Heilmeier Catechism

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The "Heilmeier Catechism" is a set of seven questions that George Heilmeier was purported to have asked about new programs at DARPA, when he was the director. These questions still survive at DARPA and provide some high level guidance for what information a proposal should provide.

  1. What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.
  2. How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?
  3. What's new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
  4. Who cares? If you're successful, what difference will it make?
  5. What are the risks and the payoffs?
  6. How much will it cost? How long will it take?
  7. What are the midterm and final "exams" to check for success?