Steps 5 - 8
Step 5: Economics & Issues
- Label top of sheet "Economics & Issues".
- This is the area where method studies or cost evaluations need
to be done. All work items will eventually have to be estimated,
but ask "What significant calculations will also need to
be done?". Ask in relation to each work item, and list them.
- Continue prompting for Other Issues. For example:
Ask: "is there anything that should be included or excluded
as a part of this project/problem?". That question will help
to define the parameters, dimensions, and boundaries of a problem
- Who is 'sponsoring' this project and why?
- What is the project's priority (relative to other projects)?
- What is the funding strategy?
- What approvals must we get?
- What authority, latitude, must the project manager have?
- Who will undertake the project assignments?
- What resources will we need, or be available?
- What is the project time-frame (timeline)?
- What are the critical dates?
- What coordination will be required?
- What other issues have we encountered?
Also ask: "What other information might we need? Where
can we find it?" Make a list of the most obvious references,
books, papers, organizations, people, sources, or any other place
where you may need to check or research for pertinent information.
Note: A good listing of information and data sources can
start a new project team person off and running - and hence be
efficient - on their very first day on the job.
Solicit comments from the team with "Are there any other
items we should add?" As soon as discussion dies down, move
to the next step.
Step 6: Plan of Attack
Now prepare a logic diagram or Flow Chart of how the project will
- Point to the list of work items and ask: "Which of these
should be done first?"
- Label that 'A'.
- Continue on with B, C, D, E, F, etc.
- Start asking what can be done concurrently with A, or B, or
- Try to arrive at a simple logic diagram, arranged from left
to right, that expresses the sequence of accomplishment.
NOTE: In a larger project (30 or more activities) it may
be easier first to identify items according to the separate major
phases of the project, e.g. Concept; Development; Execution; Finishing,
or their subsets (stages). It is then much easier to deal with these
shorter lists of activities.
Step 7: Assumptions & Risks
- Ask questions like: "What assumptions have we made? What
assumptions must we make?". List them.
- Draw out additional assumptions by pointing to a work item and
saying: "Are there any assumptions connected with this piece
of work? "Should we set or adopt any guidelines for this
item/work/area/activity", and so on.
- Identify potential risks with each work item by asking 'What
problems could occur with this item?". List them.
- How can we mitigate these risks? What 'workarounds' might we
adopt? Check back with Step 4 ‑ Possible Alternatives.
Step 8: Key Success Indicators (KSIs)
- Check back to the list of Stakeholders (Step 1). Who are the
three or four who are the most important? Mark them. Now ask "What
is it that is most likely to make them happy?" Hence, list
three or four of the most important 'indicators' that can be used
to demonstrate that the project has been successful.
- Describe how each can be measured when the project is completed.
Note: These Key Success Indicators, or KSIs, will not only
demonstrate the measure of 'Stakeholder/Customer Satisfaction'
when the project is completed, but will provide guidance in the
management of the project when alternatives and tradeoffs need
to be selected.
- As discussion dies down, you check the time and notice that
60 minutes exactly has passed. At this point, you hang up your
marker or pen and quit. Positively quit!