Mastering the Third Critical Strategic Question–Part 3


The second part of Terry Schmidt’s book Strategic Management Made Simple focuses in on the relationship between the four critical strategic questions and how they are captured visually in the Logical Framework approach.   As a review from the first part of his book which introduced them, those four critical strategic questions are:

–What are we trying to accomplish and why?

–How will we measure success?

–What other conditions must exist?

–How do we get there?

The third chapter of this second part focuses in on the third critical strategic question, “What other conditions must exist?”

1.  Introduction

The answer to the first question will yield you the Objectives, which are the …

–Outcome of the project (the answer to the question “What are we trying to accomplish?”)

–Purpose of the project (“why is the project being done from the standpoint of the customer–what business need is the product of the project is trying to fill?”)

–Goal of the project (“why is the project being done from the standpoint of the organization doing the project–what strategic need are the benefits from the project going to meet?”)

These answers to the first question involve vertical linkages between the Outcome, Purpose, and Goal objectives.

The answer to the second question will ask you “how do you measure success” for EACH LEVEL of the objectives.  The four tips for meaningful measures of success are:

  • Valid–they accurately measure the Objectives
  • Verifiable–clear, non-subjective evidence exists or can be obtained
  • Targeted–quality, quantity, and time targets are pinned down
  • Independent–each level in the hierarchy of Objectives (Outcome, Purpose, Goal) has separate measures

These answers to the second question involve horizontal linkages between the objectives and their success measures.

The answers to the third question will involve diagonal linkages between the objectives and the assumptions that you need to make in order for them to be achieved and measured.

2.   Diagonal Linkages

In the last post, I reviewed how Terry Schmidt outlines the process of coming up with assumptions

  • Step 1–Identify Key Assumptions (11.1 Plan Risk Management, 11.2 Identify Risks)
  • Step 2–Analyze and Test Them (11.3 Perform Qualitative Risk Analyses, 11.4 Perform Quantitative Risk Analyses)
  • Step 3–Act on Them (11.5 Plan Risk Responses)

These correspond, in Project Management process languages, to the processes listed in parentheses.

The concept of diagonal linkages comes from the fact that the outcomes are linked vertically, like so,

Objectives

Goal

Purpose

Outcome

Inputs

Each of the above are linked to the Assumptions in the same row in the following manner:

Inputs + Assumptions = Outcome

Outcome + Purpose Assumption = Purpose

Purpose + Goal Assumption = Goal

3.  Monitoring and Controling Assumptions

In the three steps mentioned in the last post, the risk management processes in the planning process group were covered (processes 11.1 through 11.5), but the assumptions in the Logical Framework approach can also be used to handle the risk management process in the monitoring & controlling process group called 11.6 Control Risks.

This can be done in the following ways:

  • If risks are beyond your control, and you are simply accepting them at present, then you can monitor them periodically during the project。
  • If risks can be indirectly controlled by influencing conditions underlying the Assumptions, then you can do so.
  • If the assumption can be directly controlled, then this can be brought into the project as an Objective.

In the last case, then Outcomes and/or Input activities need to be added to the project design.

4.  Other Project Management Activities affected by Assumptions

Assumptions can also influence other project management activities, such as:

  • Communications–assumptions can be relayed to stakeholders, to program managers who are coordinating your project with others, and to senior management, in order to alert them for the need for management reserves to take care of unforeseen risks.

Finally, assumptions serve the role of giving your project management team confidence that the project plan is robust, that is, it can be maintained in the face of external or internal risks to the project.

This concludes the discussion of the third critical strategic question.   The next series of posts deals with the fourth critical strategic question, “how do we get there?”

Integral Life Practice–Chapter 8: The Mind Module


The purpose of the Body Module is to introduce you to practices which cultivate your health by taking care of the matter of your gross physical body.   But beyond this, the module introduces you to the other bodies that are also vital for one’s health, the energy in your subtle body, and the causal body of stillness within which the other two bodies rest.

1.   Three Bodies

In the same way that your consciousness normally has three states–waking, dreaming, and deep sleep–your body also has the corresponding gross, subtle, and causal bodies.    Remember the distinction in the quadrants between the interior and exterior dimensions of reality?   The interior quadrants are the ones are the left, and the exterior quadrants are the ones on the right.

Each state of consciousness is an interior dimension which has a corresponding exterior form or dimension that is referred to as a body.   Let’s take a look at each of the three states of consciousness in turn and the associated form or body which encapsulates them.

this post to be continued

Mastering the Third Critical Strategic Question–part 2


The second part of Terry Schmidt’s book Strategic Management Made Simple focuses in on the relationship between the four critical strategic questions and how they are captured visually in the Logical Framework approach.   As a review from the first part of his book which introduced them, those four critical strategic questions are:

–What are we trying to accomplish and why?

