In nearly every project, internal teams and parties will work towards an objective to satisfy their stakeholders and the project owner. This objective may be loosely defined by the project owner, but to accomplish the goals will require alignment of the internal teams’ objectives. The Project Objective Setting Best Practice consists of methods and tools your organization can implement to achieve project success. This page will share some major phases of this process, the critical elements, and the introduction of an agreement tool developed by the Construction Industry Institute, The Agreement Matrix.
What It Is
Project Objective Setting ensures all parties participating in the project share the same project objectives, and work in alignment with other project suborganizations towards a clearly defined objective. Implementing Project Objective Setting will lead your project team to higher degrees of agreement and understanding on the project, thus leading your team towards a higher probability of project success.
Three Major Phases
There are three major phases a project must pass through to achieve an integrated project strategy: Formation, Communication, and Integration. The owner of the project is responsible for each of these phases and must ensure these phases are followed regardless of external parties.
- The formation phase contains a collection of procedures used by the owner to gather all organization and suborganization goals to form a coherent set of project objectives
- The communication phase is where the project owner will circulate the collected project objectives to all parties involved in the decision-making process
- The integration phase presents an opportunity for all designers, engineers, contactors, and other parties to discuss an integrated project strategy with the owner
There are four critical elements when approaching any project objectives which can be used to mitigate any potential problems your project may face. Implemented correctly, these elements will pull your project closer to aligned project objectives. The four elements are to:
- Develop a substantial methodology for collecting relevant data and literature to support the development and planning of your project objectives. A strong database will ensure your project has a large enough pool to gather informational resources from
- Develop a system to bring the project relevant suborganizations together for negotiation and agreement of project objectives. Gathering input from each suborganization will ensure no project objective is left out of the project scope
- Develop a reliable method to communicate project objectives to team members who will be making decisions based on those project objectives. Once project objectives are finalized, team leaders will need access to this information to ensure each individual team is aligned with project objectives
- Develop a method to gather feedback, provide the project with direction, and quantify the level of agreement between team members. As the Project Objective Setting methodology is recursive, it can be continuously implemented as elements of the project evolve over time
The agreement matrix is a simple tool developed by the Construction Industry Institute to compare the level of agreement at different points through the project. To complete an agreement matrix, you will need the following elements:
- A complete set of project objectives
- Approval and agreement of the project objectives from each suborganization involved in the project
- Systemic ranking of each project objective on a scale from one to ten
The agreement matrix can be repeated at regular intervals (such as quarterly/semi-annually) or when there are major changes to the project team hierarchy or organizations goals.
There are several steps used to calculate different components of the agreement matrix, all of which will be required to garner its results. These steps are outlined below:
- Calculate the “Average” priority ranking by summing priority rankings for each project team member and divide by the number of team members. Enter this value under each project objective in the “Average” row
- Calculate “Average Difference” for each project objective by finding the absolute value of the difference between “Owners Project Management Priority Ranking” and the average priority ranking. Enter this value under each project objective in the “Average Difference” row
- Calculate the “Participants Average Difference” by summing absolute values of the difference between “Owners Project Management Priority Ranking” and the Project Team Members priority ranking for each project objective and dividing by the total number of project objectives. Enter this value in the “Participants Average Difference” column
- Assign a ranking to each project participant based on the “Participants Average Difference” value. In this step, the lowest ranking will be assigned as a one
- Calculate the “Agreement Ranking” by summing the “Average Difference” of each project objective, and divide by the total number of objectives
Interested in learning more on how implementing Project Objective Setting as a Best Practice can improve your project delivery, contact us today to get in touch with a project professional.
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Project Objective Setting
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