How To Assess Project Proposals


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Some notes on how to assess a project brief or business case proposal.

Don't buy what you hear on face value.

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How To Assess Project Proposals

  1. 1. How to assess project proposals
  2. 2. Project Options papers will be my death
  3. 3. 3 Bloody Options
  4. 4. Not more, not less!
  5. 5. 3
  6. 6. Why do we do them and why are they a mistake?
  7. 7. As far as I can work it out, you present 3 options for two reasons
  8. 8. <ul><li>To get stakeholder buy-in </li></ul>
  9. 9. 2. To force yourself to think through comparisons
  10. 10. We are recommended to investigate at least 3 options because it helps us stretch our imaginations
  11. 11. And these days we are often asked to put up the “do nothing” option for comparison purposes.
  12. 12. (So technically you’ll be getting 4 for the price of 3.)
  13. 13. So, 3 bloody options.
  14. 14. After a while you’ll find a pattern.
  15. 15. <ul><li>Buy, build, partner </li></ul><ul><li>Tactical, Strategic, Hybrid </li></ul><ul><li>Team 1’s goals, Team 2’s goals, Everybody wins </li></ul>
  16. 16. Are these really options?
  17. 17. Here is another example
  18. 18. Tactical, partial functionality Full blown integrated IT solution Partly developed IT solution with significant limits
  19. 19. Tactical, partial functionality Full blown integrated IT solution Partly developed IT solution with significant limits Obviously you’ll pass on this. This is the under promising mode The team’s jobs depend on this one
  20. 20. Which one would you pick?
  21. 21. And lifecycle costing means the big up front investment always wins.
  22. 22. As an executive what else can you do but go with the analysis & recommendation?
  23. 23. Well, there is one or two questions you could ask.
  24. 24. 1. What are the delivery risks?
  25. 25. How do we know we can pull this off?
  26. 26. They sound like the same question but they aren’t
  27. 27. What are the delivery risks <ul><li>People capability </li></ul><ul><li>Requirements stability </li></ul><ul><li>Dependency on other projects </li></ul><ul><li>Goal alignment </li></ul><ul><li>The Stakeholders (your frontline management) are ‘on board’ </li></ul><ul><li>You are ready to spend the time on this project </li></ul>
  28. 28. How do we know we can do this? <ul><li>Have we done something like this before? </li></ul><ul><li>How often to we succeed, partially succeed, or fail? </li></ul><ul><li>Does our Project Management team have a track record of success? </li></ul>
  29. 29. You might also like to ask this:
  30. 30. What happens if we fail?
  31. 31. Projects cost a lot of money.
  32. 32. Just because you are in front of experts, don’t let them drive you into a corner.
  33. 33. Questions and comments are welcomed. (Title page photo by llawliet and CC via Flickr )