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Setting Goals, Doing the Right Thing

The purpose behind any course of action has a direct and significant effect on the way it is undertaken. The reasons why you do something will affect the way you do it.

At first glance, the objective of a football team is pretty obvious, it’s to win the game. This isn’t always the case though, circumstances vary and the team will adapt the way they play:

  • Win at all costs when playing against a hated rival
  • Put on a show for the fans, a middle-league team that needs the ticket sales
  • Play for a draw to avoid relegation  

The same applies for any project, the ends you want to achieve affect the means you use and way you go about it.  

Before I go into the detail, let’s understand some of the terms I’m going to use.

Goal – result with a purpose, so be clear about the purpose, what’s it worth? The purpose affects what you do.

Means – the things, people, and time you have to use

Ways – how you use things, what you have to do 

Ends – the results you want, the outcomes, benefits and goals you want to achieve

Stakeholders – who’s involved and what do they want?

Drivers – external things that make you act

More detail on Drivers

Goal Cascade, how Drivers become Goals or Objectives

‘Goal’ defined

There is a whole string of words that get used in these circumstances to mean almost the same thing; aim, objective, result, end, outcome. For the sake of consistency here I’ve chosen to use ‘goal’.  

A goal is the end result you want to see happen because it has a worthwhile purpose.  

The purpose is what makes it differ from a result or outcome. They are things that happen. They don’t become goals until you give them some meaning. If the result of the football match was a 2 – 0 win, who was it for, the fans, the team, or the chairman?  What was their objective and how well was it met?  

More detail on Goals

Now you know what has influenced your choices it's time to see who gets what out of the decisions you make. What's the value of your project? Who gets the benefits?

Selecting Benefits