–How will we measure success?

–What other conditions must exist?

–How do we get there?

The third chapter of this second part focuses in on the third critical strategic question, “What other conditions must exist?”

A.  INTRODUCTION

The answer to the first question will yield you the Objectives, which are the …

–Outcome of the project (the answer to the question “What are we trying to accomplish?”)

–Purpose of the project (“why is the project being done from the standpoint of the customer–what business need is the product of the project is trying to fill?”)

–Goal of the project (“why is the project being done from the standpoint of the organization doing the project–what strategic need are the benefits from the project going to meet?”)

These answers to the first question involve vertical linkages between the Outcome, Purpose, and Goal objectives.

The answer to the second question will ask you “how do you measure success” for EACH LEVEL of the objectives.  The four tips for meaningful measures of success are:

  • Valid–they accurately measure the Objectives
  • Verifiable–clear, non-subjective evidence exists or can be obtained
  • Targeted–quality, quantity, and time targets are pinned down
  • Independent–each level in the hierarchy of Objectives (Outcome, Purpose, Goal) has separate measures

These answers to the second question involve horizontal linkages between the objectives and their success measures.

The answers to the third question will involve diagonal linkages between the objectives and the assumptions that you need to make in order for them to be achieved and measured.

B.  THREE STEPS FOR MANAGING ASSUMPTIONS

In the last post, the importance of assumptions was discussed.   Assuming that the reader now understands the importance of assumptions, let’s move onto a discussion of how to manage them.  According to Terry Schmidt, there are three steps for managing assumptions.

1.  Identify Key Assumptions

Start out with the Outcome.    Try to brainstorm what conditions or assumptions need to be made in order for the inputs to result in the Outcome stated on the Logical Framework Matrix.    What resources have to be in place?   By what date does the Outcome need to be accomplished?    These conditions may be considered constraints on the project, but the key thing is that the logic must flow like this:    IF the assumptions are true, THEN the Outcome can be achieved.    The assumption may not just be the constraints, but it could be events that may occur during the project.   If the result of the project is an event that is going to be held outside, it may rain on that day and some provision needs to be made for what to do if that were to happen.

Now you need to test the assumptions that are necessary to go from the Outputs to the Purpose of the project.   The purpose of the project is for the result of the project to fulfill some sort of business need.   Well, what if the competitor gets their version of your new product out first?   Then your product won’t fulfill that need after all.

Finally, you need to test the assumptions that are necessary to go from the Purpose of the project to the Goal of the project, which is to provide some benefit for the organization that does the project.   But let’s say the product is designed to make $50 profit per unit sold based on the projected development costs.    If the development costs end up being more expensive than planned, then the product of the project won’t end up being so profitable after all.

2.  Analyze and Test Them

With all three levels of Objectives having assumptions, you need to analyze them by asking the following questions:

a)   How important is this Assumption to project success or failure?

b)  How valid or probable is this Assumption?   What are the odds that it is valid–can it be expressed as a percentage?

c)  If the Assumptions fail, what is the effect on the project?  Does a failed Assumption diminish the accomplishment of the project?   Does it delay it?   Does it cause total failure?    (This is really a fine-tuned version of the question in paragraph a) above.)

d) What could cause this Assumption not to be valid?

This will give you two variables to rank the degree of risk, a) probability and b) impact on the project.  Note that in Terry Schmidt’s formulation, the Assumptions are listed as positive events (“it will not rain”) as opposed to possible negative ones (“it will rain”).   Therefore the higher the probability of the positive assumption being valid, the less likely it will impact negatively on the project.

3.  Act on Them

Okay, now that you’ve analyzed the assumptions, how do you deal with them?

There are four possible strategies for dealing with assumptions.   In outlining these strategies, consider that the assumption is written as if a positive event or conditions exists.   In traditional risk management language, the risk is written as if a negative event or conditions exist.

a)  Avoid–if the probability of a negative event is high, and its impact is high, then you may want to eliminate the cause of risk, or design the project in such a way as to make the Assumption moot or irrelevant

b)  Transfer–if the probability of a negative event is low, and its impact is high, you may want to consider transferring the risk to some other party that is better suited to handle the risk (insurance is a form of risk transfer)

c)  Mitigate–if the probability of a negative event is high or its impact is high, you may want to try to reduce either the probability of its occurring or reduce its impact on the project if it does occur.

d)  Accept–if the probability of a negative event is low and its impact is low, you may just want to accept that risk and develop contingency plans to put in place just in case the event occurs.

 

Acting on assumptions essentially means putting a risk response plan in place, either to mitigate the risk as a preventive measure or to handle it with a contingency plan if it does occur.   These make your project plan robust, meaning that, it can still be achieved even if risks occur.

