Project Goals

Project Goals

Project Goals Jonathan Poland

Project goals refer to the desired business outcomes that a project aims to achieve. These goals are typically outlined in the project’s business case and may be revised as the scope of the project changes. Essentially, project goals are the target results that the project is working towards, and they are typically defined by the sponsor of the project.

The goals of a project refer to the high-level objectives that the project is aiming to achieve. These goals are often provided by the sponsor of the project and may be related to business targets. It’s important to note that the goals of a project should not be confused with the goals of the project management team, which may be focused on delivering the project on time and within budget.

While the project goals represent the end-goals of the program or project, they may be broken down into smaller, more specific objectives that represent meaningful steps towards achieving the overall goals. In some cases, a project may not directly achieve the business goals, but it may still contribute to the organization’s progress towards those goals. For example, a project to build a hotel may not directly generate revenue, but it can be a necessary step in the process of operationalizing the hotel and eventually earning revenue. The following are illustrative examples of project goals.

Revenue

A construction project adds floor space to a popular restaurant to add 30% more tables that are expected to increase revenue by 22%.

Cost Reduction

A restaurant redesigns its kitchen with new ovens that allow the kitchen to bake its own bread. This will reduce ingredient costs by 3% and improve food quality.

Efficiency

A project to replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning in an aging office building will reduce cooling costs by 38% in summer months and heating costs by 8% in winter months.

Productivity

A new accounting system is expected to reduce workloads with automation and powerful user interfaces. This will reduce the use of contractors in the accounting team saving $480,000 per year.

Data

An IT project to cleanse contact data in a sales automation platform is expected to improve sales team productivity and reduce errors that are visible to the customer such as misspelling a name.

Information

A market data product will deliver actionable information to traders up to 26 milliseconds faster than a firm’s existing trading platform.

Knowledge

A new search tool will make it easier to discover and use existing knowledge sources at a firm. In other words, the search tool reduces knowledge waste. The goal is to deliver 1 million queries a year with users satisfied with one of the top three results for 90% of these queries.

Metrics & Measures

A systems project will measure the turnaround time for vendors to resolve customer requests. This is expected to improve average turnaround time by at least 10% as vendors with fast turnaround times will be rewarded with slightly higher placement in search results. The turnaround time will be communicated to vendors and available from a vendor dashboard.

Monitoring

A solar panel management system will be upgraded to report energy output at the module level. This will be used to identify low performing modules that can be replaced to improve system efficiency. Monitoring at the module level is a feature that can be used as a unique selling point to improve revenue.

Analytics

An airline analytics project will allow customer satisfaction rankings to be correlated with hundreds of different parameters such as aircraft type, meals served and flight staff. This will allow the airline to identify customer service improvements such as an unpopular meal. This data will be used to identify ways to improve customer satisfaction to 70% from 54%.

Customer Satisfaction

An elevator manufacturer releases a firmware update to remove an unpopular feature that causes the elevator to beep loudly when an occupant holds the door open button for more than 11 seconds. The goal is to improve customer satisfaction and remove potential compliance issues as the beeping feature makes the elevator less accessible to people with disabilities and others who may require more than 11 seconds to exit and enter the elevator.

Customer Experience

A Japanese bank launches a systems project will rearchitect 7 financial transactions to be processed in real time as opposed to a batch process that takes up to 3 business days. The target is to improve customer satisfaction by 3% and reduce transaction inquiries by 14%. The project is also seen as a competitive advantage as many local competitors still think in terms of batch processing models from the 1970s despite advances in computing that allow a high volume of transactions to be handled in near real time.

Problem Solving

A website finds that customers on most mobile devices can’t view anything beyond the first page of search results because the feature to automatically load more results when the user scrolls down isn’t working. This is estimated to have a revenue impact of 5% of total sales. The problem has persisted through several attempts to fix it. A small project aims to improve revenue by fixing the automatic load feature and also providing a new user interface that allows customers to manually jump to any page in the search results at any time.

Process Improvement

A project to improve a fulfillment process will automate check-and-pack procedures with an industrial robot that will be designed to confirm that items match an order and carefully pack items to prevent damage during shipping. The robot will be able to handle 70% of order configurations with some items still requiring a human to pack. The project targets reduced labor costs of $100 million over five years, a 20% reduction in order checking errors and a 2% reduction in shrinkage due to damage in transit.

Quality

A project to reformulate a non-alcoholic beer product to include only natural ingredients is expected to improve product positioning by being the only product on the shelves to say “all natural ingredients.” The goal is to increase prices by 15% with a premium product while at the same time increasing unit sales by 10%.

Business Capabilities

A telecom company systems project will implement a configuration management system that will automatically record a history of the configuration of hardware and software across a network. This business capability will be used to improve network operations and troubleshooting of incidents by correlating problems and network performance with changes in configuration. The target is to reduce SLA violations by 7%.

Information Security

A patch management project will improve the speed and accuracy of security patches for 114 systems and applications. The goal is to reduce mean-time-to-patch to 2 business days from the current 14 business days.

Quality of Life

A project to introduce sidewalks and pedestrian only streets in Tokyo is designed to improve the quality of life of local residents as the project will improve pedestrian safety, property values and the general pleasantness of neighborhoods. It is estimated the project will save 0.819 lives each year by preventing pedestrian traffic accidents.

Sustainability

A restaurant chain will replace free disposable plastic straws with reusable metal and silicone straws for purchase. The effort is expected to save 14 million plastic straws over 5 years. The launch of the new straws is accompanied with a communication and information campaign targeting employees, customers and the media. The goal is to have zero impact on customer satisfaction while at the same time improving positive perceptions of the brand by two basis points. The project will also improve revenue by $800,000 per year and reduce cost by $33,000 per year.

Resilience

A city launches incentives for homeowners and property owners to do something productive with their roofs. Options include solar panel systems, green roofs, rooftop gardens and blue roofs. Incentives will be in the form of refunds of property taxes of up to 7%. The project involves the implementation of systems, processes and practices to govern and administer the plan. The goal is to beautify the city, improve quality of life, enhance the city’s brand and increase resilience to stresses and shocks such as a global supply chain disruption or flood. For example, blue roofs reduce runoff and can act as a buffer against local flooding.

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