Large Can Opener

We're all guilty of sometimes hearing what we wish to hear - but when it's a client, is it their fault or ours? Now there's not a lot you can do to change how other people interpret information, so let's assume the onus is on us to ensure this doesn't occur.

Business problem/opportunity - This is the first thing a business manager will read so it needs to be relevant and expressed in business terms. If it's a problem then what's it stopping us from doing - what's the effect on customers, on the organisation and on staff?

Customers - Everything starts and ends with the customer, they buy our products which in turn pays out wages. Government departments have customers too - the public and politicians. How will this project impact our customers?

Project sponsor - Who is sponsoring this project? Every project needs a sponsor - a senior manager who is behind it, who is prepared to back it and, depending upon the business culture, prepared to finance it. Sometimes the sponsor may not have the budget to pay for the project but will have the authority to seek funding from upper management. If in doubt as to who the sponsor is, discover who's hurting the most then work up from there.

Objectives - Describe out what the project must achieve. Go for one or two statements that succinctly and precisely say what is to be achieved. Not how it will be achieved - that's the solution that you're going to derive. Beware not to have a lot of objectives - you can only shoot an arrow at one target. A good test of whether an objective has been met is to ask if the problem described above has been solved.

Our first range of videos were either burnt onto basic 4.7 GB capacity DVD discs or were shown to training delegates using a projector via a laptop. The requests we were receiving more recently were for hard copies of the video training material so we suddenly found ourselves needing a reliable supplier of DVD duplication services. As the training videos developed and became more detailed and extensive, the size of the video files started to become a real issue. The basic DVDs just didn't have the capacity we needed and this was coupled with the fact that we were being requested for high definition video as oftentimes the video was intended for display during in-house training sessions in front of projector screens with a room filled with trainees.