1st Edition

Project Identification
Capturing Great Ideas to Dramatically Improve Your Organization

ISBN 9781482262124
Published April 1, 2015 by CRC Press
140 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations

USD $56.95

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Book Description

Organizations of every type struggle to remain relevant in their marketplace. They continuously strive to introduce new products and services at a rate that satisfies their customers. In their search for fresh ideas, organizations often overlook the most significant source of new thought — their employees. Today’s employees are knowledgeable and able to see opportunities or solutions to problems. This book describes a process for turning "great ideas" into actionable proposals. It presents a simple, but powerful set of questions that has proven to deliver a never-ending stream of inspiration to an organization.

Although formal processes for project initiation, execution, and completion may be firmly embedded in an organization’s project life cycle, little is said about project origins. In Project Identification, the author provides a formal process that encourages and enables all of your employees, from the corporate suite to the college hire, to participate in the innovation process. The book presents a mechanism for identifying and capturing great ideas and inspired thought as new project proposals. It provides you with a repeatable process to organize, evaluate, and then select candidate projects for initiation.

In the first part of the book, the author describes the complete project life cycle and explains how the Project Identification process complements the formal Project Management methodology. The book then presents a series of questions that guide the decision-making process for identifying new projects. For each question, the author includes an example from a real proposal that demonstrates how to craft useful content.

The book concludes by explaining how to capture and manage each of the formal proposals and make sure they are properly considered. It details the transition of a candidate project to a live effort, ready for project initiation. This book can help streamline how your organization conceptualizes and approves projects. It will help you deliver a continuous source of fresh ideas for solving your most challenging business problems.

Table of Contents

About the Author

Completing the Project Life Cycle
Project Initiation
Formalize Project Governance
Create a Project Charter
Craft a Project Plan
Obtain Approval to Proceed
Project Execution
Create Detailed Plans
Track Progress against Detailed Plans
Assess Each Component of the Project
Project Completion
Project Identification
Final Thoughts

Framework for Project Identification
Endangered or Extinct
Failure of Success
Idea Source
Great Ideas Process
Capture Candidate Projects
Store in a Repository
Open Access
Rank Candidate Projects
Ranking Criteria
Comparative Ranking
Evaluate Human Resources
Skill Types
Resource Capabilities
Resource Availability
Forecast Future Human Resource Needs
Anticipate Skill Needs
Create a Training Plan
Future Career Opportunities
New Employment Profiles
Requirements for Contract Labor
Approve Projects for Initiation
Ranking, not Priority
Respect Schedules
Assigning Initial Resources
Make It a Practice
Final Thoughts

Defining a Candidate Project
Everyone Has Great Ideas
Stimulate Change
Key Players
Capture Your Idea
Pick a Problem
Observe an Inefficient Process
Special Interest or Significant Research
Needs of Others
New Technology
New Skills
Final Thoughts

What’s the Problem?
Explain the Problem
Review the Source
Define the "Real" Problem

You Want to Do What…?
Executive Overview
Possible Improvements
Improvement Target
Improvement Type
Faster (More Efficient)
Cheaper (Financial Impact)
Better (Higher Quality)
Smaller (More Compact)
All of the Above
New Capabilities
Final Thoughts

What’s in It for Me?
Identify Beneficiaries
Build a Vision
Final Thoughts

When Do We Start?
Ideal Start Date
Target Completion Date
Intermediate Dates
Avoid Artificial Dates
Final Thoughts

What Will This Cost?
Tangible Costs
Intangible Costs
Operational Costs
Contingency Costs
Updating Costs
Final Thoughts

How Will We Pay for This?
Internal Budgets
New Income
Cost Savings
Grants and Donations
Mutually Beneficial Partnerships
Final Thoughts

Who Will This Impact?
Operators/End Users
Project Oversight
Final Thoughts

Here’s My Plan
Key Deliverables
Deliverable Plan
Dependency Diagram
Final Thoughts

I’ll Need You, and You, and You …
Staff Planning
Staff Source
Internal Organizations
External Organizations
Your Role
Final Thoughts

Gaining Approval
Clearly Written
Is It Time Yet?
Documented Approval Process
Direct Path for Approval
Organizational Comment
Rapid Response
Possible Responses
Keep It Automated
Never Give Up
Final Thoughts

Implementing a "Great Ideas" Program
Management Preparation
Give the Program a Name
Propose the Great Ideas Program to Your Senior Management
Build Core Components
Create Training That Explains the Great Idea Program
Display Examples
Infrastructure Preparation
Prepare the Technology
Build a Proposal Repository
Assign an Initiative Coordinator
Organizational Preparation
Train Everyone
Publicize Results
Final Thoughts

From Proposals to Projects
Reevaluate the Approved Proposal
Classify the Project
Class 3 Projects
Class 2 Projects
Class 1 Projects
Assign Project Roles
Project Owner
Project Manager
Project Team
Final Thoughts

Appendix A: Project Identification
Process Description
Process Purpose
Use Criteria
Process Flow
Capture Candidate Projects
Rank Candidate Projects
Evaluate Human Resources
Forecast Human Resource Needs
Approve Project for Initiation

Appendix B: Initiative Proposal "Quick Start"
Submission Information
Describe the Problem, Condition, or Observation That Inspired This Proposal
Provide an Overview of the Initiative You Are Proposing
Who Will Benefit from This Initiative and How?
When Should This Initiative Be Attempted?
How Much Do You Believe This Initiative Will Cost?
How Should This Initiative Be Funded?
What Other Groups Might Be Affected by This Initiative?
What Strategy Would You Propose to Complete This Initiative?
How Would You Propose to Staff This Initiative?
Other Comments?
Format Suggestions?
Reviewer Information
Final Notes

Appendix C: Initiative Proposal Template

Appendix D: Cost Worksheet Template

Appendix E: Deliverable Plan Template

Appendix F: Case Study
The Opportunity
Current Operations

Appendix G: Staff Plan Template


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Charles "Chuck" A. Tryon, Jr. is a nationally respected educator and popular symposium speaker. He is a proven thought-leader in the fields of knowledge management, project management, and business requirements. He alternates his time between creating new concepts, proving them on live projects, and sharing his knowledge in seminar settings. Chuck’s current focus is on healthcare improvement initiatives at both the national and local levels.

Chuck founded Tryon and Associates in 1986 to provide seminar training and consulting services. The strategies presented in his seminars are used by thousands of professionals in hundreds of organizations across the United States, Europe, and Canada. His client list includes many top 100 companies.

In 2012, Chuck authored Managing Organizational Knowledge: Third Generation Knowledge Management and Beyond. He has also created over a dozen workshops.


"How do people in your organization raise fresh ideas to your decision makers? In Project Identification: Capturing Great Ideas to Dramatically Improve Your Organization, Chuck Tryon provides a road map to answer that question, ensuring that all ideas are captured for future reference."
— Paul F. Williams, Chief of Police, Springfield (MO) Police Department

"I have worked with Chuck Tryon for over 20 years and he brings a wealth of information on Project Management. His book on Project Identification addresses a topic that is often overlooked or trivialized. His recommendations and templates will help you jump-start the recognition of new projects, increasing the potential for success."
— Brent Coussens, Director of Information Management, Williams

"Chuck Tryon was the first consultant I had ever met that worked in the real world, the world where real projects take place. His approach is pragmatic, practical, and effective. He brings real-world grounding to a field that too often is the stuff of fairy tales and meaningless platitudes."
— Sue Ratkowski, Director of Industrial Engineering, UPS (Retired)