Next time I have to break down a problem, I will remember George Heilmeier’s method for solving research challenges:
– What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.
– How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?
– What is new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
– Who cares? If you are successful, what difference will it make?
– What are the risks?
– How much will it cost?
– How long will it take?
– What are the mid-term and final “exams” to check for success?
(via John Maeda)