The next post covers some additional functions that assumptions play on a project.

Mastering the Third Critical Strategic Question–Part 1


The second part of Terry Schmidt’s book Strategic Management Made Simple focuses in on the relationship between the four critical strategic questions and how they are captured visually in the Logical Framework approach.   As a review from the first part of his book which introduced them, those four critical strategic questions are:

–What are we trying to accomplish and why?

–How will we measure success?

–What other conditions must exist?

–How do we get there?

The third chapter of this second part focuses in on the third critical strategic question, “What other conditions must exist?”

1.  Introduction

The answer to the first question will yield you the Objectives, which are the …

–Outcome of the project (the answer to the question “What are we trying to accomplish?”)

–Purpose of the project (“why is the project being done from the standpoint of the customer–what business need is the product of the project is trying to fill?”)

–Goal of the project (“why is the project being done from the standpoint of the organization doing the project–what strategic need are the benefits from the project going to meet?”)

These answers to the first question involve vertical linkages between the Outcome, Purpose, and Goal objectives.

The answer to the second question will ask you “how do you measure success” for EACH LEVEL of the objectives.  The four tips for meaningful measures of success are:

  • Valid–they accurately measure the Objectives
  • Verifiable–clear, non-subjective evidence exists or can be obtained
  • Targeted–quality, quantity, and time targets are pinned down
  • Independent–each level in the hierarchy of Objectives (Outcome, Purpose, Goal) has separate measures

These answers to the second question involve horizontal linkages between the objectives and their success measures.

The answers to the third question will involve diagonal linkages between the objectives and the assumptions that you need to make in order for them to be achieved and measured.

2.  Assumptions Carry Consequences

Terry Schmidt uses the language of assumptions.   The word means “a factor in the planning process that is considered to be true, real, or certain, without proof or demonstration” according to the 5th Edition of the PMBOK© Guide.   One example I can cite is that of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

There were two weeks in October 1962 when the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union was in danger of becoming a very hot war indeed.    How hot?   Oh, a couple million degrees, because that’s the temperature in the center of a nuclear explosion.   You see, we almost had a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  At that time, John F. Kennedy was the president of the United States and Nikita Khrushchev was the Premier of the Soviet Union.

The United States had deployed nuclear missiles in Turkey that were capable of reaching Moscow, and so in a sort of global chess game, Khrushchev conceived of a plan to counter this by deploying nuclear missiles in Cuba that could be pointed towards the U.S.

On October 14th, 1962, their plans were found out.   A US spy plane on a reconnaissance mission over Cuba took pictures of seemed to be a missile base construction site.

The CIA analyzed the photographs identified the objects as being medium-range ballistic missiles.   These were the rockets that would carry nuclear warheads to their targets in the U.S., but they did not see any warheads themselves.    So they assumed that the warheads had not yet been delivered, and that the Soviet Union would soon be sending ships to deliver them to Cuba.

The President was informed of the existence of the missiles in Cuba and he held a meeting with members of the National Security Council, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military.    There were three options discussed, diplomacy, a limited blockade to prevent the warheads from reaching Cuba, and a full-scale invasion.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously agreed that the only option to remove the threat was a full-scale attack and invasion.   They figured that since the nuclear warheads were not yet in Cuba, the Soviets would not be able to stop the U.S.

The National Security Council preferred the blockade option, which Kennedy accepted provisinally, but the military was directed to prepared for the full invasion just in case.

A former Secretary of State, Tommy Thompson, urged President Kennedy to initiate a diplomatic solution by responding to a telegram sent by Nikita Khrushchev.   President Kennedy listened to Tommy Thompson, and made a deal with the Soviet Union, basically saying “You pull out the missiles from Cuba, and we will remove ours from Turkey. ”   Khrushchev agreed, and the crisis was resolved.

In 1992, it was discovered that the CIA had made a mistake.    Remember how they had assumed there were no warheads in Cuba?   It turns out that there were over 160 nuclear warheads already in Cuba.   So the blockade accomplished nothing.    But more importantly, if Kennedy had listened to the military, who based their strategic plans on what the CIA had assumed, the invasion would have failed and nuclear war would have resulted.

So assumptions can have consequences that are even fatal.

The next post will show the three steps for managing assumptions.

 

Mastering the Second Critical Strategic Question–Part 3


The second part of Terry Schmidt’s book Strategic Management Made Simple focuses in on the relationship between the four critical strategic questions and how they are captured visually in the Logical Framework approach.   As a review from the first part of his book which introduced them, those four critical strategic questions are:

–What are we trying to accomplish and why?

–How will we measure success?

–What other conditions must exist?

–How do we get there?

The second chapter of this second part focuses in on the second critical strategic question, “How will we measure success?”

