Writing Your Terminology Project Goals

PM cakeMost trainers explain the PM process using the cake analogy, and when it comes to goals it is useful to see it from that perspective, too.

  1. The goal to make a cake might seem easy, but is it?
  2. Why are we making the cake? What type of cake do we want? Where will it be made? How much money can be used on ingredients? What is the time frame for making the cake? How many people want a slice of the cake? A simple goal of “make a cake” no longer seems sufficient.
  3. Ask the questions and understand the answers to set a far more realistic and specific goal.
  4. Write your goal in short, simple sentences: “Make chocolate mud cake to feed 50 people at a birthday party in 1 month, decorated and finished one day prior for transporting to venue and at a cost of $150”.
  5. There are many ways to assess goals, but the most popular and easy to use is the SMART analysis.

terminology smart

A specific goal (a chocolate cake for 50 people) allows us to measure it and assess if it’s realistic given your resources (ingredients+kitchen), allocated budget ($250), and time frame (1 month). If you don’t have an oven or have never baked a cake, or the cake needs fancy decorating, you probably need to change your goal. It is a simple example but the same principles apply to every project; that’s why it is used by PM trainers.

Can you extrapolate this SMART goal to a project that you have started or completed? The design of a simple termbase, for example, could have the following SMART goal: “Design a 5-category termbase on photovoltaic systems for x client to be completed January 31st, 2015.” What about this goal: “Our team will design 10 termbases on renewable energy, 10 of which will be completed by March 31st, 2015 and the remaining 10 on July 31st 2015, with an approved budget of $4.500, following ISO standard 704 (Terminology Work and Principles). Follow-up meetings will be held every other Friday.” You have who, what, when and how (specific), concrete numbers (measurable), resources, knowledge, workload (achievable), the termbase will improve efficiency (relevant), within reasonable schedule and follow-up (time-bound).

Check out this 2 minute video on how to effectively write a SMART goal, and these examples of smart goals. Also remember that you can always adjust your SMART goal as needed; just make sure it stays SMART.

The next step would be to properly justify your goal by writing a business case to assess the reasons why the project should be run and prepare a feasibility study with a cost-benefit analysis. My next PM post will touch upon that.

Sources (copied/adapted from):

  1. Head First PMP, by Jennifer Green and Andrew Stellman (see my PM resources)
  2. Open2Study. Principles of Project Management free online course. (Highly recommended).
  3. Top Achievement. Creating SMART goals.
  4. Learn Marketing SMART goals, with example.
  5. Set SMART goals Wikihow (clear explanation with illustrations and examples)

SMART Image credit

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