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.