Project management is a comprehensive concept that remains elusive to some. The successful completion of a project entails several things that may be confusing, to say the least. How do you gauge your project’s success? Did it succeed? Did you achieve all your set goals? Did you hit your target?
You can only know that if you have a project objective. Coming up with a project objective does not have to be hard. However, there are several things that you must have in mind when writing your project objectives to gauge project success. This article looks at what project objectives are, how to write some, and examples based on different industries.
This guide should help you sharpen your project management skills.
What Is a Project Objective?
A project objective is what you plan to achieve with the completion of a given project. It is quite different from the project goal. Objectives may come in many forms. They may include deliverables, assets, or even intangible objectives such as increasing motivation and productivity.
They play an essential role in project management since you need them to communicate the goals before and during the project. They also help evaluate success after the completion of your project. You definitely want to know how your project was and some things that your team could have done differently to ensure success.
These objectives are also different from business objectives. Business objectives are put in place for the entire business operations, whereas project objectives only concern themselves with individual projects. Project objectives should therefore be clear to help in evaluating the project’s success.
Business objectives are, therefore, guidelines for the entire department and not a single project. Unlike project objectives, they are long-term and can be written in any goal-setting method you choose.
Importance of Project Objectives
Project objectives play an essential role in project management. They are considered vital elements, and without them, determining the success of a project can be challenging. Here are some of the reasons why every project needs project objectives:
Project objectives give individuals and team a sense of direction by guiding them on what needs to be done. Clearly defined objectives can be used as motivation tools towards the realization of a given goal.
The objectives direct the stakeholder and team activities towards achieving the project goals and keeping up with the company’s vision. One cannot deliver a successful project without a definite sense of direction.
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Project objectives establish a standard to evaluate project performance. I am sure that stakeholders would like to know how the project has performed at its completion, a desire that cannot be achieved if there were no objectives, to begin with.
Project objectives, therefore, act as measuring guides to help identify the success and failure of a given project. They enable performance reporting, which allows determining the areas prone to failure that can be improved on future projects.
Well-laid down project objectives can serve as a source of motivation for teams and stakeholders. They foster enthusiasm since everybody knows what is expected of them. These measuring sticks ensure that the employees direct all their time and effort towards them and spend less time on non-important issues.
Objectives also offer a peer into the future, informing the team on the rewards that lie ahead if they are met. This means that those lacking in the requisite skills will work hard and learn more about what is expected of them.
- Setting budgets
The project objectives play an important role in budget allocation once the project plans have been defined. Remember that every project has its end goal, which one can only achieve with the right funding.
The budget contains allocations to cover different stages of the project.
- Project plan structuring
Project objectives are also part of the structure for project development. They help the organization develop a timeline of activities that can be used to complete the project plan. It, therefore, increases the chances of business success by first giving a sense of direction and then helping to come up with the right strategy.
How to Write Good Project Objectives
It is quite easy to confuse project deliverables and objectives at this point. Having clear and well-defined project objectives hugely influences how you achieve the project deliverables and ensures that they are met. The clearer the project objectives, the easier it is to achieve the project deliverables. Meeting the required deliverables will inspire a team to achieve their project objectives. Therefore, when writing the objectives, they need to resonate with them.
Project objectives are the long-term goals of the team. They define the purpose of working.
To write a good project objective, you need to ensure that it has a statement that describes what you want to achieve at the end of the project. Ensure that it is brief because that will help you to be clear and straight to the point. If you make your project objectives long, they become boring, and you also risk confusing and contradicting yourself.
Also, have the measures in the objective. These are the indicators that you intend to use to assess the achievements you attain. Lastly, the objective should have the performance specification whereby you indicate each measure’s value that defines success for your project.
To break it down a little further, the project objective should be specific not to leave the team with room to misinterpret the objective. It should be measurable to know when the objectives are met. They need to be aggressive to provide you with a challenge and get everyone out of their comfort zones. They should be a realist to ensure the whole team believes that they can achieve them. Finally, the objectives should be time conscious. Have a set deadline for achieving the objectives.
Here are a few tips that should help you come up with the best project objectives:
You need to come up with your project objectives at the beginning of the project. Keep in mind that these should guide the results of your projects and should therefore come first.
- Brief and precise objective statements
While writing project objectives, you need to ensure that the statements are concise and clear. You do not have to include every detail in your project objective. This is a mistake that most first-timers do and it results in poorly written objectives.
You only need a statement to guide the project results. If possible, include only one or two statements. Any other information that you would like to include can be outlined in your project plan.
- Use the SMART approach.
You should follow the SMART framework when coming up with your project objectives. The resultant effect is realistic and workable objectives that will act as the perfect project guide. This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
We explained the specific part earlier in our discussion. Let’s take a look at the other letters:
Measurable– Your project objectives should consist of measurable things that will help you look back and gauge whether your project is successful.
