SMART Project Management Objectives – Watch this 2 min. Video

I’ve written a lot about the reasons for setting clearly articulated project management objectives for projects, proposals and programs. And also you not might know my pet hate and motherhood statements which are feel-good statements, that at the end of the day are neither tangible or meaningful.

Given we’ve covered why we set objectives, (Setting Objectives) now I want to talk about how you ensure your objectives are not motherhood statements and are written in such a way your whole team will relate to them and work toward achieving them by giving you a great strategy.

These can be used for project, proposal and program objectives, risk mitigation strategies, business benefits, quality objectives and even personal objectives for your project team. It’s called the SMART Strategy.

SMART Project Management Objectives (Transcribed Audio)

Hi, James Clements from Project Plan Online. Now I’ve written a lot about the reasons for setting clearly articulated objectives for projects on my blog. And also you might know my pet hate, motherhood statements, which are feel-good statements that at the end of the day are neither tangible or meaningful in objectives or in any other type of project setting.

Given we’ve covered why we set objectives, now I want to talk about how you ensure your objectives are not motherhood statements and written in such a way your whole team will relate to them and work toward achieving them by giving you a great strategy for writing objectives.

These can be used for project objectives, risk mitigation strategies, business benefits, quality objectives and even personal objectives for your project team. It’s called the SMART Strategy.

To write SMART objectives your objectives need to be Specific. That is, they need to relate to a real  and tangible goal. Something people can visualize and work toward.

They need to be Measurable. You need to be able to plan toward and measure the achievement of the goal.

They need to be Achievable. If your objective is too easy – it will probably take longer than it should because it’s not a stretch for the team. Or if too difficult, your team will not even make the effort to work towards them at all.

It needs to be Relevant. It seems obvious that the objective must relate to your project and your scope of work, but people often write objectives that are outside the remit of the project and are therefore unachievable.

They must be Time bound. That is, they need a date by which the specific and measurable goal must be achieved.

Let’s look at an example: Let’s consider an organization who is moving from a bid into a project. They have concern of cost escalation with their major vendor so they have a risk control strategy around ‘Contract negotiations to be concluded with the top 50% of Vendors (by value) prior to contract signature to limit cost escalation’.

So we ask ourself “is it Specific?” Yes it is. Contract negotiations concluded, no doubt about it.

“Is it Measurable” Yes it is – 50% of the procurement value. So no problems there.

“Is it Achievable?” Yes, but in your own situation – you’re going to have to make that judgement call.

“Is it Relevant?” Yes it is, procurement on that project. But again, you’ll need to make those kind of judgement calls specific to your project.

“Is it Time bound?” Yes, by contract signature.

So there’s no doubt about it. What needs to be done – how you’re going to measure achievement – and by when.

If you want to read more articles about project objectives and motherhood statements go to my blog projectplanonline.com and if you want to receive email blog posts and email video alerts like this, just subscribe on the subscriber boxes in most of the pages on the site.

Thank you and I’ll see you next time.

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