How to Initiate a Project Successfully


at the Ideas Competition



By Irina Kulikova, PhD (tech.), PMP

Moscow, Russia



This paper looks at the modern case of project initiation through not only ideas competitions but also shares some lessons learned that can help you initiate your project successfully.

A project presentation is like a first impression: you can’t change it later. You don’t have much time to find the right words without preparation, to explain and show the important things. You should be quick, precise, clear, as well as full of expression and energy. Some lessons learned from author’s successful experience are dealt with in this article.

Ideas competition as a modern trend.

The idea is the backbone of each project. It comes to us in different ways. It seems like ideas come from everything. You know about Newton and the apple falling on his head. No matter if that story is true or just a legend, the point is he was physicist regardless and thought about nature, about things and their interactions. So, as a result, we have Newton’s laws. There are many of the same examples throughout history, and each idea usually needs some preliminary work or experience. It can be a market, trend, patent research, different experiments, diversification, etc.

All companies try to be innovative. They attempt to find ways for development through innovation implementation. To collect as many ideas as possible, the companies establish different competitions, hackathons, summits, etc. These events may be internal, external, or both. They are the first step of the innovation development model, in which you are collecting any and all ideas, no matter how crazy they may be.

For example, you can apply your idea to a Google competition [1], the European Projects Association (EPA) (a politically independent nonprofit organization) competition [2], or Tufts School of Engineering [3]. Some months earlier, Bcome 2020 – International Ideas Competition wrapped up. You can see it on the competition platform [4]. Even the Moscow government uses these methods, not just the big tech companies.

Of course, the competition organizer should be respectable and honest. Only in this case can you be sure that your idea will not be stolen. Unfortunately, it is technically possible.

My story. The way to win.

Last summer, I took part in an ideas competition. This project ideas competition had come from the Complex of Economic Policy and Property and Land Relations of the Moscow Government for the first time. This Complex includes more than 20 organizations. Each employee from each organization could participate in the competition. It was exciting; practically all of us thought about giving it a shot. The main question was, “What is the best idea I have to offer?” Some of us were trying to bring not only one but several. Finally, more than five hundred ideas had been submitted. All of them were different, but each one fell under the following nominations:

    • The best socially-conscious project;
    • The best business process improvement project;
    • The best economic development project.

The competition had three stages of selection:

In the first stage, the selection was made by the heads of project offices and organizations; as a result, ideas had been selected for employees to vote on.

In the second stage, the staff of Executive authorities and their subordinate organizations selected the ideas. The result was fifteen finalists for the Complex (three winners in each Complex Department).

In the third stage, a full-time round of the competition was held in which the winners of the second stage took part. The competition commission of the Complex decision chose the winner in each nomination. As a result, we had three ideas in the three categories, and one idea received the “audience award.”

Further, project passports had been prepared for the winning projects, and the project initiation procedure was carried out.

Reaching the final round was a pleasant surprise for me. When I submitted the project to the competition, I was not thinking about winning. It was very nice that people believed in and voted for my idea.

Following this, we met with the Moscow Government Minister (Head of the Economic Policy and Development Moscow Department) for morning tea, discussed our projects, and received useful tips on preparing for the face-to-face tour.


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How to cite this article: Kulikova, I. (2021).  How to Initiate a Project Successfully at the Ideas Competition (a personal story), PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/pmwj102-Feb2021-Kulikova-how-to-initiate-a-successful-project-at-ideas-competition.pdf

About the Author

Irina Kulikova

Moscow, Russia


Irina Kulikova, PhD (tech.), PMP has over twenty years of experience as the project/program manager, business architect and consultant with the ability to develop new products, IT & Business strategy, to improve organization processes, to find solutions in the broad range of IT and R&D projects from separation fields, creating the ERP, GIS, accounting, e learning, e-documents, billing, expert, government systems etc.

She has special skills and knowledges how to understand the consumer needs, how to talk with business, with IT specialists, with accounts, with government, etc., how to organize work effectively and get desired results. Her professional experience includes different projects and programs both state and private businesses of different fields.

Irina has over fifteen years of experience as a professor assistant and teaching physics, information technologies, system analysis and information system design. Author of 40 articles, own blog “To hit pay dirt”, she has 4 certificates of authorship on program products.

She can be reached on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/mwlite/in/irina-kulikova-pmp-phd-05b01641 and on Instagram at @irina.v.kulikova