Project Identification: Capturing Great Ideas to Dramatically Improve Your Organization, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Project Identification

Capturing Great Ideas to Dramatically Improve Your Organization, 1st Edition

By Charles A. Tryon, Jr.

CRC Press

140 pages | 21 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781482262124
pub: 2015-04-01
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Hardback: 9781138423190
pub: 2017-07-27
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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.


"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)

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


About the Author

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Engineering