What aspect of this project is most likely to fail? Has that aspect been tested?
I read a quote last week that read something like, "Hundreds of hours of design work can save you a few hours of critical thinking." Probably my best work is in a garbage can because someone didn't bother asking the customer/distributor if they were willing to pay for the product. Another reason is that instead of quoting the titanium part that was likely to cost more than the whole product was supposed to, they had me go ahead and design in high detail the whole product before quotation. It makes me want to have a uni. management course, because this seems widespread.
How important is unit cost?
How important is the schedule?
How important are the specifications?
This is based on the project management triangle. Pick two: cost, schedule, scope. Most people ask for all three and that means that decision is going to be made by someone who isn't qualified or doesn't have the information to make the decision. Nothing makes a manager a bigger @ hole in my mind than pushing this key decision onto the design engineer or myself.
Who is this for?
For all the talk of controlling risks, I've never seen anything that can reduce risk more than actually describing your customer. Even better if you can bring them in during the process for testing. And yet, again, something rarely known to, or well described by design clients.
"The key to success in this business is to find a boss who doesn't care." - Mike Rowe