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Process impact: This proposal,
along with drafts of related documents, will be used by management to
determine whether or not to approve work on this project. A clear
and precise project plan helps set expectations that will be used
later to evaluate the success of the project.
Background and Motivation
TODO: Replace the example text below with text that describes your
project. What are the needs or problems that you are trying to
address? Why do these needs (still) exist? Why are these problems
worth solving? Who is the customer? Write 2-4 paragraphs.
- What is the setting and history behind this project?
- Video games were originally designed and built as stand-alone
systems with the user playing against the machine. Although many
advances have been made in game AI, humans still tend to enjoy
competing against other humans over a network. There is a social
aspect to network gaming where people form teams that play and
leagues that play at scheduled times and keep scores over a prolonged
period. This is important to video game vendors because it can
result in increased revenue and extend the sales life of their
- What is the problem to be addressed?
- There are 100 million users on the Internet, and hundreds of
websites dedicated to video game playing teams, called "clans". If
users have to explore to find the good clans that they can join, it
takes a lot of their time. There is a need for a faster way for
users to find high quality clan websites that interest them and that
will allow them to join.
- What are some current approaches to this problem?
- Users can tell each other about clan websites, but that is not
scalable because it depends on manual steps by people who may not be
motivated or honest in their evaluations. There are already some
clan directory web sites, but they are not automated so they are
always out of date and do not rate the quality of the websites.
- Why is this problem worth solving or worth solving better?
- A better clan directory service would
be valuable because it could greatly increase player satisfaction and
allow them to spend more time playing and less time searching.
Implementing a better clan directory would cause players to use that
website rather than the existing directories. The benefit to us
could come in the form of revenue from advertising and service fees
from video game vendors.
- How will this product be better than previous approaches?
- We add innovative new features. Our affiliate
directory will be larger an more detailed. We will offer built-in
tools for managing membership and organizing events such as game
nights or tournaments.
- Our system will have similar functionality, but
it will have much better maintainability, scalability, and
- Our system will have similar functionality, but
it is specifically aimed at a market segment that is not
served by competing products.
- This is a "me-too" product that will go
head-to-head with very similar competing products in the same
market. The market is large enough that we can be very happy with a
share of it. Our unique competitive advantages are in non-product
area of our business such as sales, marketing, partnerships,
support, training, etc. The product will have some simple built-in
"hooks" that leverage those advantages.
- Where is there more information on this problem?
- The following pages provide additional background and
- What is the goal of this project?
TIP: This should be relatively short since you can reference terms
- This project will produce an engine for clan
directory websites that allows players to quickly find, evaluate,
and join clans.
- What are the defining features and benefits of this product?
- Reusable website engine with functionality for creating,
editing, deleting, searching, categorizing, browsing, rating, and
commenting on clans. This automates all clan operations and ensures
that users will always find information that is automatically
- The reusable website engine will have a highly configurable
appearance that allows it to match the look and feel of the game.
This allows the reusable website engine to have a high-quality
appearance that is just as good as existing clan directories.
- The website engine will be secure and only allow users with the
proper permissions to edit, delete, or join a clan. This will
prevent cheating or the submission of false information.
- Where are other documents that further explain the goal of this
TODO: Replace the sample text below with a clear statement of the
scope of your project. What are the high-level things that you plan
to do, and that you will not do? What are your important
simplifying assumptions? Try to guard against reasonable
misunderstandings that might arise if you did not explain the scope.
It can take the form of a paragraph, bullet list, in/out list, and/or
UML context diagram.
We want to focus on the web application itself,
and the features of that application that help build a good gaming
See the context
- Work with common servers and browsers that we are already
- Allow easy customizations of fonts and colors, with the same
basic page layout.
- Enough security to greatly discourage abuse
- The web site content discusses a game, but it will not need to
actually integrate with any game software
||Out of Scope
|Building a web application for use with standard web
servers and application servers
||Building a new web server or application server
|Working the most popular browsers (IE6, NN7/Mozilla)
||Working with uncommon or outdated browsers
|Security in the form of user accounts, passwords, and
||Special security against hackers. Finding or patching security
holes in existing software components.
|One simple sample look-and-feel and instructions for
||Our own high-quality look-and-feel. A library of look-and-feel
|Database and server load and data volume that can be handled by
||Managing a cluster of servers.
|Keeping track of which users are in which
||Tracking all user activity on the site and
producing custom reports
|Displaying advertisements to visitors. Billing
advertisers for impressions.
||Automatically selecting ads that fit the
visitor's interests. On-line management of advertising or
real-time reporting to advertisers. Participating in existing
banner advertising affiliate networks.
TODO: Briefly list project deliverables. When you are done, what will you
deliver to the customer? This can be copied from the draft project
plan and simplified to reduce technical detail.
- Clan website directory engine
- Customization guide
- Sample look-and-feel
- On-line help for end users
- Command-line advertising configuration tool and report generator
Risks and Rewards
TODO: Briefly list and rank major risks. Risks are detailed in the
draft project plan
. For this proposal
document, you should select the most important risks from the
project plan and explain them in non-technical terms.
- What are the main risks of this project?
- There is a potential conflict between the goals of a
high-quality appearance and one that is completely customizable. We
can only succeed if players find the web site appealing, and game
vendors can customize it with no more effort than would be needed to
build a static website. We already have a design in mind that will
address this risk and we will review it with a web site designer who
worked for a game vendor site.
- There are significant technical difficulties in building a web
site and web application. This will be a risk because one person on
our team has much experience with the relevant tools and
technologies. Although the others will learn, we will certainly
make some mistakes and suboptimal choices. We will address this
risk by scoping the project such that we have enough time to train
and to review the design and implementation.
- The schedule for this project is very short. We will manage
this by planning a conservatively scoped functional core and series
of functional enhancements that can be individually slipped to later
releases if needed.
- What are the main rewards if this project succeeds?
- If we accomplish the elements of our plan, our
clan directory website engine will replace existing clan directory
websites and generate traffic which will result in advertising
revenue and/or hosting fees paid by game vendors. Our ability to
overcome the challenges above will determine time to market, the
speed of adoption, the amount of web traffic, and thus the generated
revenue over time.