- What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.
- How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice? Why are improvements needed? What are the consequences of doing nothing?
- What is new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful? What preliminary work have you done? How have you tested your assumptions on a small scale?
- Who cares? Identify your stakeholders. Who will benefit from your successful project?
- If you’re successful, what difference will it make? What will your successful project mean for your research? For the infrastructure of your institution and future capabilites? For your discipline? Related disciplines? For society? For the funding agency? What applications are enabled as a result?
- What are the risks and the payoffs? Why are the potential rewards worth the risk? What have you done to mitigate risk? What’s Plan B?
- How much will it cost? How long will it take? Who needs to be involved to ensure success? What institutional resources need to be committed?
- What are the midterm and final “exams” to check for success? How will you assess progress and make midcourse corrections? What are the metrics for success? How will you know you’re done?