Project Initiation Monthly Initiation Weekly Management Daily Management Monthly Closure Project Closure Post-Project Management Appointthe sponsor A01 Appoint theproject manager A02 Appoint thekey team members A03 Describethe project A04 Identify and planthe deliverables A05 Identify risksand plan responses A06 Have project initiationpeer-reviewed A07 Make ago/no-go decision A08 Kick offthe project A09 Conduct afocused communication A10 Revise and refinethe plans B01 Have the monthlycycle peer-reviewed B02 Make ago/no-go decision B03 Kick off themonthly cycle B04 Conduct afocused communication B05 Measure andreport performance C01 Plan responsesfor deviations C02 Kick off theweekly cycle C03 Conduct afocused communication C04 Manage risks, issues,and change requests D01 Acceptcompleted deliverables D02 Evaluatestakeholder satisfaction E01 Capture lessons andplan for improvements E02 Conduct afocused communication E03 Hand overthe product F01 Evaluatestakeholder satisfaction F02 Have the closing activitygroup peer-reviewed F03 Archive theproject documents F04 Celebrate! F05 Conduct afocused communication F06 Evaluatethe benefits G01 Generatenew ideas G02 Conduct afocused communication G03

A08 - Make a go/no-go decision

This management activity belongs to the Project Initiation group. This group of activities are run at the beginning to prepare us for the project.

At this point, the project manager sends the project documents to the sponsor, and the sponsor makes a go/no-go decision. To make this decision, the sponsor may need to discuss the project with other decision makers in the organization, such as the portfolio management layer – but it’s up to the sponsor to determine how to do that, and not the project manager.

If you have an external customer and are responding to a request for proposal, in addition to making a go/no-go decision internally, you should also send the proposal to the customer and wait for them to select their supplier and give you the final go/no-go decision. This management activity is completed when the contract is signed, or when you have another legally binding element in place.

If you’re going to have external suppliers and some of them were selected in A05, you might want to sign the contract with them at this point. Additional external suppliers may be selected and contracts signed later on an ad hoc basis.


Projects that have external customers always have clear go/no-go decisions, but internal projects sometimes lack this step and just creep into existence without a clear decision. It’s important to make this a clear gate for the project and have proper signatures and commitments before proceeding.

On the other hand, some organizations just invest in any project as long as they have resources available. This management activity is at the end of a chain of activities that are aimed at turning it into an educated decision based on the justification of the project.

Common pitfalls

Every organization that works with projects needs to have a portfolio management system that evaluates and selects the projects in a holistic way that is balanced and compatible with the strategies of the organization. Many of the problems attributed to project management systems have roots in portfolio management; e.g., having too many projects at the same time.

Make sure everyone understands that a no-go decision is not a failure; it’s a sign of having a successful system that understands what’s not beneficial for the organization, and this wouldn’t be possible without the effort of the key team members in the project initiation activity group.


The following principles play a significant role in this management activity:

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It's best to use instead of the regular if you have micro-projects with approximately 1 to 7 team members.