Before the project is officially started certain fundamentals should be defined and met:
- Business Rationale
The fundamental reasons and justification for undertaking the project need to be clearly defined and agreed to by all key business players. By involving prime players (including prospective authors) at the very start of the project, you increase your chances of getting their commitment to the project.
Budget must be committed to the project - at least sufficient to complete the Concept phase, a feasibility study and/or pilot project.
- Scope and Schedule
A basic scope, and rough schedule should be made available to define what is required, and within which time frame. If it helps clarify the situation, you can also define what lies outside the scope.
- Project Model
You will need to select the model you want to use during implementation.
The model you select will often depend on the restrictions you are operating under e.g. fixed budget, fixed timeline, quantity of content, quality required. Dependent on the level of experience of the customer, a prototype or pilot project might be advisable or use of the agile development cycle.
As always, adjusting any of the factors will impact the others. For example reducing the time, but requiring the same level of quality will probably increase the price while reducing the quantity of content you can cater for.