By Jessica Fender
Every big and small project starts with setting goals and objectives. Why? Because if you don’t define the things you want to achieve, you will not be able to measure the results of your project.
Do you face difficulties in writing clear project objectives? Here is a short guide for you. Use these five tips, and you will become a better project manager.
Understand the difference between “goals” and “objectives”
First of all, you should get a clear understanding that goals and objectives are two different things.
The goal is a vague description of the results you expect to get. It’s a high-level statement that provides the basic context of the project. Here is an example of the project goal:
- “To increase Visitors’ Average Time Spent on Site by 25% by the end of the year.”
Project objectives are lower-level statements. As a rule, one goal is “supported” by a few objectives. For instance, if your team aims to increase session duration, the project objectives can be the following:
- “To increase customers’ engagement by designing entertaining quizzes by April 30.”
Use the SMART technique
All objectives, just like goals, must be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself to come up with a clear projective objective.
- Who should complete the task X?
- Why should the given team member complete this task?
- What tools should your team/team member use?
- Can you measure these objectives using hours, percents, dollars, etc.?
- Is this project objective realistic?
- Does your team have all the resources/skills necessary to complete this task and do it on time?
- Is this objective relevant to your team’s skills and qualifications?
- Does it fit with the overall company’s goals and objectives?
- When exactly do you want the task X to be completed?
- What is the final deadline for the project (for instance, 10:00 EST, Monday, January 16)?
Keep your project objectives short
Each of your project objectives should be one or a maximum of two sentences long. Try to formulate your ideas as precisely as possible and replace wordy phrases with simpler, shorter alternatives.
If it sounds like a challenging task for you, consider reaching out to freelance business writers. Professionals in the field will help you to edit the text of your project objectives and get rid of the wordiness.
Choose words wisely
Since you will share projective objectives with your team, you should make sure that the way you formulate your ideas is understandable to everyone. You should choose the words that everyone knows and avoid the use of professional slang. If your project team is diverse and includes marketers, app developers, web designers, copywriters, content creators, and specialists from other fields, you should use “neutral,” non-niche-specific words.
Write project objectives together with your team
Before you make final statements, you should discuss objectives with your team. You should ensure that each of the team members believes that offered project objectives are attainable and rational.
Let’s say you want app developers to add a new feature to the app in 20 days. You should ask app developers whether they have resources available to accomplish it in such a short period of time. If developers state that they need 30, not 20 days to design a new feature, you should agree to extend the deadline and rewrite the objective.
Identify all the objectives at the beginning
Basically, your task is to write a set of objectives necessary to achieve one or a few “big goals.” So don’t focus on writing one clear objective – think beyond. Make a list of all the objectives first, and then work on clarifying and describing each objective.
Control your ambition
Many project managers fail to write proper project objectives because they lack control over their ambition. Striving to impress top managers and investors with excellent results and fast delivery of the project, product managers set too high expectations on the team and choose unattainable or hardly attainable goals.
Don’t force your team members to work to their limits. That will bring you more harm than good in the long run. Your team shouldn’t suffer because of your unhealthy ambitiousness. Be a wise project leader – think rationally and set objectives that fit your team.
Wrapping it up
Objective setting is an essential process, and you can’t skip it. If you want to lead your team to success, you should write clear project objectives every time.
Each team member should have a clear understanding of what specific tasks he should complete, when, and how, to contribute to a “big goal.” We highly suggest you use the tips given to set compelling objectives for every new project you run.