Heilmeier's Catechism

Heilmeier’s Catechism is a set of questions credited to George H. Heilmeier that anyone proposing a research project or product development effort should be able to answer.

  • What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using no jargon.
  • How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?
  • What’s new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
  • Who cares? If you’re successful, what difference will it make?
  • What are the risks and the payoffs?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will it take?
  • What are the midterm and final “exams” to check for success?

I came across these a couple of times. While there surely is nothing special or extraordinary about them, I still find them highly useful to assess the value and feasibility of a research or development project.