Rationale Behind The Project Rationale

Photo by Toblas Toft

Got a big idea you want to make happen? If this project needs the backing of an investor or donor, you’ll need to provide an argument for implementing your master plan.

There’s an official name for that, and it’s called the Project Rationale.


The project rationale is a documented reason for initiating a business project. It’s typically included as part of an internal case for undertaking a new endeavor. The rationale is prepared and presented to managers, team leaders and/or coworkers as part of the justification for investing time, money, people and other resources into a particular project.


Some project rationales are simple paragraph or page-long statements explaining the motive for a given project. In more formal documentation, you’d include some context and background, your motivation for the project, its purpose, the focus and expected outcomes.

Some project management software programs have templates with these components built in.


With an informal project proposal, the rationale is submitted with other supporting documentation to a manager or team members. In formal situations, the proposal team or developer delivers a presentation to decision-makers along with other components of the proposal.

Either way, the rationale behind the project shouldn’t just be sound it should inspire.

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