How do I write objectives?

Your project should be based on an idea or vision. Typically what you may write this in the first sentences of your text. Sometimes the idea is called the concept or project concept.

The objectives are the achievements/goal of the project. You should tell what you will achieve to fulfil your dream – the project idea.

See also Project logic question

You write the objectives because:

  • You will show the reader that this project will really bring something new
  • You show the funding institution what they will get (before the project start)
  • You give them a way to follow up and control your work (during the project period)
  • You need to describe for yourself and your partners what goals you have set
  • You will use them for
    • Writing the rest of the proposal
    • Doing your work in the project

Ideally objectives should be SMART:

  • Specific – What exactly will you achieve? Tell it in a clear and comprehensible way!
  • Measurable – How to tell if the objective is reached? Provide clear indicators or parameters to measure the objectives?
  • Assignable – Specify who will do it.
  • Realistic – State what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-related – Specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

Objectives are not activities! WPs and tasks are activities.

  • The wrong question:  What am I going to do?
  • The right question: What do I plan to achieve?

When you write use the objectives as your guiding star:

  • State of the art
    • Write the SoA closely related to your objectives. You do not need much general “background” text. Be specific.
  • Method
    • Explain methods in the context of your objectives. How they are needed or must be developed to achieve the objectives
  • Work Plan
    • Each objective should be covered in the work plan by the Work Packages. It does not need to be one to one objective – WP. However close, showing that you will work on all objectives.
  • Results and deliverables
    • Should fulfil the achievements promised in the objectives
  • Implementation and resources
    • Explain how partners, people and equipment will work/be used in the project to fulfil the objectives. And how their earlier achievements are useful for the objectives in this project. This should help you write a specific text about the resources without too much general stuff
  • Impact
    • Impact comes from your results and the achievements set in the objectives. The impact text should therefore refer to objectives and results. This is what you are going to write about. Nothing else.

If you have problems writing a text that keep you very close to the logic of the objectives you may adjust the logic or the objectives. The most important is the good, logic story. A slight adjustment to the objectives putting them more in line with what you actually will do when all partner and competence are in place may be a good idea.

Remember:

  • Be consistent, structure your writing based on what you set out in the start to achieve.
  • Focus and do not deviate.
  • If you get new ideas add an objective and restructure accordingly
  • Do not put in objectives other than at the start of the text. Now new ideas on page 40!

 

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