Top Level: Questions You Should Ask Before Every Project

When starting a new project, whether design related or not, there are five questions you should be able to answer. These questions will help you plan your project, decide what direction the project should take both long and short term, and help you decide if the project should move forward in the first place.

What do you hope to accomplish with this project?

If you had no budget and no time frame, what would you like to accomplish? If money was no object would you still be doing this project? Why or why not?

Do you have a mission statement or statement of purpose for your organization?

How does this project fit into your company’s mission statement? Does it help accomplish your mission or work against it? How?

Do you have any competition?

What is your competitor doing in this area? Do you like what they are doing? Why or why not?

What should you absolutely stay away from?

Are there taboos in your industry that you should avoid? Is there a concept or place that your organization doesn’t want to touch? Why?

Who are the stakeholders in this project?

Who will approve the final product? What will they expect out of it? Who will receive the final product (i.e. clients/customers)? What will they expect out of it?

While most projects come with a lot more questions than these five, they are a good, top-level place to start when concepting a new project.