"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."
- Good objectives help ensure the accuracy of the research plan.
- Clearly stated objectives help the researcher understand what they need to discover or uncover and help the client know what to expect
- Objectives provide the means by which the success of the project can be determined.
Use of the SMART model will help ensure your objectives are well written:
- Specific: both the client and the researcher should be able to clearly identify the purpose of the research.
- Measurable: how will the client and researcher know whether the objectives have been achieved?
- Achievable: if the objective is too large or difficult, the researcher may lose hope of achieving it. Researchers should be challenged, but be able to achieve the objective.
- Realistic: Is it realistic to expect the researcher to meet this objective given the available documents and time constraints?
- Time-Constrained: when must the researcher achieve the objective, i.e, the project due date,
Follow this basic process to develop objectives for your project:
- Create objectives based on the needs of your client, not on what you want to find.
- Check objectives against the SMART model.
- Gain approval from the client that objectives capture what he/she wants from the project.
- Document the objectives in the research plan.