Four questions to ask of every project


Sometimes, it's not clear that you should fund or staff a project. If you're not sure how to discriminate between alternative projects, here are four questions to ask:

  1. What's the strategic reason behind this project? (Does the strategic reason behind the project change the importance of the project?)
  2. How does this project fit into all the projects we'd like to do? (What tradeoffs do we have to consider?)
  3. What environment/staff/resources do we need to make this a successful project? (If we've never done a project like this, or if we have doubts, or if we're missing necessary resources, are we dooming this project to failure?)
  4. Can we adequately fund this project as we've envisioned it?

If you can't define the strategy behind the project, or how this project fits, or the prequisites for success, or the necessary funding, you can't have a successful project. So don't start it. Ask your four questions, and listen to the answers.

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