What are you trying to achieve? Write it down….

My accountant asked me if I would help out one of his clients. This was a partnership in a restaurant that was losing around £900 per week.

I went along and met the partners and talked about their business. After a walk around the premises I asked a number of questions including what they intended to use the basement area for? Along came two replies:

  • Reply 1 from partner 1: “As a bar pre meal and after the meal. I want to make this area really comfortable creating a good ambience”
  • Reply from partner 2: “I see this as a great space for folk music or karaoke and with the bar it will be a great place to attract customers.

You can see the problem; one business partner wanted one thing while the other wanted something completely different. This space had remained empty for about 7 months and there was no clear plan for making use of it. It is hardly surprising that they were losing a large sum per week. These two never resolved their differences and one of the partners sold out.

But, it raises the question are your project objectives really clear? When we look at this with clients or on courses the answer is often vague;

I think so….
maybe…
I think I know what we are doing…
it’s pretty obvious

All of these come to mind!

It still surprises me that projects and even business as usual activities have unclear objectives or in a lot of cases NO objectives. Some projects are complex and to develop a written set of objectives can take some time. However, how do you know how you are progressing if you do not have clear objectives? How are you going to measure success at the end of the project without a statement of what you are doing? It helps motivate the team; and points to stakeholders what you are and are not doing.

We recommend developing a PID (Project Initiation Document) which asks some difficult questions. Get your templates on the link: Free project templates

Delivering on time and to budget and with the right results means you must have clear objectives. Use the PID and make sure you have clear objectives no matter how time consuming or how pedantic you or others may seem. If you do not know where you are going you do not know where you will end up!

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