For different people, the start of a project might be different, and is influenced by the stake each person has in it. For the client who initiates the project, the project starts with the initial idea, a definition of the problem or an opportunity worth exploring. For the contractor, hired to deliver the product, or part thereof, the project starts when the client says: “Here, I want you to do this for me.”
As with any exchange in sports or anywhere, it is important that both know about the handover, and what to do when the ball or baton has passed from one to another. A poor handover means that the ball or baton is dropped, and it is much harder to reach the goal of the project.
Taking the time to understand why we are doing this project together, and how each person contributes to the goal, helps to anticipate and prepare for a smoother handover, and, ultimately, a better project outcome.