In the previous installment of this series, I talked about how you start by identifying the compelling need that key stakeholders in the organization have.
Now that you have this reasonably stable, you can start describing how you provide value by addressing the problem. You’d like it to be this simple:
The organization needs X.
I will do X.
This is missing the big picture, which is: It’s never just about the one problem. If it were that easy to identify and solve a problem, it would have been done long ago. As a result, the picture actually looks more like this:
The organization’s goals are suffering, and one of the contributing factors is X.
The reason we haven’t fixed it before is because Y and Z are holding us back, and changing X would cause us to have risks in areas A, B and C.
But the goals are most important, so we must do something about X.
I can, want to, and will do X.
I will do these things to address Y and Z: ….
I will do these things to control the risks in A, B and C: ….
At this point, you’re feeling overwhelmed by how many interrelated forces are at work, and how many things are outside your control. That’s normal; don’t get discouraged. If this were easy, the problem would have already been solved.
What we’re ending up with is a statement of your desired job which includes:
- Things you will do and deliver
- Things other people will do
- Decisions that need to be made by you and others
- How this relates to anybody else who is affected by your work
- How this will directly address the compelling organizational need
- How risks will be avoided or mitigated
- What results this will have for the organization’s current goals
It’s a combination of a marketing pitch (why you should buy my proposal) and a project plan (why you should believe I can provide the best solution). Don’t be surprised if the detail gets to 5 written pages or more, although you may never show all that depth to anybody when you’re trying to sell them on the idea.
My next article will go into depth on a particular risk: other people who are affected by your proposal.
You might also find this interesting:
- Creating a custom job out of thin air, part 2: Establishing the compelling organizational need
- Creating a custom job out of thin air, part 6: Courage, follow-through, and accountability
- Creating a custom job out of thin air, part 4: Others affected by the job
- Creating custom jobs out of thin air, part 1: How are jobs normally created?
- Creating a custom job out of thin air, part 5: Stakeholders and gatekeepers