Nitty gritty: Linking Deliverables to Objectives

Ever heard that the devil is in the detail? Or perhaps read any famous quotes about the importance of preparation. Well we are going to jump on the band wagon.

Objectives Driven is not an excuse not to plan in detail.

It is an approach that links big picture thinking with detailed specification in a structured way that can be used to keep projects moving in the right direction (i.e. towards the objectives).

Those that have been involved in projects of any significance, will have experienced moments in the think of it where they are thinking something along the lines of “why are we doing this again?”

This is not because they have a poor memory or the project is random in its nature, but rather because natural and ever widening separation occurs as a project moves through its lifecycle:

  • Time: Months or years can pass between the leadership thinking through what needs to be done and the project teams delivering it
  • Specialists Vs Users: Delivery teams are usually comprised of specialists – they are not ‘of the business’
  • Delivery team Vs Leadership: The people that deliver the project where not in the same meetings as the leadership team when they were discussing the objectives and business case
  • Context changes: Over time the business changes, the leadership team change (physically and mentally), products change, tools change, environments change. BUT it is not reasonable to expect the deliverables to change unless this is change is recognised and re-programmed

There are plenty more reasons objectives are lost or forgotten (e.g. tenders and specifications get lost), but none of these very valid causes are ‘the fault’ of the delivery team, they are attributable to a failure in management approach (governance).

Enter: Objectives Driven (and Skop.es).

The Objectives Driven approach (and its implementation Skop.es) support the following:

  1. The capture of clearly defined individual Objectives
  2. The explicit linking of details deliverables to Objectives (often deliverables are functional requirements)
  3. Decision making and prioritisation based on Objectives (implementing governance), drive by data not opinion
  4. Driving (and measure) adoption based on the achievement of objectives
  5. Maximisation of benefits through activities aimed at objectives achievement