If you are a project manager or even a startup founder contemplating a new project, answering these basic questions, called Heilmeier Catechism, can form the backbone of your project proposal.
- What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon. What is the problem? Why is it hard?
- How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?
- What’s new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
- Who cares?
- If you’re successful, what difference will it make? What impact will success have? How will it be measured?
- What are the risks and the payoffs?
- How much will it cost?
- How long will it take?
- What are the midterm and final “exams” to check for success? How will progress be measured?