Project Management Checklist - Defining the Project Goal

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Project Management Templates: Project Initiation

Template Category: Project goals

Download: Checklist "Defining the Project Goals" (.pdf)


Project Management Checklist: Project Initiation
- Defining the Project Goals -

Project goal:

The project goal refers to achieving a desired outcome (performance goal) at a specific end date (time goal) employing a specific amount of resources (resource goal).

Performance
  • To be used as a measure for goal achievement, performance goals must be clearly formulated and the degree of accomplishment verifiable.
Time
  • Determination of the start and end dates for the overall project and the subprojects, if applicable.
Resources

Staff resources:

  • The staffing requirements for the execution of the project must be planned (possibly separately for the overall and the subprojects).
  • Moreover, it should be stated if the staff will be available full-time or only for a certain proportion of their time (part-time).
  • Before details on the project team can be given, the (designated) project manager must check the availability of the potential team members, which requires a consultation with the corresponding staff members and their line managers.

Material/ infrastructure resources:

  • The infrastructural requirements for executing the project (facilities, computer systems etc.) must be indicated.
Competing Project Goals
  • The three project target values, i.e. performance, time and resources, compete with each other. Each modification of one of these variables has an immediate impact on the two others.
  • If for example the requirements with regard to the target value “performance“ are increased, this will usually lead to higher costs or a later project end date.
  • When defining the goals and in particular when having to adjust the goals to changes, which occur from time to time, all three project target values must be considered together.


Criteria for the definition of goals and objectives:

When defining the project goals, it is essential to leave sufficient room for maneuver to ensure that all project objectives can be achieved within the planned time frame and budget.

Considering Strategic Constraints
  • The project goals must not be inconsistent with the corporate strategy.
measurable
  • When formulating goals and objectives, the performance indicators or criteria to be used for assessing goal attainment must be defined right from the beginning.
achievable
  • The goals should be defined in such way that it is possible to attain them in the framework of the project (i.e. they should not be unrealistic or outside the project owner’s sphere of competence).
  • Also, care must be taken to ensure that, when defining time goals, the planned project end date is realistic.
complete
  • All important project goals should be known and the number of goals and objectives manageable.
consistent
  • The project goals must not contradict each other.
  • Competing goals should be prioritized right from the beginning.
solution independent
  • When defining the project goals it should be avoided that a specific solution is favored from the outset.


Download

Project Management Checklist:
Defining the Project Goals
(free download)