Due Diligence

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Due Diligence

(Comment.gif: Writing proposals is very time-consuming and resource intensive. The more that we can do to qualify an opportunity (i.e., conducting due diligence) before engaging in proposal writing, the more likely we will save our time, energy and resources - and increase our likelihood of success, for the projects and proposals we choose to pursue. From time to time, we will be asked to respond to RFPs with a minimum of preparation and knowledge, but for the vast majority of opportunities, our team should be evaluating them according to specific and measurable criteria - which gives us a strong foundation for saying Yes / No to emerging opportunities, and Yes-Maybe (i.e., we'll keep our eye on this one, but we need to see more progress from the stakeholder / potential partner). The questions below are very useful for estimating time-to-market and effort required, and assessing how best to invest our valuable time, energy and resources for an optimal return-on-investment (ROI). ) - Randy Fisher 00:55, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Project Definition / Scope

  • What is the problem / gap / issues that need to be addressed?
  • What background / supporting info do we have, or have access to?
  • How does this project fit into the client-organization's strategic / business plan?
  • Is the strategic / business plan available?
  • What are the Project Objectives?
  • Are they well-understood, and agreed-upon by Decision-Maker / Champion?
  • Is there a paper trail? How have they been documented?
  • Who are the stakeholders / partners?
  • What are their objectives?
  • What is their timeline for change, results (i.e., project delivery & payment)
  • What is their sense of urgency - do they want to do this right away; are they open to it taking 6-12 months? Why?
  • What (approaches, interventions) have been tried before?
  • What were the results?
  • Who was involved - and where are they now?
  • Who, and what, are possible areas of resistance to change or transition -- to a new system / approach or way of operating?
  • Who is responsible for this project? Who will the contractor report to?
  • How will success be measured?
  • When is the start / finish the project? (are dates set or flexible)?

Alignment to our Mission, Resources & Capacity

(Comment.gif: Organizational capacity, resources to deliver project results)

  • Is this project about digital literacy, ICT skills development, knowledge creation and capacity support?
  • Do we have the internal HR, skills and resources to deliver? Or, do we have to engage partners and contractors?
  • What is required to inform / train our people (i.e., internal, external) to provide high quality support to this project?
  • Can this be allocated to short-term (1-6 months), medium-term (7-24 months) and long-term (2+ years) interventions to develop these resources, provide support? (Are these the appropriate time frames?)
  • What is the administrative burden to deliver this project? Rate 1-10, where 10 is very high.
  • What is our role: Are we acting as thought leader; facilitator / connector or project manager / delivery?
  • What's in it for us?

History & Relationship with Decision-Maker and/or Champion

(Comment.gif: Project Champion and Decision-Maker / Committee may be separate individuals (groups) with varying interests, priorities, power and influence.)

  • Who has the power to make decisions? On what basis?
  • Who is the signing authority? What are the budget thresholds? What contract amounts is the person able to sign for, before getting higher-stage approval? For sole-source contracting or competitive contracting?
  • What happens when s/he exceeds a particular level? Does the Board of Directors get involved? What's the process - and how long does it typically take?
  • Who has influence with the decision-maker?
  • within the organization
  • connected to the organization
  • education, economic development, community / municipal government, politicians, NGOs, associations

Budgeting & Funding Sources

  • Who is funding this project?
  • Where are the funds coming from? Funding envelope, program fund, individual stakeholders, etc.
  • Is there an overall budget available?
  • How much money is allocated for this project?
  • Over what time frame?

Has Terms of Reference (TORs) / RFP been issued?

  • Are Project Objectives well-understood, and agreed-upon by Decision-Maker / Champion? (See Project Definition / Scope)
  • Have we been asked to submit a proposal?
  • Do we have to do so right away - can we create documentation with the client-organization to gather more information and align ourselves and capabilities with the stakeholder and project requirements?
  • What is the time frame for submission
  • Sole-source or competitive bid?
  • What is the time-frame for submission?

Resources & Capacity

  • Who is on our team?
  • Who on our team is expected to write the proposal?
  • Who on our team will be delivering, and executing the milestones?
  • Do we have the resources and capacity to deliver?
  • Are these internal, external, or blended?
  • Contract, term or partner?
  • Where are the gaps?
  • What support is required to coach / train internal or team staff?

Monetization, Visibility & Leverage

  • What is our role: Thought leader; facilitator / connector or project manager / delivery?
  • How are we compensated? What's in it for us?
  • Is this a One-Off opportunity, or is there potential for Repeat or Future Business?
  • Is the project design, delivery and results scalable?
  • Who owns the IP?
  • What arrangements are possible with the client-organization for current and future project delivery; consulting and spinoff opportunities (i.e.,joint-ventures, licensing, etc.)
  • Who do we have to speak / liaise with, for this to happen
  • Communications / PR / Marketing
  • When can we share contract signing, results?
  • Are there any restrictions? Who? Why?
  • What, if any, is the process for communications / PR?
  • Who will market the program / service, and upon what basis (i.e., financial, non-financial)

Appendices & Resources