BPM Library

The blog includes information from the materials that I meet during my career. It is a collection of information about methods and library sources for professionals in the IT Business Analysis sector.


Depending on the context upon which your project is founded will depend on who sets your objectives. This said, it is the responsibility of the Project Manager to ensure that the objectives are workable and “S.M.A.R.T.”. If the PM has to set them or has had them handed down from senior management or programme management, the PM needs to review the projects objectives and redraft them if necessary to ensure that they are exact and achievable. Don’t forget to re-communicate them – they are no good in the bottom of your drawer.

Evaluate the project objectives using the following considerations.

Specific - A specific objective has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general objective. To set a specific objective you must answer the six "W" questions:

* Who: Who is involved?
* What: What do we want to accomplish?
* Where: Identify a location.
* When: Establish a time frame.
* Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
* Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the objective.

Measurable - Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each objective you set. To determine if your objective is measurable, ask questions such as......How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?

Agreed - it is crucial that agreement is reached between all stakeholders on what the project’s goals should be.

Realistic - To be realistic, an objective must be something your project and your organisation are both willing and able to work. To you have the right resources and funding? Has your organisation taken ownership of the project?

Time-based - A objective should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there's no sense of urgency.

For example, a business unit’s goal maybe “Keep our department’s web page up to date.”

A more effective goal would be, “To… solicit updates and new material from our department’s managers for the web page on the first Friday of every month in order to… publish this new material no later than the following Friday.


Time, quality and cost are a function of scope. Therefore if you get scope wrong, the time, quality and costs will be wrong.

The project scope relationship

In determining scope the project manager must develop common understanding as to what is included in, or excluded from, a project. Only then, once your have defined the scope, you can calculate cost, quality and time.

There are numerous ways to define. Ideally several ways should be used. Each looks at the situation from a different perspective and will elicit different information. We look at three main ways are:

* Define Deliverables

- What training is required?

- What documentation is required?

* Define Functionality and Information

- What business procedures are required?

- What operations procedures are required?

- What are the critical requirements?

- Will Systems Analysis be required, if so what’s needed?

* Define Technical Structure

- Will an Acceptance Test Plan and testing be required?

Scope definition deals with "What" and Why" and is a function of Quality, Cost and Time.

* What is the main or overall goal

* What is the background

* What opportunity/problem is to be solved

* What is the "fit" with corporate strategic goals?

* What other related projects are in process?

* What changes will come about as a result of the project?

* What are the Go/No-go criteria for implementation?

* What are the specific objectives? efficiency? ROI?

* What are the measureable outcomes? or specific deliverables?

* What are the priorities?

* What is included? or not included? limits to your authority?

* What are the options?

* What are the assumptions?

* What are the Key Performance Indicators?

* Why is this a project in the first place? why is it needed?

* Why are the limits set as they are? who is setting them?

* Why are there politics involved? and who are the stakeholders?

* Why are some stakeholders against the project? who are they? how might they influence the outcome?

Outline project deliverables

At this early stage of the project, list the expected project deliverables and try to be as specific as possible. Consider the following:

* The deliverables within the scope considered.

* The opportunities that would be lost/missed if the project did not happen.


What activities have been excluded from the project?

The scope of the project can be defined by what will not be implemented as much as by what will be included. This may be due to budgetary constraints, the overlapping with another project or be part of a future phase. This is a very important section as it will define and communicate which deliverables the reader might have expected to be part of the project but are considered outside the projects current scope.


This section can expressed the constraints in terms of project, operational, technical, business and external constraints. However at a minimum the following should be addressed:

* Resources – What is the resource availability of skilled team members?

* Time - What is the latest project completion date?

* Quality – What is the basic minimum standard of delivery?

* Cost - What is the maximum cost of the project?


Projects do not exist within a vacuum. What organisations, both internal and external, does the project interface with? What are the job titles of the primary and secondary contacts? Names of people should be avoided as people can change jobs during the course of the project.