NURS 6441 Week 4: Project Initiation Part I

NURS 6441 Week 4: Project Initiation Part I

NURS 6441 Week 4: Project Initiation Part I

The project initiation phase is the beginning, and perhaps most important, stage of designing and managing a project. To begin, the project manager must have a clear, overall understanding of what stakeholders envision for the project. The more time spent asking questions and clarifying details at the start, the smoother the process and the easier it will be to meet expectations.

One of the key events in the initiation phase is the creation of a project charter. A project charter defines a number of essential project features and functions as a roadmap to a project’s completion. This week you are introduced to the project charter development process, and you and your team produce your own preliminary charter for a health care information technology project.


Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze the impact of “triple constraint” in developing a project charter
  • Evaluate the impact of charter elements on the development of a project charter
  • Produce a charter for a health care information technology (HIT) project*

* The Assignment related to this Learning Objective is introduced this week and submitted in Week 5.

Also Read:

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Biafore, B. (2010). Microsoft Project 2010: The missing manual. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly.

  • Chapter 1, “Projects: In the Beginning”
      • “Publicizing a Project and Its Manager” (pp. 35–37)


      In this section of Chapter 1, the author describes the typical elements of a project charter. The author also provides guidelines for generating stakeholder support using a project charter.

Coplan, S., & Masuda, D. (2011). Project management for healthcare information technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

  • Chapter 3, “Project Management”
      • “Prepare Project Charter” (pp. 42–43)


      This section of Chapter 3 explains the basic principles of preparing a project charter. The authors summarize a project charter’s key elements.

Project Management Institute. (2017). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK® guide) (6th ed.). Newtown Square, PA: Author.

  • Chapter 2, “The Environment in Which Processes Operate”
  • Review this chapter, which supplies information on managing a single project that uses networked processes. The chapter describes project management processes related to each phase of a project. Chapter 4, “Project Integration Management”
      • Chapter 4, Section 4.1


      This section of Chapter 4 details the process of developing a project charter. The text focuses on the inputs, outputs, and tools and techniques of project chartering.

Bolles, D. (2002). Building project management centers of excellence. New York: ANACOM.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

  • Chapter 10, “Project initiation” (pp. 199–122)This chapter explores the initiation phase of a project in great detail. The chapter focuses on the key tasks and performers of this phase.

Cortelyou-Ward, K., Noblin, A., & Martin, J. (2011). Electronic health record project initiation and early planning in a community health center. Health Care Manager30(2), 118–124.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


This article explores the application of project initiation and early planning in a community health center. The authors delve into the issues of quality improvement, planning, and finance.

Kloppenborg, T. (2012). Project selection and initiation questions leading to good risk management [Special section]. PM World Today14(1), 1–5.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


This article presents questions that project managers may ask to promote effective risk management. The author details questions applicable to the creation of a project charter and the selection of a project. (n.d.). Project charter. Retrieved March 12, 2013, from

Hart, S. (2012, July 28). PM-foundations – the project charter [Blog post]. Retrieved from


The author of this article reviews the basic elements and considerations of a project charter. In particular, the article explains project charter content, the assignment of charter responsibilities, and six attributes of a good project charter.

Karim, S. (2012, May 24). A project with no project charter? [Blog post]. Retrieved from


This article focuses on cases in which projects have no corresponding project charter. The author specifies reasons for neglecting a charter and analyzes the potential negative repercussions.

Microsoft Corporation. (2012c). Project management goal: Initiate a project. Retrieved from


This article describes the process of initiating a project. The article provides a large-scale overview of planning a project.

Microsoft Corporation. (2012e). The project triangle. Retrieved from


This article examines the impact of time, money, and scope on any project. The article suggests various strategies for balancing these three constraints.

Document: Team Project Scenario (PDF)


This document contains the scenario you will use for your Team Project.

Document: Team Project Overview (PDF)


This document provides an overview of the Team Project you will work on throughout this course.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013f). Project initiation [Video file]. Retrieved from


Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 13 minutes.


In this video, roundtable participants Dr. Mimi Hassett, Dr. Judy Murphy, and Dr. Susan Newbold discuss how a project gets off the ground, who and what should be included in initial planning, the consideration of project risks, and the crucial role communication plays throughout the process.


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When considering the elements of a project charter, project managers focus on the three vitally important elements of scope, cost, and time. Project managers call these elements the “triple constraint” and group them together, as modifying one will typically affect the remaining two. Although the “triple constraint” may serve as the backbone of a project charter, other elements can also prove to be important.

In this Discussion, you analyze how the “triple constraint” impacts the development of a project charter and describe two additional project charter elements that you believe to be influential.

To prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources on the elements of a project charter.
  • Think about the impact of scope, cost, and time on the development of a project charter.
  • By Day 1 of this week, your Instructor will assign you one element of the “triple constraint.” Reflect on how it impacts the development of a project charter.
  • Consider which project charter elements aside from the “triple constraint” are highly influential.

By Day 3

Post an analysis of how the element of the “triple constraint” that you were assigned impacts the development of a project charter. Describe two additional elements of a project charter that you believe to be highly influential. Provide a rationale for your selections.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who analyzed different elements than you, using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research.
  • Offer and support an alternative perspective, using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.