Has someone ever told you of
their plans for a new project or product and you felt something wasn’t quite right
but you couldn’t say what or why?

I find this happens
because I’m either being irrationally negative OR there was something implied
in the proposal that wasn’t clearly identified.

To help me work it out, I
try to answer these questions.

What need is this proposal
addressing? Why is it important?

To whom is this
important? How invested will they be in
its success?

Who is the customer? How does this project or product meet their
needs? How were their needs identified?

Have assumptions been made
about the market or the environment that aren’t based on current knowledge or
evolving trends? If so, what is the
basis for those assumptions? Is it

Are there unstated
dependencies (on another product, project, staff, partnership, etc.)?

Does the proposal offset a
large investment of time or money with questionable returns? Can multiple
smaller investments be made as returns (tangible and intangible) are clarified?

What are the alternatives
to this approach? Why aren’t they the
best way to go?

One way or the other, understanding
the proposal’s implications always helps me work out my reservations.