The purpose of project objectives is to state the what, when and why of each project – what the project is (activities), why you are doing it (results required) when it will happen (deadline).

Wait – So what’s the difference between project management goals and objectives? This is a question that is often asked and is the main source of confusion.

Let’s get it straight and all. Think of it like this: A goal is a long-term outcome you want to achieve (rarely through a single project), while a goal is a set of actions you take to help you achieve that goal.

For instance:
Goal-Increase Annual Return (ARR). Goal – Collect 5,000 new leads per month.
Purpose – To improve the user experience of your product. Goal – Reduce the setup process from 6 to 3 clicks.

Types of goals and objectives

A project can have endless goals, all depending on the department and your company, but it can help to find a way to divide them into organized groups. By tagging each project with a broad category, you can apply a comprehensive approach to your overall project management.

So, without painting too many career goals with a thin brush, here are 3 different styles you can use to group them:

Project financial goals – This type of goal usually focuses on the project’s impact on the organization’s financial performance. However, since income-generating activities cost money, it is important to set clear and measurable goals to reach your goals without losing sight of your expenses.

For example: launch a pay-per-click campaign that will generate a 150% return on investment (ROI) within 2 months.

Project quality goals – This type of goal focuses on improving the quality of services or products provided to customers to improve results and bring you closer to your business goals. Legal requirements and compliance objectives may also fit into this process.

Example: Improved the checkout page to reduce abandoned cars by 15% at the end of Q2.

Technical objectives – This type of objective focuses on improving overall project management and technical performance to improve work processes and produce better results. Example: Implementing a company-wide operational system will reduce repetitive tasks by 50% within two months.

Determining the nature of each goal will eventually make it easier to plan and support the company’s work and track and manage goals based on their summary.

How to write an effective project objective

Now for all the parts you are thinking about – the process for writing project objectives.

Although there are many different methods, each with its advantages, we recommend applying SMART actions. If you work in the project management field, you’ve probably heard this term before. SMART is the standard project management principle for setting goals and is the best way to present your plans.

The virtues of SMART

Specificity: If your target addresses a lot of issues, likely, it won’t say anything in the end. Set your goals to ensure the best results.
Measurability: Every goal should be quantified so that you can measure the progress and success of the project.
Achievable: Ask yourself: Is this goal realistic? Based on experience, resources and time available, is this an achievable goal?
Relevant: Remember those long-term goals we mentioned above? Make sure that each goal fits your business goals and brings you closer to the defined success.
Timeline: For a project to be useful, it needs a clear timeline. Without it, you’re creating a money pit draining resources that can’t get you closer to your goals. Sorry for the inconvenience and sadness, but it’s true.