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Project rationale


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The following presentation provides an insight into the importance of Project Rationale and helps learners with ways of constructing a rationale for their project within the organisational context.

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Project rationale

  1. 1. Nader Jarmooz 2012
  2. 2. The Project Rationale is a statement of factsexplaining the background of the project.The rationale identifies the need for theproduct or process and offers viablesolutions.The rationale is one of the first documents tobe written by the Project Manager and setsthe background for the Business Case.
  3. 3. Project rationale explains why the project must go ahead, as suggested by Young (2007), and what would happen if the project was not approved for further considerations.The project rationale is the first document that will be studied by project Board and therefore can act as a launching pad for making the first impressions with those in charge.
  4. 4. In PRINCE2 environment, according to Bentley (2010) the Reasons statement or Rationale is a narrative description of the justification for the undertaking of the project in response to business drivers.It forms the first part of the business case which provides the justification for the project as an entity; though, in other methodologies reasons for a project is not the same as justification.
  5. 5. Rationale is generally defined as the justificationfor undertaking an activity.Brown (, 1994) puts it most eloquently bystating that the project rationale is the articulationof reasons.It needs to be jargon free, specific, thorough, andreadily understood
  6. 6. Monk (, 2012) arguesthat for a project to come to a successfulfruition there has to be a justifiablerationale for its launch, and it must holdtrue throughout the project life cycle aspart of an on-going business case.Otherwise the project will face uncertaintyand will lead to unreliable businessbenefits
  7. 7. The project rationale should be approached as a strategicplan within organisational context. It needs to address thefollowing issues:1. Where are we now: Identify the organisational strategy; the need for the project within organisational context and its fit with other projects; and identification of the main drivers.2. Where do want to be: what are the project goals and benefits it will offer when completed within its given scope.3. How do we get there: setting objectives; identify milestones and deliverables as a measure of success; and how to utilise experience and lessons learnt from previous projects.
  8. 8. The project rationale must be evidence based:• A clear and concise document underpinning the importance of the project and state justifiable reasons for its approval.• Outline the identified problem within organisational context.• Analyse the main determinants such as market requirements, identified risks, and resource requirements.• Evaluate possible solutions and recommendation of preferred option.• Draw on previous experience and lessons learnt from previous projects for justification of assumptions.• Clear statement of goals to be achieved and benefits to gain.
  9. 9. The Project Rationale is the Reason statementexplaining the problem, identifying the need, andoffering justifiable can be said that the business case provides thefocus for the project which narrates the rationaleand the justification. Moreover, the rationaledescribes the market opportunity, offers businesssolutions and identifies the project context withinthe organisational strategy.
  10. 10. utube video: the following presentation on utube explains how to writean essay using a software package called Rationale. The presentationprovides valuable insight in composing a rationale. website with relevant information on composing a rationale:
  11. 11. Bentley, C, 2010, 2nd ed, PRINCE2 Revealed, Oxford,Butterworth-HeinemannYoung, T, 2007, 2nd ed, Successful ProjectManagement, London, Kogan Page LtdBrown, J, 1994,, A, 2012,