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Project objective

In project management, project objective is a business benefit that an organization expects to achieve as a result of injecting project product(s) into itself or its environment.

The term business benefits above refers not only to strictly monetary gains, but to all kinds of changes in parameters describing the workings of any organization that bring it closer to its goal.

Project objectives are often confused with project products, e.g. The objective of our project is to install system X. In such a case apply the So what? test. You can also ask Why do we want system X? several times to discover the benefits of having system X in place.

A more formal way to define project objective is: a desired change in key performance measures (indicators) of an organization, resulting from the interplay between project products injected into the organization or its environment and the organization itself.

The terms performance logic or strategy map are used to refer to the formal description of a system of causally validated measures of organization's performance; see also balanced scorecard. One can also construct a performance logic for the project. Another helpful tool might be Goldratt's Future Reality Tree.

Types of objectives

Project objectives can be divided into three categories:

Structure of a project objective

A well-written project objective should comprise of the following:
At least main project objectives should be expressed in the above format.

To refine this picture, one could establish both required target values (must be achieved to consider the project a success) and desired target values (to be aimed at, but procject will be considered a success even if they are not achieved).