Defining Mission, Vision, Goal, and Objective of Project

Education | 2011. 9. 17. 15:37 | Posted by 스마트 안전보건

Mission, Vision, Goal, and Objectives of a Project

Defining the Problem
  • The way you define a problem determines how you will solve it, so it is critical that a proper definition be developed.
  • People sometimes define a problem as a goal. A goal in itself is not a problem. It is when there are obstacles that make it difficult to reach the goal that one has a problem. Given this definition of a problem, we can say that problem solving involves finding ways to deal with obstacles: They must be overcome, bypassed, or removed.
Confusion of Terms
  • Suppose a person tells you that she is taking a new job in a distant city, and she plans to move there. She immediately realizes that she must find a place to live. So she says, “I have a problem. I have to find a place to live.”
  • A problem is a gap. The gap between where you are and where you want to be, with

  • obstacles existing that prevent easy movement to close.
  • So if you ask her, “What kind of place are you looking for?” she can tell you. “It needs to have three bedrooms, the house must be of a certain size, and I prefer a certain style,” she says. This is her vision for the kind of place she wants to live in.
  • Her mission, then, is to find a place that conforms to her vision. Another way to say this is that the mission of a project is always to achieve the vision.


The Real Mission of Every Project
I said earlier that the mission is always to achieve the vision. However, I should add that the vision you are trying to achieve is the one the customer holds. Another way to say this is that you are trying to satisfy the customer’s needs.

The mission of the project can be written by answering two questions:
1. What are we going to do?
2. For whom are we going to do it?

Developing Project Objectives
  • Once a mission statement has been developed, you can write your project objectives.
  • Note that objectives are much more specific than the mission statement itself and define results that must be achieved in order for the overall mission to be accomplished.
The following acronym may help you remember the essential qualities that a statement of objectives must have. We say that an objective must be SMART, each letter standing for a condition as follows:
  • An objective specifies a desired end result to be achieved. A task is an activity performed to achieve that result. An objective is usually a noun, whereas a task is a verb.
  • I have found the following two questions to be useful both in setting objectives and in monitoring progress toward those objectives:
  • What is our desired outcome? This is called the outcome frame and helps keep you focused on the result you are trying to achieve, rather than on the effort being expended to get there.
  • How will we know when we achieve it? I call this the evidence question.
  • This question is very useful for establishing exit criteria for objectives that cannot be quantified.
  • I consider an objective to be a statement that tells me what result is to be achieved.
  • The simplest way to conduct a risk analysis is to ask, “What could go wrong?” or “What could keep us from achieving our objective?”
  • It is usually best to list the risks first, then think about contingencies for dealing with them.
It is helpful to assess risks of failure of the following:
  • The schedule
  • The budget
  • Project quality
  • Customer satisfaction


Key Points to Remember
  1. The way a problem is defined determines how you will solve it.
  2. A problem is a gap between where you are and where you want to be, with obstacles making it hard to reach the goal. A goal by itself is not a problem. Obstacles must exist for there to be a problem.
  3. Vision is what the final result will “look like.” It defines “done.”
  4. The mission is to achieve the vision. It answers the two questions “What are we going to do?” and “For whom are we going to do it?”
  5. Objectives should be SMART.
  6. You can identify risks by asking, “What could go wrong?”

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