Understanding The Project Concept Definition Statement
In my previous article, I have talked about all that you need to know about project and project management generally. In this article, I want to look at all that you need to know about the Project Concept Definition Statement. Follow me as we are going to look at that in this article.
The project concept definition statement is a formal document that defines the issues or the concept state the proposed project will resolve or the benefits of improvements it will achieve.
The documents summarize the purpose, approach, required resources, risks, benefits, and impacts of the proposed projects. It helps the executive management determine if the project can be successfully carried out, based on the current availability of resources, skill sets, and timelines.
A well-constructed definition of the concept serves as an invaluable input to the development of a scope statement and project charter.
The project should solve a business problem or seek to achieve a business opportunity. So, it is important to clearly identify and define the nature of the problem or opportunity your project seeks to address.
Imagine that you are late for work one morning and your car will not start. Your neighbour tells you that your car battery is dead: you decide to buy a new one, only to discover that your car still will not start. Then, your father suggests that the alternator may be at fault, so you rush out and buy a new alternator. There is still no improvement.
Finally, you turn to an expert- your mechanic – who does a thorough investigation of your engine and discovers that your starter is broken. You could have saved both time and money by gaining an understanding of what was wrong with your car before you jumped to a solution. The same is true with projects.
You have to avoid accepting anecdotal evidence of the problem and investigate it thoroughly: otherwise, you could end up creating a solution that doesn’t fix anything at all.
Here is an example of a generic concept definition statement from a large consulting firm, which has financial difficulty.
- The company has poor sales productivity.
- There are several facts to support this conclusion:
- The total revenue per sales desk in dollars is 50 percent below the industry average.
- The average salesperson spends 15 hours per week in administrative tasks related to the sales process.
- The average salesperson spends 5 hours per week waiting on a response from key IT systems.
- The average salesperson spends 5 hours per proposal and each proposal has a 20 percent chance of closing business.
- The company currently ranks last in revenue per employee and customer satisfaction within the industry.
- The VP of Marketing and Sales estimated that a 30percent improvement in the productivity of the sales team will result in an improvement of 10percent in gross revenue within 90days and a long term improvement of 25 percent annually.
- The VP of sales and marketing will like to see a 30 percent improvement in sales productivity.
In addition, the desired future state for the average salesperson will be to:
- Reduce the weekly time spent in administrative support of the sales process by 10hours.
- Reduce the weekly time spent waiting for a response to key OT systems to 1 hour.
- Reduce the time spent on each proposal to two hours.
- Increase time spent with customers by 15 hours per week.
Given that the company has a $50million topline, the estimated 10percent improvement in gross revenue will mean a $5Million dollar improvement in the first 90 days and $12.5Million annually.
The components of the documents
There are a few components of a project concept definition statement :
- A general statement of the problem or opportunity in business terms or I. The current state .
- A bulleted list of the evidence that proves that the problem or opportunity exists.
- A quantified statement of the effect of the issues on the organisation.
- A general or quantified statement of the desired outcome for any solution or the desired future state.
- Defined metrics or goals that will indicate the future state
- A list of key stakeholders.
- An outline of the organisational and stakeholders benefits when moving from the current state to the future state.
I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.
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