Managing the project initiation process is no where near as straightforward as most processes would imply. The path to getting any one project initiated is a labyrinthine maze of process, politics and organizational culture. The path through this maze is not constant, and often feels like it has to be re-learned for each and every project.

For all of the challenges, however, there are strategies that, when understood, can make the process easier to manage and more effective.

As part of his doctoral thesis, Mark Mullaly investigated how individuals support and influence making project initiation decisions. Starting with behavioural decision making in general, and the theory of ‘decision making as rule following’ in particular, Mark researched the actual practices involved in how large-scale project investment choices get made by individuals working in organizations around the world. He explored the organizational and process influences on project initiation, as well as the role of the individual decision maker, to understand the complexity that underlies what are arguably the most important decisions for project success – how they get started in the first place.

This presentation explores the various models that support navigating the project initiation maze (as well as those that lead to obstacles and dead ends). The third and final instalment exploring Mark's research, it provides concrete strategies that can be applied in assessing the organization and its culture, evaluating our capabilities and determining how to most effectively steward the initiation of a project. Mark introduces a comprehensive theory of how effective initiations get made. That theory is your roadmap through the labyrinth; why not avoid the monsters and join us?

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