Business Focused Goals and Objectives
On a regular basis, generally annually as part of a planning cycle, an organization will set goals and objectives for what it wants to achieve. Generally these annual goals are aimed at contributing to a multi-year strategic plan that has been developed with two or three overarching priorities. Most of us will be familiar with that concept even if we aren't actively engaged in the process. Certainly, all of us are impacted by it because the projects that get approved are driven in large part by the goals and objectives that are set in those planning sessions.
There may be a few projects that we have to do as part of ongoing organizational maintenance. For example, technology refreshes, building renovations and maybe some mandatory projects have to be executed as a result of changing government regulatory requirements. But for the most part the projects that are approved are designed to achieve one or more of the corporate objectives for the next period.
In some cases there may be longer term, less immediate, goals tied in to the strategic priorities. An example of this might be a new product that may take several years to become embedded within the marketplace and these generally form multi-year programs. Even here there are likely to be some goals and objectives for the current planning cycle, even if it is only to raise market awareness of the product and get feedback from beta clients. Such interim milestones serve as check points for the multi-year initiatives.
The bottom line from all of this is that projects aren't generally approved (at least in successful organizations) based on the physical deliverables that they will make, but rather on the business objectives to which they will contribute. The 'coolest' product in the world isn't going to make a company successful if it doesn't sell. It therefore seems logical that when we manage this portfolio of approved projects we should use the same goals and objectives focused approach. This would be much better than the more usual approach of making a sudden shift to the delivery of specific features post approval, regardless of the consequences.