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Developing Project Objectives

As a project manager, one of the most important things that one can do is to help create the project objectives. The objectives are what give the project direction. Additionally, project objectives provide a measuring stick as to the effectiveness of the project. When the project’s objectives are met, then one can qualify the venture as a success. It is an empirical way of keeping track of progress made and whether or not what should have been done was actually done.

Developing project objectives should be done during the initiating and planning processes of the project management. During the initiating portion, the objectives should be stated rather broadly, more of a definition of what needs to be accomplished. During the planning stage, the objectives are more narrowly defined, and become a part of the process in actually determining how the project will be accomplished and what steps are necessary.

While the project manager should be in charge of stating the project objectives clearly to team members, there is no reason why team members should not participate in the development of objectives. It is true that most of the team members are not chosen until the planning, or even the executing, stage, but input from potential project team members or from the few members already selected can help them feel a sense of ownership in the project, and encourage them to take pride in the process. And, of course, the project manager must listen to input from superiors. In fact, her or his supervisors might have defined the broad objectives during the initiating phase.

Project objectives should be clear and concise. They should use as few words as possible to succinctly communicate what the project is meant to accomplish. If the objectives are muddled, or if it is difficult to formulate them, that is a sign that maybe the project is not necessary. Good objectives also show progress. It is not a detailed description of each little task, but rather what one is shooting for at the end. Smaller objectives, to help reach the larger objectives, can help the task seem more manageable. The key, however, is to make sure that the objectives guide the members to make measurable process, and that all the members clearly understand what they should be doing to help the team accomplish the objectives.

Project management software can be helpful in keeping the objectives in mind, as there is often space for the objectives to be listed. This way they can be compared to the schedules and the budgets to ensure help the project manager ensure that he or she is on track. Some industry-specific project management software programs also come with tools to help project managers develop the project objectives. However, no software program can truly replace a human in determining what really needs to be done, and how to do it.

By getting input from various stakeholders, as well as other project team members, and by thoroughly understanding the aims of the project, a project manager can put together a list of objectives that can guide the project to a successful outcome.

Article by Remedysoft, Inc.
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