Why aren’t projects currently Objectives Driven?

Many might claim that their IT and Systems projects are Objectives Driven, because they began with some capture and documentation of objectives, here are our arguments on why this is not truly “Objectives Driven”:

  1. The structure of the captured information is not usually actionable, for example statements tend to be aspirational not measurable
  2. Stated objectives are not concretely link to the project deliverables (unobtainable) – making it difficult if not impossible to work towards the objective using the new tool/system
  3. People confuse / conflate the project or system with the objectives – a new system is not an objective, rather it is a means to achieve them
  4. Months or years after the project begins it finally ends, but by that time everyone has forgotten why it was run in the first place. The objectives were lost or forgotten
  5. The individuals responsible for delivering the project are not the same people who will use its outcomes (e.g. the system it delivers),they dont share the same objectives
  6. The completion of the project itself is the outcome for the delivery team but not for the business or users – and the delivery team generally don’t have a fix on purpose beyond the delivery of requirements (which are never detailed enough)
  7. They actually are objectives driven – but way too late. When projects go of track, and the team try to reference objectives for direction, at they realise that they do not exist in a form that can be used. Unfortunately by this stage it is too late. Unpicking the past is difficult and time consuming. Unless it is an autopsy, resources are better spent on capturing it now and keeping fingers crossed that some of the deliverables are relevant
  8. And finally… Its all too hard! There are few, or no, methodologies or tools dedicated to running Objectives Driven projects (until Skop.es), so it would need to be managed manually which represents considerable effort and would require ground breaking knowledge

Using a structured and efficient means to capture and utilise objectives to set consistent direction in projects will take a little more time and effort, but in our opinions it is worth every moment and dollar spent.