is all about.

So, in this blogpost, we are going to look at the following takeaways:

Directing a project

Initiating a project

Directing vs initiating

How this works for PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile

What courses to choose if you are interested in studying how to make the best use of direction for your project, and how to make an effective start on your project.

Directing a project

Suppose you are a project manager.

You are on a project to create a product. You want to put your unique ideas into the product.

So you plan with the executives and your project teams. Then you begin work.

The product takes shape according to your ideas.

Essentially you are pulling all stops to put your ideas into the product.

While doing that, your executives come up with a solution to an issue you encountered. They have a sanctioned budget for you to build a digital image of your product across several channels by fostering business partnerships with the channel heads.

This is what directing a project is all about.

You are looking to put the absolute world into a product.

Directing a project is a way of helping you do just that, all throughout a project.
While directing a project, the means and ways to help you put the absolute world into a product are secured to make the whole project an easier set of tasks.

For example, you saw that the digital identity of the product in our example was made a reality by the senior management who were keeping an eye out for the product while it was being made.

Directing a project helps the project manager put their best efforts into the product.
The actions taken when directing a project help the product be the best version of itself, for the organization.

In a nutshell, directing a project:

is a strategic activity.

The leaders of an organization keep an eye on the product being made.

They, together with the executives and the project manager, find solutions.

So that the project goes on smoothly.

And the product is exactly what the organization envisioned.

Initiating a project

I repeat, you are on the journey towards putting your absolute everything into a product.
You have this whole idea enclosed into a capsule, in your mind's eye.

Now is the time to get it out in front of the organization.
You have to put it out, loud and clear.

That's where the notion of a business case comes to help you out.
The business case contains a value proposition.

This helps you to frame a picture of the product and what you will be putting into it, for the leaders who will be guiding you on the way to that destination.

Initiating or starting the project involves getting your product's business case and value proposition out for the business.

So that the leaders can help you fructify your aims with the product, and foremost, so that they know what the product is all about and whether now is the right time to start with the project.

So you see, initiating or starting a project is part of directing it.

The main reason for including this as a separate point on the project pathway is that you are spurred to take action upon the vision you have for your product.

You have to start at some point, and that point is starting or initiating a project.

Let's recap what we have seen so far:

Starting or initiating a project is a project management tactic.

You have a vision for the product and what to put into it.

Initiating a project helps encapsulate that vision.

Making a business case and a value proposition for the product are part of intiating a project.

They help to secure resources for your project.

Directing vs Initiating

I'll remind you of the little example that we saw at the beginning. The project came to a point where creating the digital identity of the product was necessary.

The leaders came forward with the necessary resources for the product's digital identity.

That's how directing a project is a strategic activity. It involves keeping the product's attributes in view all the time and taking care of any impediments to those attributes.

In the same example, the point where the product was thought of was the initiation point . It was from there that the vision for the product was developed.

Initiation of a project is a part of the overall strategy of the business. Putting your ideas into the product is part of the overall strategy of creating a product for the market.

Now, in the same example, we saw that direction of the project involved responding to various plans for the project, for instance forging strategic partnerships for establishing the digital identity of the product.

On the other hand, initiating a project is more communications involved. For instance, starting to put your ideas into a product involves a value proposition that states exactly what you want to put into a product.

After the project ends, the product has to live a life of its own. Directing a project takes care of the future of the product.

For instance, the leaders and executives made resources available for creating a digital identity of the product that would affect its lifecycle.

Initiation of a project involves setting the stage for creating a product, which is short in nature. It is limited to announcing that you are ready to put your ideas into a product.

Let's recap what we have seen:

*Directing a project is strategic in nature, whereas Initiating a project is part of that strategy.
*Directing a project is tactic and plan rich, whereas Initiating a project is more communications rich.
*Directing a project involves taking care of a product's future, whereas Initiating a project is a temporary stage.

PRINCE2 methodologies have been the driving force behind projects for a very long time.
These have been adjusted to reflect changing project requirements, like shorter and quicker development spans, not very unlike those characteristic of Agile Software Development.

However, whatever may be the case of a project, some things will never change.

Directing involves taking care of the future of products while still in development.

Initiating involves announcing what you are ready to put into a project.

This hold true for both PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile projects.

Both kinds are after all projects.

They would lead to the creation of products.

All products need to nurtured while the project is on. Initiation helps secure the necessay buy-in, and direction helps secure the resources.

That is why, whether Agile or not, PRINCE2 projects always have the directing and initiating steps.

They are meant to care for the products, irrespective of the methodology.

Let us recap:

* We looked at a primary difference between PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile.
*The latter comes from new software development techniques.
*Directing and Initiation or Starting are necessary for the product.
*We looked at an example that focused on products, and not on the methodologies.
*The project in case could have been PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile.
*Creation of products is universal in both cases, and Direction and Initiation are meant to cater to products.
*Hence, Direction and Initiation are universal for both PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile.

Knowlathon has been for long, a provider of PRINCE2 trainings.

Not only do you attend a training, but also you can validate your skills by sitting a certification exam.
You then get a PRINCE 2 certificate.

We have several options for you: the PRINCE2 Foundation, PRINCE2 Practitioner, and also a blended course:PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner.
If you just want to know the basic tenets of PRINCE2, you may opt for the PRINCE2 Foundation.

If you want to lead projects actively, you may take the PRINCE2 Practitioner course.

Save yourself the time by doing a three day blended PRINCE2 course.

Newer ways of software development led to Agile practices being widely popular.
Given how immensely popular Agile is when resources are strained during times like these, PRINCE2 Agile was written for those who want to speed up development and creation of products.

Now, for you, we have the PRINCE2 Agile route.

Consisting of the same course types as PRINCE2, we must say our three day PRINCE2 Agile Foundation and Practitioner course is well sought after.

Check out our range of PRINCE2 courses