The purpose of Initiation is to ensure that projects are correctly aligned with published organization goals and objectives, they are owned by a particular organizational unit (which also means accountabilities for ownership are explicitly stated and endorsed), and they will be appropriately funded and supported.
Initiation begins when the Project Manager is allocated a specific project. This information normally comes via an OIT Manager or Director, with many projects already having been defined as part of the OIT Project Portfolio.
Key stakeholders of the Project are invited to participate in a project planning session which can be facilitated by the OIT Project Office. These are round-table work sessions in which the project goals, objectives, scope, roles and responsibilities, timeline, and other aspects of the Project Initiation Plan are discussed and captured. The Initiation Plan, once drafted, is then circulated for stakeholders review and buy-in.
In many cases there are few formal documents which describe the project before Initiation is undertaken. In fact, the Initiation Plan is so critical because it may be the first formal definition of what the project is.