continue reading hover preload topbar hover preload widget hover preload

Define the Objectives of Your Project

February 13 2017

Define the Objectives of Your Project

Objectives are concrete statements that describe the things the project is trying to achieve. They are included in your Project Charter. An objective should be written in a way that it can be evaluated at the conclusion of a project to see whether it was achieved. A well-worded objective will be Specific, Measurable, Attainable / Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART). (SMART is a technique for wording the objective. An objective does not absolutely have to be SMART to be valid.)

An example of an objective statement might be to “upgrade the customer service telephone system by December 31 to achieve average client wait times of no more than two minutes“.

  • Note that the objective is specific.
  • The objective is measurable in terms of the average client wait times the new phone system is trying to achieve.
  • You can assume that the objective is achievable and realistic.
  • The objective is time-bound, and should be completed by December 31.

Objectives should infer the deliverables of the project. In the prior example, the objective refers to the upgrade of the telephone system. If you cannot determine the deliverables that are created to achieve the objective, the objective may be written at too high a level. On the other hand, if an objective describes the characteristics of the deliverables (such as speed or ability to handle a specific number of users), it is written at too low a level. Characteristics tend to be more requirements statements – not objectives.

If the project is a part of a larger program, the objectives of all the underlying projects should be in alignment with the program objectives.

Objectives are important because they show a consensus of agreement between the project manager and the project sponsor on the main purpose of the project. For example, the specific deliverables of an IT project may or may not make sense to the project sponsor. However, the objectives should be written in a way that they are understandable by all of the project stakeholders.

Objectives are also valuable since they provide alignment to organization goals and strategies. Your organization should not authorize projects that do not tie to goals and strategies

The project objectives should be defined and agreed upon before the project starts. The deliverables of the project are created based on the objectives. A facilitated meeting between all major stakeholders is a good way to create the objectives and gain a consensus on them at the same time.

 

Four Steps to Show the Value of Training

December 19 2016

Four Steps to Show the Value of Training
Many businesses struggle with whether they are getting their money’s worth in sending employees to training classes. This question can be applied…

Three Techniques for Scope Change Management

November 21 2016

Three Techniques for
Scope Change Management
1. Hold Everyone Accountable for Scope Management

Many scope management processes work well at the project manager level, but get compromised by team members. If the…

Five Steps Before Estimating Work

November 7 2016

Five Steps Before Estimating Work
Estimating is hard enough. It is even harder if you are not prepared. Estimating a 20 hour chunk of work is not so hard. Estimating…

The Power of the Aligned Organization

October 24 2016

The Power of the Aligned Organization
 

When was the last time you rode in a car with wheels that were not properly aligned? Chances are it was a pretty rough…

Four Responsibilities of Executives on Projects

October 10 2016

Four Responsibilities of
Executives on Projects
An executive has administrative or supervisory authority in an organization. That authority is used in a number of ways on projects. An executive is typically…

Create Schedule Management Plan

September 26 2016

Create Schedule Management Plan
The Schedule Management Plan describes the process used to develop and manage the project schedule. Not all projects need a Schedule Management Plan, but if your…

Mistake #5: Poor quality leads to poor results

September 12 2016

Mistake #5: Poor quality leads to poor results

Like the other common project management mistakes we have looked at, problems with quality show up in a number of areas. For…