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10 Key Questions: The Foundation for All Successful Projects

It is a sad fact that the majority of business improvement and system development projects start off in the wrong place, head in 10 Key Questionsthe wrong direction and fail!  This failure is unacceptable as all the errors that cause it are easily avoided.

Amazing as it may seem, all it takes to start any project in the right place and head it in the right direction is to get the answers to just ten simple questions from the right people in the enterprise.

The ‘right people’ are key senior executives who have the vision and authority to be able to envisage and articulate what it is the enterprise ought to be doing.

10 Key Questions

The 10 key questions are:

  1. What are the Business Functions (core business activities) that the executive sees as being within the scope of the study?  With regard to these Business Functions:
  2. What are the Business Aims and Objectives?
  3. What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), i.e. what measures should the enterprise  use to determine how well it is performing these Business Functions?
  4. What are the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for the enterprise, i.e. what must be achieved by the enterprise with regard to the Business Functions for their execution to be deemed successful?
  5. What are the CSFs for the business improvement project, i.e. what must be achieved by the project for it to be deemed successful?
  6. What does the executive see as being the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) for the Business Functions and for the project?
  7. Are there any known risks and issues with regards to the Business Functions?
  8. What do they see are the risks and issues for the project?
  9. Are there any  priorities within the enterprise that will drive the stages of delivery for the project?
  10. Are there any questions the analyst should have asked and has not?

Conclusion

All business improvement and systems development projects in enterprises of any size and in any sector can be successfully started in the right place, and steered in the right direction by asking the above 10 simple questions.

Further Resources

If you would like to find out more about selecting the right executives and how to optimally frame the 10 key questions you should read the ebook IMM Business Function Modeling.

To see how these 10 questions are used as the foundation of a successful commercial project initiation technique look at the IMM∞Power Genesis infographic.

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