Step 6: Define Goals and Manage External Demands

picture_define_progress_and_requirements.jpgThe success of your project often depends on how well you have outlined your goals and desired outcomes. In order to track how close or far  to reaching the goals and producing the outcomes you are, you need to set indicators that will be your "signposts' along the way. Thus, defining progress consists of:
  1. Defining goals and successful outcomes of the project at the outset.
  2. Establishing indicators for measuring achievement of these outcomes.
  3. Developing a baseline pertaining to these indicators.
There are also three issues to consider:
  1. You have probably already defined goals for your project but they might not be specific enough to allow you to track progress toward them. Make sure you can measure your project's success for each goal where possible.
  2. Many different parties are likely to have expectations toward your project (e.g. funding bodies). You need to make sure these external expectations are met without losing focus on your own goals.
  3. You also need to think about the expectations of your target group and stakeholders. You depend on them to reach your goals, so it is worth measuring how satisfied they are with your project. 


Key Instructions: 
1. Use the Tool: Define Goals and Manage External Demands to define and manage your project’s success indicators.
2. Save the information and criteria you have developed and use them to assess your project at key milestones during the implementation (Step 13: Evaluate and Improve).
3.  If you need more advice on success criteria and the related indicators and baselines, see Backgrounds: Why is it important to track your progress? and Quantify and qualify project success.