One of the dirty little secrets of most development projects, particularly in smaller businesses, is that they often get pushed into the IT pipeline before anybody does any real homework to see if they make sense.
Sure, an idea may sound like a no-brainer when you discuss it at the senior managers meeting, but there’s a facility to filling out a little paperwork to justify a tech project, even if it is going to run only a few thousand bucks in direct development expense. After all, you could always have spent that money on something else that made even better sense, when put to a little scrutiny.
Before you can truly prioritize a business initiative, you have to know the cost. And for a dev project, cost estimates – at least credible cost estimates – are in themselves expensive, given that they need to be done by high-value employees or contractors.
One answer-in-progress is a simple proposal form that can be found in the Knowledge Network. The three-page template covers the basics of top-level project justification. For larger projects, it should be accompanied or followed by more intensive financial projections, but for smaller projects, these key points will prepare a prioritization committee or group of managers to green-light a proposed project for formal business requirements and functional specs.
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