Assignment 3: Develop Objectives
Some of the following materials are adapted from the Decision Process Guide
, published by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation.
In this assignment, you will develop objectives. An objective is a statement of what is to be accomplished. It is specific and measurable and meets the identified need. Objectives should respond to the root cause of the problem, not the symptoms. An objective is not an action plan, but provides a vision of what is to be accomplished.
Developing objectives will:
- Narrow the focus of your effort;
- Help you decide what you are going to accomplish;
- Be useful in identifying what must be done (tasks);
- Help you identify funding requirements;
- Help you identify scheduling and chronology of tasks; and
- Allow comparison and assessment.
How to do it:
Construct as many objectives as necessary that are relevant to your problem. Use the Objectives Worksheet
[2.1.3.a.5.a] to document the process and information developed throughout this assignment.
Make the objectives as specific as possible. Make sure to include the task, specific measures, and time frames within each objective. An objective should tell you what to do, in what amount, and when. An example of an effective objective is, “hire 3 counselors within 2 months”.
Prioritize or rank each objective. Asking these questions can help:
- How much does this particular issue or cause contribute to the overall problem? Focus on the largest contributors for the biggest results.
- Will including this objective cause a problem in another area?
- What kind of funding and/or resources do we have to support this objective?
Once the objectives have been drafted and prioritized, determine or identify the following necessities for each objective:
- The probable resources needed to meet the objective;
- The probable level of effort needed to meet the objectives;
- A probable schedule for achieving the objectives;
- Milestones that can be used to measure progress in meeting objectives; and
- A potential product for reporting the achievement of the objectives.
Resources to use:
- The Cost/Benefit Analysis sheet allows you to review the proposed project, its objectives, and potential alternatives, and make a selection based on a greater return on investment (ROI).
- The Work Breakdown Structure sheet includes the activities or tasks that must be completed during a project, their dependencies (what tasks needs to precede other tasks), the effort required, all relevant dates, and the resources assigned to do the work.
- An Action Items sheet can help you document, develop, and later track and monitor action items assigned to the team members responsible.
- The Deliverable Milestones sheet allows identification of major deliverable milestones, milestone due dates, objectives, assumptions, and constraints relevant to that deliverable milestone.
- The Budget sheet can assist in developing budget line items, and later allows you to track original budget, expenditures to date, and any cost variance.
Other resources are available at Tools to Help with Making Decisions
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