Constraints and Weaknesses

Unless the full context and implications of a project are know at the outset, the actual process of proposal development may, in itself, be a learning process. Consequently, a project proposal may contain serious weaknesses because the problems and their solutions are not yet fully understood. A funding agency may reject a proposal or ask for revisions because one or other aspect of it is weak. To the proposal writer this may sometimes seem like the agency wanting the results of the project before the project has even been approved. However, having identified weaknesses, they can be addressed and turned from weaknesses to strengths, thereby increasing the chances of attracting funding.

It is not possible to have full control over a system and there may be constraints that cannot be address directly. Even if these constraints cannot be removed, they should be identified and documented. Major constraints may simply prevent a project from taking place, for example a legal constraint. A minor constraint may be effectively insignificant, but the cumulative effect of many small constraints may prevent a project from attaining its deserved goals. Therefore, constraints should be either be resolved, worked around or worked within before they threaten the success of the project.