Project goal is derived from “What success looks like to the client”. The first and most important step to define project goal is to understand client needs and how they look the success of the project.
Project goal answers the question ‘What do you want’. It is the aim of the project. It can be defined as a high-level statement that describes an overall context of what the project is destined to achieve.
To achieve the success, it is important to set well-defined project goals. In addition to setting the goals, the team members needs to be on the same page on the understanding and clarity of project goals. The best way to set project goals is by following these five steps:
- Goal Identification
- Define SMART goals
- Set up an Action plan
- Convert Plan to execution
- Monitor Project goal success
- Goal Identification: It is the first and most important step in setting up the goal of the project. To identify the goals, understand what is important and why this project is being initiated. It is essential to have all the key stakeholders on the same page. They should be brought together for a discussion to identity the needs and to identify what and how can the needs be achieved in this project. As a result, all the team members will understand what needs to be done and will be able to plan accordingly.
- Define SMART Goals: Post identification, define the project goals using SMART goal method. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound. With this method, the goal statement becomes more clear & specific to all the team members. Example: We are aiming to increase our customer satisfaction score to 90% in 3 months. Our branch managers and operation staff will work together in providing zero negative feedbacks.
- Set Up an Action Plan: Once the goals are ready, it is essential to know how to achieve these goals. There are few steps to create the action plan.
- Identify all the stakeholders
- Create short term tasks to reach the project goal
- Create RACI matrix to understand what individual team members will be working on
- Define the timelines for each task
- Document all the data for the reference
- Convert Plan to execution: Once the action plan is ready, it is time to execute the plan. Assign the task to the team members and define the timelines. It is important to conduct frequent review or meetings to take the update on progress. Provide all the important resources to the team for the execution.
- Monitor Project Goal execution: It is essential to keep the track of project execution. Tracking helps to ensure the quality standards, deadlines etc. It is also important to maintain a good relationship with the client during the execution as it helps to gain trust and loyalty of the client.
It is important to monitor the progress of the goal to ensure that the team completes these goals successfully and achieves all the important objectives. There are few steps which can be followed to monitor the progress of goals
- Set KPI matrices for each goal: The key performance index should be defined for each goal as it targets the specific success measure
- Define Schedule: Create Gantt Chart for the project goals and track these goals by watching how the bars change as work progresses
- Set up Project reviews: Set up meetings for regular status update. For shorter goals, meeting can be conducted twice a week whereas for longer goal, meeting can be scheduled fortnightly
- Record and analyze the progress: As the project progresses, it is important to record data associated with defined KPIs to analyze if the project is on right track
- Adjust the goals, if required: While recording and analyzing the progress, it is possible to discover behaviors & trends that require changing or modifying the project goal. It is important to keep a track on these KPIs and adjust the goals accordingly.