What are objectives? According to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), “Quality objectives lead to clarity of purpose and unified effort across divisions through a clearly articulated incident strategy.“. This statement provides a great guardrail for those preparing objectives for fighting wildfires, incident response in the All-Hazards world and for public safety n general.
Now let’s look at a Project Management focused definition from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) 7th Edition, “Objective: Something toward which work is to be directed, a strategic position to be attained, a purpose to be achieved, a result to be obtained, a product to be produced , or a service to be performed.” Another great, and more broad definition to provide Product, Program and Project Managers with guidance when supporting Sponsors with pulling together meaningful objectives.
When do we need to create objectives? Pretty early. In the Incident Management world, objectives are created by the Incident Commander or Unified Command soon after initial response. For special event planning the same should hold true in that objectives should be created early in the planning process. This will enable the various jurisdictions to focus on shared objectives. In the Project Management world objectives should be created soon after the Project Manager is assigned and be included as part of the Project Charter.
How do we create objectives? Remember to be S.M.A.R.T. about it. This is to say, view objective creation through the lens of having them be Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timebound. Capture the “Who, what, where, and when.”. Another helpful way I describe in this episode is the “sticky note” exercise.
- Write down 3-4 word issues that need addressed
- Group the issues together. Get rid of the duplicate.
- Pull the similar issues into S.M.A.R.T. reading objective statements
Objectives are the key to beginning to act on Leader’s Intent, but they are not the tactics or individual tasks for each project. They are also not set in stone. If we learn critical information after the initial creation of objectives we should re-evaluate and revalidate them.
Thank you all for reading this quick summary. Please like and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform and leave a rating.
Stay safe, wash your hands and Godspeed,
Kevin Pannell, PMP | Creator & Host, ‘People, Process, Progress’ | Connect and subscribe at https://linktr.ee/peopleprocessprogress
#objectives #smartobjectives #nwcg #pmbok #pmi #canadacollege #projectmanagement #incidentmanagement
Sources for PPP82: Foundation 2 – Set Objectives:
- NWCG S-420: https://www.nwcg.gov/sites/default/files/training/docs/s-420-ig08.pdf
- PMBOK 7th (PMI membership required)
- Tips for Writing SMART Objectives: https://canadacollege.edu/adminservices/docs/tips_writing_smart_objectives.pdf