The following Project Definition Template is a good starting point for most projects. In this case, a parking lot at a manufacturing facility is being resurfaced to prevent much higher costs in the future. Here are some comments on each section -
Project Description – In this case, the project description is very straightforward – “Resurface parking lot of Easton mfg facility – September, 2015″
Business Need – Cost avoidance measures can be very effective when justifying projects that do not have a direct financial payback. In this case the emphasis is on the added 20% cost the business will incur each year if the parking lot is not resurfaced in the current year.
Project Ownership and Approval – In this case, the project owner is the facilities engineer, and the plant manager has authority to approve projects in this cost range.
Financial and Project Timing Goals – Cost avoidance is estimated at $15K if the project is completed in the current year, due to existing cracks in the parking lot expanding into potholes, etc. over time. An approximate project cost and high level timing milestones are also included in this section. The project will start on June 1 and will be completed by mid-August.
Resources and Risks – All of the internal resources are noted in this section, along with the $55K estimate for the external contractor who will do the work. The only project risks identified at this point are related to plant disruption (associates will need alternate parking locations) and delaying until winter.
There are many forms that a project definition can take, and this form is a great starting point if your business is not using a standard format already. Good luck with your project!