A Goal is a target or objective that someone is trying to reach or achieve. Project goals are high-level statements that will give overall context of what project will accomplish, in other words it refers to desired outcome of a project. Goals must have time goal, resource goal and performance goal.
There are six steps to set a goal i.e. Identifying goals, Defining SMART goals, create an action plan, set plan into action and monitor project execution.
Step 1: Identifying goals: Identification is initial step of project goal setting process. Then how to identify these project goals simply identify what is important. If goals are not identified then nothing can be done.
Step 2: Defining SMART goals: Next step is how to define goals that are identified. Best ways to define goals is through SMART goal method. It covers all aspects that is required to achieve. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. It stands for
- Specific: Goals must be defined clearly
- Measurable: Goals must be tracked
- Achievable: Goals must be feasible in nature
- Realistic: Goals must be practical in nature
- Time-bound: Goals must have a time-bound or deadline
Step 3: Create an action plan: Once the project goals are defined, then next step is to create an action plan, while creating action plan, need to think about:
- Who should be part of the project?
- Who will work on what part of project?
- What will be the task to achieve the goal?
- What will be the deadlines for the timeline?
Once these are finalized then need to ensure that it is documented so that there will be clear idea of how goal can be achieved.
Step 4: Set plan into action: Once action plan is created, then next step is to set the plan into action.
- Assigning task to team members.
- Fixing deadlines for each task.
- Providing resources to team so that each task can be fixed in time.
Step 5: Monitor project execution: Last step of goal setting process is project execution. Once smart goals, action plan and assigning tasks are set, Project managers should monitor execution and make sure everything is on right track also need to monitor on the quality standards and deadlines are met .
Tips to track project progress effectively
- Make it a team effort: Everyone in the team should focus on the goals to be achieve and contribute to establish goals.
- Utilize reporting tools: It is helpful to use reporting tool to monitor the progress. Rather assessing progress toward deadline individually a project reporting feature can give accurate information in few clicks.
- Establish good goals: Good goals are realistic, clear and measurable in nature.
- Make the project visible: The best way is to promote success so that the project is visible to everyone in the team.
- Check-in with your team regularly: Set appointments to measure progress at regular intervals through the project, check-in on the goals that are set for team. Don’t wait until deadline as it will be too late to correct if any error happens, so regular check-ins are necessary to monitor the goals.