I want to write an email to my supervisor and ask him to provide me a guideline for things I should be careful with, while I will be working on a project.

Is there an alternative and shorter way of expressing the following: "things to be careful with" , "things that should be taken into consideration" , "things not to do", "things to avoid".

I am looking for a single-word, simplistic version of the above-mentioned

  • Isn't this as simple as 'priorities'? Sep 4, 2014 at 7:37

5 Answers 5


You can use the word consideration itself because it is used as a noun for something that is, or should be, considered.

In the context of projects or in a technical context, these items can be mentioned as key considerations.

Example titles:

UNIX to Linux Porting: Project Considerations


Key Considerations: Project and Risk Management



How about "pitfalls"? For example:

"Mr. Brown, as we undertake project "X", do you foresee any pitfalls? If there are any that you are aware of at this point in time, I'd appreciate your letting me know."

  • 1
    I'd probably qualify that, as potential pitfalls. Alliterative answers are awesome.
    – tobyink
    Sep 3, 2014 at 23:54

A colloquial word that would apply is gotchas.

A gotcha is something that will get you and jeopardise the project. It could be anything and may happen for any reason.

  • 1
    although a good suggestion I am not sure I could use it in a formal communication with the supervisor, huh? Sep 3, 2014 at 22:38
  • @WolfgangKuehne: It's an email. It might also be a "formal communication", but that was not stated in the question. Not every supervisor is The Pope. ;-) (And I'm guessing that not every email to The Pope from a subordinate is a formal communication.)
    – Drew
    Sep 4, 2014 at 2:45
  • 1
    +1. But gotchas are typically without very serious consequence. Using "gotcha" is a lighthearted way to talk about relatively minor potential pitfalls. It is especially appropriate for the little things. It is probably not what you want to use if the mistake might result in a nuclear winter. ;-)
    – Drew
    Sep 4, 2014 at 2:48

I propose caveats.

Does this project come with any caveats I should be aware of?

Note that caveat has a slight negative connotation without without being critical.


Precautions (Dictionary.com)

  1. a measure taken in advance to avert possible evil or to secure good results.
  2. caution employed beforehand; prudent foresight.

You might ask:

Are there any precautions I need take or be aware of before starting this project?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.