|Microsoft Office Project 2003
Microsoft Project 2000 and 2002
Note This article describes a Project template. You can download this template by clicking the link in the See Also list in this article.
In this template the process of developing an entrepreneurial opportunity into a new operating business is divided into tasks (task: An activity that has a beginning and an end. Project plans are made up of tasks.) and scheduled in logical sequence. The template may be customized to be used for a wide range of specific business situations.
The objective of this template is to help you in organizing a rigorous evaluation of the business opportunity. The information in the template should be easy to understand and use, and it should identify areas where professional assistance may be appropriate.
This template assumes the following:
- You have already found a potential small-business opportunity.
- You have suitable business capabilities.
- You are not an experienced business analyst.
- You are unsure how to evaluate the opportunity.
- You may be from any country/region.
- The new business may produce any particular product or service.
- You prefer a successive procedure with stopping points available if the opportunity fails to pass certain tests along the way.
The template is organized into three phases:
- Phase 1: Analyze the opportunity strategically
- Phase 2: Define the opportunity in detail
- Phase 3: Put the opportunity into action
Each phase contains a number of typical activities with their normal dependency links (linking: In a project, establishing a dependency between tasks. Linking tasks defines a dependency between their start and finish dates. In OLE, establishing a connection between programs so that data in one document is updated when it changes in another.). These activities are described in general and may need to be edited to fit a particular business situation.
The purpose and activity logic for each phase is described later in this summary. In addition, the key activities are hyperlinked (hyperlink: A portion of text, distinguished by a color, that contains a link to another file or a location within a file. When you click the hyperlink, a Web browser will search for and display the document that is associated with the hyperlink.) to a definition table. Some activities also contain notes about the task in more detail and suggest professional counsel for key decisions. Each phase serves as a test; you proceed to the next phase only if the business passes the test of the previous phase. These notes and suggestions are included to guide you and are not intended to be prescriptive.
Phase 1: Analyze the opportunity strategically
In the strategic analysis phase, you analyze the potential viability of the new business at a high level. Broadly estimated dollar amounts are used. Many of the factors you consider in this phase are interdependent, and the process is iterative. A view of the opportunity should gradually emerge during this initial analysis. And at the end of the phase, you evaluate potential risks and rewards and test the apparent viability of the potential business.
Phase 2: Define the opportunity in detail
In the definition phase, you are guided through a more detailed analysis of the opportunity, including more in-depth data gathering. You refine estimates of dollar amounts developed in the first phase. This phase of the analysis is also iterative.
Phase 3: Implement the opportunity
During implementation, you first write a business plan. The plan is based on the information you've gathered and analyzed in the first two phases.. It summarizes the potential of the business and can provide a basis for submitting financial information for capital funding and banking.
Finally in this phase, you are provided a list of essential items required to prepare for startup.