Must have project goals

Every project manager has to set goals for his project as part of his overall project management plan. Goals are set to ensure that expectation of various  stake holders from the project are met.  And it is the responsibility of the project manager and the project team to fulfill these expectations by targeting them as a goal.  Goal setting for project is an elaborate process and requires dialogue with various stakeholders and finalizing the list of project goals. And this is just the starting point, the most important thing is to set objectives that will help ensure that the goals are achieved and setting processes that will ensure that the objectives are met. The list of must have goals has been categorised below by the stakeholder interests.

Client goals:
1. On Time: The client wants the project to be delivered on time. There might be market opportunities that will get missed in case project is not delivered on time. And then costs escalate on the project side as well as the client side when deadlines get missed.

2. Within quality parameters: The delivered product should perform well under the targeted environment both in terms of the defects in functionality of the product and the performance in terms of response time. Both these are quantifiable and should be well defined at the start of the project.

Project team goals:
3. Productivity goals:The productivity of a project is a measure of its collective efficiency as a team and the competence and skills of it individual team members. Every project team endeavours to improve the baseline productivity figures for the defined technology set. This can be achieved through innovative design practices, use of reusable components and minimizing waste in terms of activities which have poor return on time spent in terms of their contribution towards actual product outcome.

4. Cost budget:Managing the project within cost budget is a major challenge as projects deal with a lot of uncertainty in terms of new technology, skill levels of the team, cultural gaps between sub teams, scope creep etc.

5. Attrition level goals:In competitive times when skilled resources are scarce it is important that the attrition level in the project is within limits and does not hinder the overall project goals. Hence it is important that the team functions under an environment of comadre where the project pressures are well understood by the team and appreciated by the management.

Organisational goals:
6. Profitability goals: The organisation doing the project expects that the projects deliver on the gross margins expected in that industry. The gross margin is a profitability ratio and shows how financially healthy the project is in terms of the returns it generates over the costs incurred.

7. Learning goals:Every organisation understands that learning is an important ingredient to organisational growth in an ever changing external environment. New projects offer new challenges and best opportunities to learn in an ongoing manner. Every project should set certain learning goals for itself which not just helps the project deliver the product but also helps the organisation build competence in the specific skills and domain and help it grow.

8.Training goals:Based on the market trends and changes, there is a constant need to train staff in new skills and technologies, so that projects in those technolgies can be executed effectively. Hence the project manager should budget sufficient time in the project for new trainings which come up without sacrifising project goals or organisational training needs.

These are some generic goals which projects should include in their project plans apart from specific project goals.

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