3Q Notation


While I was working it became necessary to create a document with clear own project description. However business plan doesn’t match such kind of solutions, because project is innovative and mass market oriented or creating new one and it doesn’t allow to make any more or less accurate forecasts. So I have set myself a task to create a notation for describing innovative solutions. I could not find existing popular services solving this task. There are lots of notations, methodologies, languages for example UML which allows to create anything but I think it should be specific, laconic and modern service.

Creating base version wasn’t so hard because this method of describing business ideas used often by some entrepreneurs in high-tech. Below you can find the result of my work «3Q» notation (3 questions). I will often refer to this notation while working on project V, adding something new to it and I hope this solution will be useful not only for me but for other entrepreneurs.

Bottom line

The main point of dealing with this notation is creating small document which consists of 6 sections:

  • Project information
  • Why?
  • How?
  • What?
  • Conclusion
  • Reviews

After you fill all sections you will get a laconic document which contains all required information someone need to know about your project to be interested in it  as a result.

Why this 3 questions are asked? That is  these questions are fundamental to build the project concept, it becomes a strategic asset for making a decision in the future. Answering these questions requires this order. However often it happens conversely and it leads to losing reference points and time. First of all you find a reason for yourself, i.e the problem you are going to solve. After that you decide how you can solve it. And the last question is what exactly you’ll do for solving this problem.

Many people can find it obvious but I assure you that answering these questions (even if you do it for yourself) will help you to see the project concept more accurate and you will find controversial issues before you make irreversible decisions.

3Q document template is demonstrated below.

Template 3Q
Template 3Q

There is a detailed description and manual for working with each section of the document.


This section is used to attach links, images, diagrams and other information which reinforces the importance and reliability of highlighted theses in other sections. Section «Attachments» allows shortly highlight the main points moving details to another section. It is on the left of other diagram columns, from the top to «conclusion» paragraph. It’s highlighted with default frame, refering to this section artifact is recommended using dotted line. 


This is the first and to my mind the most important question which must be answered thoughtfully. In this section you move closer to the issue which you are going to solve or necessity of innovative solution. Artifacts should be displayed with hierarchy literally moving closer to the issue. Main reasons and problems should be highlighted (for example using filling) and arrows should be drawn from these artifacts to artifacts from next section.


This section is for deployment of your action plan. You should specify which actions you are going to do to solve the problems revealed in previous section. It is important to designate check points which will be used to indicate the progress of your project. It is very important to specify all links to different materials which will prove your your intention, it may be calculations or statistics.


In section «What?» it is required to specify what you have already did to complete your project, here you should focus on section «How?» and in the case one of check points has been already reached you should specify that by summarizing artifacts with name or adding the label. Most popular answers in this section are: «The team has been built—> Prototype has been implemented». Of course you should add links which prove that information. In the case if you haven’t took this action yet you should point out what you are working on at the moment.


In this section you should analyze everything what you wrote above and make a conclusion: if questions match each other, are there any contradictions, what are the risks and anything that goes out of those 3 questions also should be specified.


This section is optional however it fits well in notation «philosophy» because document in 3Q notation is designed to be show to potential partners and before presentation it is advisable to show it to experts or authoritative specialists in your sphere. It can be a review or a recommendation that is highly appreciated in management groups.

Link to the project

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