This article provides an overview of the first stage of a typical waterfall project methodology.

The purpose of the Checkpoint 1 Request phase is to define and document the scope and objectives of the change, ensuring that is has a valid business case, is aligned with approved business goals and objectives and has the appropriate Checkpoint strategy based on the risk of the change. The phase ensures that the change receives the appropriate review and approvals. Once the request is approved, analysis can begin. Preliminary analysis includes determining possible approaches estimating work effort based on those assumptions and potential testing techniques needed for the overall effort. A preliminary project plan with the appropriate level of details (task or milestone) is also created in this phase.

Entry criteria include:

  1. Business Need – A business problem or initiative that requires a business change.
  2. Business Case – Should align with the business goals and strategy, problem statement, business risk analysis, cross-functional impacts, and priority criteria.


Exit criteria include:

  1. Request Checkpoint 1 (CP1) approval from the PMO.
  2. Funding approval.


Typical outputs include:

  1. Project charter.
  2. CP1 pitch.


Typical PMO questions include:

  1. Does the project have a valid business case or problem statement?
  2. Have the project scope and goals been finalized and approved?
  3. Is the project aligned with Business imperatives?
  4. Why is it important to do this project now? What happens if we do not do this project?
  5. Are there any project interdependencies?
  6. Are any systems being retired? Are there opportunities to leverage other systems?
  7. Are there any foreseeable issues that will negatively impact the delivery or cost? What is the mitigation plan?
  8. What are the budgetary requirements of the project?
  9. Are the IT and business resources available to start the project?
  10. Does your project spend impact the overall amortization strategy for the business?
  11. What is the involvement of the project sponsor?
  12. Have IT and Functional leaders approved funding and resources?
  13. Are there any Regulatory Implications?
  14. Are there any changes to an existing product or service?
  15. What testing types are necessary for this initiative?
  16. Have you identified all of the applications that will be changed with this project?

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