Defining Project Outcomes

(Project Management Tip)

Have you ever been involved in a project that seemed to go well but somehow did not manage to accomplish what you set out to achieve?  Possibly it was because the project outcomes were not clearly defined at the outset and therefore the project objectives had no clear goals to inform.

There are a number of reasons why project outcomes are not fully achieved but often it’s because:

  • Project outcomes were not clearly defined at the beginning;
  • Outcomes were changed during the project but not communicated;
  • Stakeholders were not all aligned; or
  • Objectives were incapable of being measured.

So what can you do to address these shortfalls?

  • Write clear and meaningful project outcomes that define what the project aims to achieve;
  • Steer clear of using corporate jargon to avoid misinterpretation and assumptions;
  • Make sure that the project sponsor and key stakeholders are aligned on the project outcomes; and
  • Check that the outcomes are measurable and realistic.

The best project outcomes will cover:

  • Who will change;
  • What will change;
  • How much will change;
  • Who will complete the change; and
  • How the change will be measured.

Projects outcomes aim to address core problems and drive changes in conditions, behaviour or attitudes to provide a positive impact. If you define specific, measurable, and meaningful project outcomes at the project initiation they will continue to provide guidance during the decision making and help ensure your project’s overall success.

Do you need help to define your project outcomes? Reach out to us and let’s chat further, and subscribe to the Core PA E-News for more project management tips.