Starting a project - good idea?

4 May 2010 by Karl Hallam

During a period of year on year increases in public spending a lot of projects might go ahead that would not have done so if resources were tighter. Lots of projects and intitiatives are going to end during a period of reduced spending. The election suggests that whoever is in power will not cut front-line services, whatever they are. How should one decide if a new project should go ahead?

At a conference a couple of years go the ex-deputy  Drugs Czar, Mike Trace, made a presentation addressing this issue. He did it very well and the original hand notes have sat in our office ever since and have been referred to on many occasions to help us get a grip on a tricky problem. Whether his 6 points work as well for others who did not hear them presented is not clear. Anyway, they are below:

1. Who are we here for?

2. Why do they need help? (do they really need it?)

3. What changes do we want? (include benchmarks)

4. What will deliver those changes? (includes reason and process to change)

5. Can we demonstrate results? (hard evidence should be funders responsibility, soft and proxy OK for funders, need predicted versus actual outcome)

6. How much does it cost? (remember it is money someone else could be spending)

The last point fits well with some of work on innovation, where we have made the case for public sector innovation being as much about stopping doing stuff, as doing new things. It would also be interesting to use this kind of approach in collaborative work between agencies.

 

 

 

 

your comments

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Reply #1 on : Thu September 08, 2011, 08:28:37
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