Achievable– Your project objectives should be things that you can achieve within your project. Your project scope should therefore be realistic.
Realistic– Ensure that you consider the amount of resources available when coming up with your project objectives. They should be things that you can achieve with the available resources and within a given timeframe.
Time-bound– make sure that you consider the length of your project timeline when coming up with the project objectives. They should reflect the timeline.
Project Objective Examples
Project Objectives for Software Development Projects
- Build the website to meet WCAG 2.1 AA standards to be thoroughly tested against the criteria by June 2021.
- Reduce the number of clicks a user takes to reach the highest traffic page on the member directory to 3 clicks or less by the end of the design phase on August 2nd.
- To inform users of their everyday tasks by the end of our improvement phase on 10th March 2021.
- Develop an improved version of our sentiment analysis system for product rating to understand our customers’ feedback and comments in detail by August 2021.
- Develop an advanced employee management system to bring together all relevant employee information by April 2021.
- Promoting fair elections through a fingerprint-based voting application to be used in the company’s incoming 2022 election by December 2021.
- Develop an algorithm that approves/ rejects data access requests for decision automation by the end of the year.
- Ensure that all the office software is updated to the newest versions by the end of the project.
Projects Objective for IT infrastructure Project
- Improve office internet connectivity by upgrading the routers, switches, and cables by the 2nd quarter
- Enhance data storage by building advanced private cloud systems for different departments by 21st April.
- Promote efficient operations by upgrading the existing Operating Systems by June 2023.
- Install improved software applications for the efficient running of the business by April 2021.
- Better information processing by buying new computers by June 2021.
- Prevent the loss of critical information by securing high-grade UPS machines by the third quarter.
- Enable storage of more information regarding cases of abuse by expanding the server room in the second phase of the project.
- Increase office security by installing CCTV cameras at strategic places in the building by June 2022.
Project Objectives for Telecommunication Project
- Enhance effortless sharing of information among the different departments by the end of the project’s first phase.
- Better the computer systems’ operation through a complete overhaul by the end of the first quarter of the project.
- Improve the cable systems in the company for efficient communication by the third quarter.
- Improve image projection by replacing all the white screens with black projector screens by the end of the project.
- Promoting effective communication among departments by identifying the best bulk email sender by June 2022.
- Enhance top-notch communication means through complete analysis of the information systems by June 2022.
- Enhance faster office communication by replacing the old telephones with new automated ones at the end of the project.
- Promote image projection by replacing all the short throw projectors with long throw projectors for better image projection.
- Promote data security by improving the company’s firewalls.
Project Objectives for Construction Project
- Improve overall sanitation and hygiene by repairing and upgrading the water treatment plant at the end of the project.
- Prevent cases of excessive flooding by building gabions and a dam in the second phase of the project.
- Improve overall hygiene in the community by reviving the existing sewage treatment facility.
- Promote more water collection by installing gutters to every building and building a dam.
- Prevent flooding in the community by building gabions and digging trenches by the last phase of the project.
- Promote the use of green energy by installing a solar system before completing the third phase of construction.
- Improve lighting insulation by installing lightning arrestors in the last phase of the project.
- Enhance safe construction policies by actively monitoring all stages of construction and constant reporting.
- Ensure that the buildings are up to modern standards at the end of the phase.
- Create space-friendly designs to save on space by the end of the first phase.
Project Objectives for Manufacturing Project
- Enhance increased output by securing new and improved machines by the end of the third quarter.
- Promote reduction of costs by 50%, automating the manufacturing methods and thus saving on labor.
- Enabling printing of objects with high precision by building a 3D printer from scratch in the next two years.
- Ensuring that every employee is conversant with different software such as MS technology to execute future projects properly.
- Enhance safe manufacturing processes through the use of reusable energy.
- Save time and employee effort through more mechanization and adoption of new technology.
- Convince employees on proper manufacturing practices.
- Open up employees to try as many convenient and safe manufacturing means as possible.
Project Objectives for Oil and Gas Project
- Minimize the pollution levels caused by oil and gas throughout the project.
- Enhance safe transportation of oil from our plant to the customers.
- Ensure that there are no gas leaks by the end of the project.
- Equip our workers with safety equipment before the beginning of the project.
- Equip the subordinate workers with proper gas and oil handling techniques all through the project.
- Use the revenue generated in the second phase to construct a hospital for the neighboring community.
- Educate the community on how to use oil and gas safely in the first phase of the project.
Project objectives are key elements in project management. They give you the standard of assessing the success of a given project. Therefore, ensure that your objectives are clear and achievable for a smooth project management experience.