Projects start when a business case or a benefit gets established. No project will start without a benefit realized.
Along with the purpose of the project, a project won’t start without authorization. The person or group who authorizes a project could be the CEO or even a night shift supervisor. In a start-up company, the sole proprietor authorizes themselves to start a project.
Whatever the size of the project or the governing body, a project starts when someone approves the endeavor. For the most part, the approval comes from a project sponsor. The sponsor is responsible for the project. They will give guidance to the project. The actual project management comes from the project manager.
The next step in initiating a project would be to develop a project charter. A charter establishes the project by defining the elements of the project. It provides a clear purpose. The charter is the first project document. It helps create many other project documents. The foundation of the project happens in the project charter.
Now if you have a home project such as painting the garage, you might think why would I need a project charter? This might be true. If you don’t use a charter you still need direction. You will have to determine many things. How much paint will you need? What paint supplies will you use? Will you need a ladder? What are the costs? You will need to determine schedule. All these questions have answers. This is your project scope, schedule, budget, project resources, and risks. All this information, if written down, is your project charter.
With a project benefit, project authorization, and a project charter the project can now start.