To write an effective project objective, you must first know the difference between an objective, a goal and a vision statement. Jennifer Bridges, PMP, clarifies these terms and shows you how to write effective project objectives every time.
In Review – How to Write Effective Project Objectives Every Time
Jennifer began by defining terms. If you’re struggling with writing an effective project objective, she said that it might be because you’re confusing objectives with vision statements and goals.
The vision statement is considered the highest level statement because it describes the direction and aspiration of the project, even if that might not ever be achieved.
Goals are also high-level statements, and they can be somewhat vague. They do, however, provide overall context for what the project is set to achieve and how it aligns with business goals.
Project objectives are specific and are considered lower-level statements. They describe results: specific, tangible deliverables that the project will produce. Progress towards an objective can usually be tracked with a project dashboard because objectives are often associated with metrics.
Why Should We Care About Effective Objectives?
The main reason why effective objectives are important is that the more clear your objectives are, the more likely they are to be achieved. Plus, your project will be that much easier to manage.
Objectives are crucial for they offer a way to structure the project and validate its success. Therefore, the more effective the objectives, the more successful the project.
How to Write Effective Objectives
Each objective needs to meet the SMART criteria. This acronym will guide you to effective objectives.
How? By making sure each objective is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
That means define the objective and make sure that there’s a metric to measure its progress, so you can tell if it’s meeting your baseline expectations.
Therefore, it must be achievable or else there’s no sense in trying to reach it. So, be realistic, and make sure the objective is possible and relevant to both the project and the organizational strategy of the business.
Finally, your objective must have a deadline. It can’t be open-ended. There must be a time constraint. How is it time-bound, by months, weeks, days? These are all question to ask.
An Example of an Objective
Jennifer noted that, for example, if the goal is to increase the overall satisfaction level for customers by submitting support tickets through the website, then the objective is to implement a new online ticketing system by a certain date to achieve ticket response times of no more than an hour.
Now, run it through SMART: is it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound? If it meets these criteria, then it’s an effective objective.
Pro-Tip: Don’t neglect business objectives. If the objective of the project isn’t aligned with the company strategy, then it’s not going to be effective.
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Today, we’re talking about how to write effective project objectives every time. Well, I find sometimes people struggle with writing objectives because they get them confused with goals and even the vision. So I wanna start by clarifying what each one of these terms mean.
So the vision statement is the highest level statement. What it’s doing, it’s showing direction and aspiration. It may or may not even be achieved, but the goals are, they’re more vague, but they’re still high level, they provide the overall context for what the project is to achieve and aligns with the business goals.
The objectives are a lower level statement, they describe the desired result of the project, they describe specific tangible products and deliverables that the project will deliver. So the goals are more vague and the objectives are a little bit more specific.
So why do we care about effective objectives?
Well, managing a project calls for clear objectives. The more clear you can get your objectives, then the more likely you are to achieve them. So they’re used to structure the project and validate your success. So how do we make those objectives more effective?
Well, we use the SMART technique. So SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. So when we talk about projects and we talk about goals and objectives, I wanna give an example.
So and a goal for a project could be to increase the overall satisfaction of customers submitting support tickets through the website, that would be the overall goal of the project.
So one specific objective would be to implement a new online ticketing system by August 1st to achieve ticket response times of no more than one hour. So let’s check it out. So is it SMART?
So it’s very specific, it tells you exactly what’s going to happen, by what time, and what results you’re going to gain. It’s also measurable. You can measure the ticket response times, and make sure they don’t exceed one hour.
They’re also achievable by using this ticketing system, they are able to be achieved and they’re realistic for your team. And also time-bound, you know you’re going to implement this by August 1st. So now you can see the difference between the goal and how the objective help support that goal.
So if you need a tool that can help you document your objectives, structure your project, and validate your success, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.