Project Objective Definition
The project objective consists of the business benefits that an organization expects to achieve as a result of spending time and exerting effort to complete a project.
Project objectives are often confused with project products e.g. the objective of our project is to install system X. This sort of objective fails the "so what?" test. That is, what is the end result of installing system X? It is this end result that should be noted as the project objective.
Types of Objectives
Project objectives can be divided into three categories:
- Main objectives (the reasons for doing the project)
- Additional objectives (the benefits achieved almost as side-effects, not the reasons for doing the project)
- Non-objectives (the benefits that are not to be expected as a result of the project). Care should be taken to list only such non-objectives that can be reasonably expected by project sponsors or other interested parties, but are not going to be achieved by the project. For example, a project to implement SAP R/3 is not going to reduce the cost of data entry, although this might be expected.
I've also put together a short online course that describes project management fundamentals if you're interested in learning more about this profession.