Lecture 3. Evaluating the project idea
How to understand that the project you developed is worth to be implemented?

I would advise finding answers to the following questions:

  1. Who are your competitors?

Look again, who is solving the same issue and creates the same value? The mode of operation and the way to solve the problem could be different from yours, but still look who is planning to achieve the same result you aspire to.

To analyse competitors and environment it is better to use such instruments like SWOT analyses or Porter five forces analysis.

When analysing your competitors pay special attention to their model, approaches, values proposal and scope. Perhaps there will be successful practices that could be applied in your project.

  1. Is your project in line with the recent developments and trends?

When answering this question, you should verify the problem your project is set to solve. Is there really a problem? Is it a real problem for your target audience? For instance, the issue of vaccination, that UNICEF projects are working with, was not seen by the audience as a problem, it was not recognised by them or they simply didn't realized it was there. In situations like that it can turn out that the project will have first to focus on the identification and explanation of the problem, and only then on solving it.

When checking for the relevance, you should do the target audience opinion poll to check your hypothesis and to collect data on your problem from the open sources. This will help you with the project design.

  1. Have you chosen the right time to launch your project?

The question is to do not only with the awareness, but also the readiness on the market or with your audience for your project, its product or service. In what areas do you overlap with your competitors? For instance, if your festival is taking place at the same time as other similar events or is very close to the others time-wise. It is not less important to analyse social, economic and political aspects. For instance, by using PEST analysis techniques.

  1. Whom is your project done for? Who is your target audience?

Target audience is a group of people whose problem your project is set to solve, it is for them that you create your value proposition. Do identify the portrait of your audience as clearly as possible. To do that you can use the existing pattern analyses to describe the portrait of your TA – the so-called Marketing Persona or Client Avatar.

  1. How different will your project be compared to your competitors' projects?

Identify the key distinctive features that will differentiate you among other similar projects. You can do it by improving one of the components that your competitor already has or you can create your own new and unique value.

If you designed several projects, but with limited resources and time constrains you need to decide which idea you have to start with. To do so I'd recommend to use a simple and illustrative tool.

Set up a coordinate system with one bar as the influence and effect your project has, the scope of results, and the second one as your resources (time, people and money). Then write down your project ideas on stickers and place them on the coordinate system accordingly. The projects that need fewer resources, but have maximum influence will be most productive. With this as a basis, you can decide which project to go with in the first place.

This tool is ever more useful when applied for the team or internally in the organisation so that afterward you can prioritize and evaluate ideas as to their effectiveness.

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