Make Sure You Know What Your Goals Are Before you Start a Project

I know it sounds like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many projects get started without any real goals associated with them. If you don’t know what your target is going in, then how are you ever going to know if you succeeded or not?

Here are some guidelines for building your goals:

  1. Get an understanding of how your competitors are measuring success. In today’s open information-share environment, it’s easier to find out than you think. If you don’t know where to start, join a LinkedIn Group in your field and ask a general question. You’ll be surprised at how willing people are to help.
  2. “Let’s try and see if we can even pull it off” is a GREAT goal to have, but make sure you follow-up with a firm metric so you can begin to benchmark. Without the latter, you’re running blind and risk wasting valuable time and money.For example, try this: “Let’s see if we can pull this off. If we can generate a 3% lift, then we’ve broken even. At 8% lift, we are in a place where we are beating xx existing program.” These are simple ways to measure success and understand if it’s worth it to continue the program.
  3. Make sure your goals are realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
  4. Get buy-in upfront. If you need content, numbers – anything – from another team, make sure they are able to commit the resources to provide you with what you need before you start. Word of caution… even if someone says they can do it, there is still a chance it won’t happen. Ongoing follow-up and keeping them engaged and interested is critical to maintaining the resource commitment.

Running blind is risky behavior. Everyone knows it, but the habit still runs wild.  Set an example for your organization by quantifying success!

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