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31 May 2011

Questions for Initiating Projects

A friend is developing a project portfolio planning process.  I was asking some questions about the decision criteria used to filter and prioritize projects and wasn't satisfied there was enough in the model. I wonder if any of you PPM and PMO readers could offer comment on this set of questions I just made up myself.

Worth Considering?
  • What local and specific criteria apply here for your organization?
  • A sponsor of sufficient authority?
  • Do we have the ability to form the problem or opportunity into a coherent statement
  • Common sense check/are we in this business?
Worthiness check, round 2
  • How important is it in the big picture?
  • What other initiatives are more important?
  • Do we have the fundamental skills and resources required for this initiative?
    • Can we buy/hire/get the right resources?
  • How does this initiative contribute to our mission?
What are the risks related to starting this?
  • Do we have sufficient skills and resources?
    • Do we have sufficient project delivery skills?
    • Specifically who will be responsible for delivery?
    • Do they have the time and ability to focus?
  • Who will take over the product or service after the project?
    • Are they capable of dealing with the outcomes without support?
    • Can we provide sufficient support for the post-project transition?
  • Are we introducing something new or changing something we already have?
Where does this sit in our priorities?
  • Urgency/Importance?
  • Our Motivations?
  • Dependencies?
What does success look like?
  • What is the specific and measurable differences we expect to see in our organisation today?
  • How will you know when you are done?
  • What does failure look like?
  • What are the triggers to stop the project?
Learn from the past
  • Have we tried anything like this in the past?
    • Did we fail? Did we succeed?
    • What were the critical issues that caused failure/enabled success?
  • How will we incorporate this learning into our planning?
If things start going wrong…
  • What tools and systems will we use to discover problems?
  • Who will monitor the situation for problems?
  • What tools will we put in place to enable support?
  • Who will be available to offer support?
There you have it.  My brain dump.  Can you help us out by commenting, and adding or removing thinking points and filters?