Determine project result

The first thing you do when starting a project is to determine the result. What do you want to achieve by carrying out the project? Determine the project result as accurately as possible. Do this in an unambiguous manner so that it is clear to everyone what you want to achieve with the project. One method you can use is the SMART method.

SMART method

SMART stands for:

  • Specifically
  • Measurable
  • Acceptable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

With this method you can get clear and unambiguous goals. Questions that need to be answered to clarify goals are:

  • What do we want to achieve?
  • Who is involved?
  • Where are we going to do it?
  • When does it happen?
  • Which parts of the objective are important?
  • Why do we want to achieve this goal?

You then need to determine what is measurable and how you can measure it. This is in fact determining performance indicators per goal. Acceptable means that there must be sufficient support in the organization in which you want to realize the project goals. The goals must also be realistic so that there is sufficient support. Almost no one believes in unrealistic goals. This certainly does not promote the willingness of those involved to participate in the project. Finally, there must be a clear beginning and end to the project in terms of time. So name a start date and an end date. You can also apply this to intermediate activities and products that need to be delivered.

Activities to determine the project result

  • Every person involved in the project has certain expectations and intentions. Find out these to get the most complete picture possible of a possible expected end result.
  • Make an inventory of all bottlenecks that may arise during the implementation of the project. Also consider what bottlenecks may arise after completion of the project.
  • Think of a solution for as many bottlenecks as possible when they arise, so that you can act quickly during the implementation of the project and afterwards.
  • Clearly describe all goals of the project. Identify the advantages and disadvantages for each goal. You can substantiate this with figures.
  • Create support for the project. All key stakeholders have an interest in the project somewhere. Try to find out and reinforce this with different people. In this way the support base is increased.
  • Clearly describe the project end result. You can use the SMART method for this. Also indicate what is not part of the end result. This will prevent vagueness later, be clear.

Tips for determining the project result

  • The result of the project is a product, not an activity. Examples are a book, a report, a system, a new building, a working digital connection, etc.
  • When the project is completed, the project result must be there. This means that after completion of the project, no more activities will take place in the context of realizing the project result.
  • Provide clear acceptance criteria for the end result.