Ask the Ten Questions
September 1, 2009 10 Comments
Just about any kind of project. After many years of consulting with clients about projects large and small, in areas ranging from training to technology to marketing to social media, I’ve found that the key questions are pretty much the same. Here are my Top 10 Questions for Defining a Project:
- 1. What’s the point? (at the highest level, what exactly are you trying to achieve?)
- 2. Why? (what are the strategic and business goals that provide the context?)
- 3. What is the current state? (where are you now?)
- 4. What is the desired state (where should this initiative take you?)
- 5. How would success be measured? (what metrics and results will be used to gauge effectiveness?)
- 6. Who is/are the key stakeholder(s), and the target audience(s)?
- 7. What are the available resources? (budget, time, internal personnel, etc.?)
- 8. What are the potential phases? (short-term, long-term, ongoing development?)
- 9. What are the anticipated deliverables?
- 10. What are the potential variables that may impact the project?
With some variations on each theme, some sub-questions, and maybe some additional major questions depending on the nature of the initiative, those questions should give a pretty thorough overview for both client and service provider.
If you are on the vendor side, you know that most clients haven’t thought their projects through this thoroughly. That’s where you can take the Ten Questions and do everyone a favor by framing out the project well ahead of time.
That’s my take – what would you add? What questions do you use to tease out the details of a project?
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