A project objective is defined as a specific event that a person or organization focuses to accomplish within a predefined time frame. Objectives are different from goals, in fact, both are connected but separate terms. One explanation is the following: "Goals are usually broad and long-term outcomes whereas Objectives are the tangible results of short term activities that address the project goals".
Table of Contents
- Financial Objectives
- Quality Objectives
- Technical Objectives
- Performance Objective
- Compliance Objective
- Business Objectives
There are lots of reasons why one should set objectives for a particular project, not only because they help you establish what it is you are doing and when you are going to do it by. If project managers don’t set project objectives, they risk spending a lot of time working on things that really aren’t all that relevant to your project and that can be a massive waste of effort.
It is important to set clear objectives for your project and communicate them to your project team members so they’ll know in which direction they are heading. You probably have experience setting objectives and they probably are included in your project charter or other early project documentation like a project initiation document. And your sponsor should agree on them, and have a large input into putting them together.
But have you ever thought about how you could categorize your project objectives and whether you are making a comprehensive list? Sometimes it takes very little to overlook core objectives if you don’t think holistically about the whole project and what you want to achieve.
Here are 6 types of objectives of the project. Does your project have objectives that cover all these categories?
Financial objectives usually have a direct impact on a company’s financial state and are measured in monetary terms. Financial objectives are normally relatively easy to put together and you will find your sponsor is keen to make sure that if your project’s goal is to save or make money, or even to avoid costs, that this should be properly recorded in the project objectives.
Generally, tracking and measuring project expenses is essential because spending more than what is planned could cause harm to the overall project and could obstruct its success. In the end, your project may deliver a clear financial return (for example, launching a new product to the consumer market) or make a financial saving (such as closing an underperforming office).
There may be some quality objectives for your project, such as delivering to certain internal or external quality standards. The quality objectives of the project also manifest themselves in the form of process improvement projects that aim to reduce defects or increase customer satisfaction somehow.
You may find that quality objectives are included in your quality plan, so you can take them from there and include them in the main body of your project documentation (or vice versa, as you will probably write the quality plan after your charter).
The technical objectives often encompass activities and efforts related to different kinds of technology that are required for the successful closure of a certain project. Companies already have technology in use so a technical objective could be to upgrade existing technology, install new technology, or even make use of existing technology during the deployment of the project.
Technology comes in different forms so this could include mobile devices or telephones as well as hardware, software, and networking capabilities.
The performance objectives are associated with the improvement of products, services, or processes. So, if the project requires that some process or service needs to be improved here is where project managers set performance objectives.
Performance objectives can also be related to how the project will be run, so they could include things like delivering to a specific budget figure or by a certain date, or not exceeding a certain number of resources. Project managers could also have performance objectives related to achieving a particular project scope, such as the number of requirements that will be completed or achieving customer sign off.
Regulations, procedures, standards, and policies are tightly connected with the projects’ compliance objectives. Every project, regardless of the industry, should be compliant with something, whether is a particular standard, rule, regulation, or requirement.
Meeting compliance objectives in project management could be a great challenge and requires a thorough analysis and planning of the project. Regulatory requirements form compliance objectives. For example, there could be an obligation to meet legal guidance on your project or to comply with local regulations. A construction project could also have the objective to meet or exceed health and safety targets.
The key drivers for the project are the business objectives. Every business has business goals and objectives and these should be aligned with the project so that it is completed with success. Business objectives are very important to be clearly defined because they create a real value for the company and the project itself... Business objectives could include launching a new product, opening or closing an office, or anything else that is the main reason for delivering the project.
All the above-mentioned objectives which directly impact the success of the project have to be prioritized. Most people would say that business objectives are the most important, as without these you don’t really have a project. But besides the business objectives, project managers should pay attention to all the above-mentioned project objectives because they largely impact the project and the overall business.