1.  Introduction

The answer to the first question will yield you the Objectives, which are the …

–Outcome of the project (the answer to the question “What are we trying to accomplish?”)

–Purpose of the project (“why is the project being done from the standpoint of the customer–what business need is the product of the project is trying to fill?”)

–Goal of the project (“why is the project being done from the standpoint of the organization doing the project–what strategic need are the benefits from the project going to meet?”)

These answers to the first question involve vertical linkages between the Outcome, Purpose, and Goal objectives.

The answer to the second question will ask you “how do you measure success” for EACH LEVEL of the objectives.   In the last post, I discussed Terry Schmidt’s four tips for meaningful measures of success, which are:

  • Valid–they accurately measure the Objectives
  • Verifiable–clear, non-subjective evidence exists or can be obtained
  • Targeted–quality, quantity, and time targets are pinned down
  • Independent–each level in the hierarchy of Objectives (Outcome, Purpose, Goal) has separate measures

In the last post, I discussed the fact that there is a horizontal linkage between the objectives and their success measures and what the implications were of this, mainly that creating meaningful measures of success can help clarify vague objectives.    However, some objectives are inherently difficult to measure, and how do handle those is the subject of this post.

2.  Leading Measures

Sometimes your key success measures won’t be available for a long time and you need earlier data to adjust your plan.    Let’s say you’re planning a conference and you want to make sure the rooms are large enough to hold those who are planning to go to the various talks.    If you have people register for the event without indicating what speakers they are interested in listening to, then you won’t know until the day of the event how many people are going to be in each room.   You may have to bring in extra chairs to a room, or even change the room if simply can’t accommodate the number of people that want to see that particular speaker.    One way of creating a leading measure of the success of each speaker would be to have the attendees indicate when they register who they plan to see.   Yes, it is possible that people will change their mind the day of the event and decide to go to see someone else during that time slot.   However, as a leading indicator, the number of people who register for a given speaker will be a fairly good predictor of the number of people who are actually going to see that speaker, and this leading indicator will help the facilities planner to figure out what size room will be needed for each event.

3.  Proxy Measures

There are some measures that are too difficult, expensive, or unreliable to measure.    In my Toastmasters club, the number of members is one of the measures we use to gauge how healthy a club is.   A club is considered healthy if it has 20 members.   However, how do you measure the level of enthusiasm of those members?   “Enthusiasm” is something that may be hard to capture, but then consider the proxy measure of how many “new members” there are in any six-month period, compared as a ratio to the total number of members.   If you have a lot of people drop out while new members join, you may have on the surface a club that is as healthy as a club that has all 20 members reinstate their memberships every six months, whereas the enthusiasm of the second club’s members will be higher because they all engaged with the program.    So I look at the ratio of new members to members to look at how various clubs in our Area are at attracting and keeping those members.

4.  Unobtrusive Measures

The very act of measurement can distort data accuracy.   If I am doing a talk at Toastmasters, and I ask, “how many of you liked my speech?”, I’m going to get some people who put their hand up because they either want to spare me the bad news that they didn’t like it, or they want to spare themselves the embarrassment of admitting that they didn’t like it in front of the whole group.   If you are doing a survey of a teacher, it is important that those filling out the survey realize that the teacher will not directly review the results.   In that way, they can feel that their opinion can be freely given without the concern that the teacher will be able to figure out whose handwriting it is!

So the horizontal linkages between measures and objectives can only have a positive effect on tightening up vague objectives.   If there is not a direct linkage, a linkage that is leading, proxy, or unobtrusive, i.e., a more indirect linkage, is still useful in making sure the objective is valid.

Mastering the Second Critical Strategic Question–Part 2


The second part of Terry Schmidt’s book Strategic Management Made Simple focuses in on the relationship between the four critical strategic questions and how they are captured visually in the Logical Framework approach.   As a review from the first part of his book which introduced them, those four critical strategic questions are:

–What are we trying to accomplish and why?

–How will we measure success?

–What other conditions must exist?

–How do we get there?

The second chapter of this second part focuses in on the second critical strategic question, “How will we measure success?”

1.  Introduction

The answer to the first question will yield you the Objectives, which are the …

–Outcome of the project (the answer to the question “What are we trying to accomplish?”)

–Purpose of the project (“why is the project being done from the standpoint of the customer–what business need is the product of the project is trying to fill?”)

–Goal of the project (“why is the project being done from the standpoint of the organization doing the project–what strategic need are the benefits from the project going to meet?”)

These answers to the first question involve vertical linkages between the Outcome, Purpose, and Goal objectives.

The answer to the second question will ask you “how do you measure success” for EACH LEVEL of the objectives.   In the last post, I discussed Terry Schmidt’s four tips for meaningful measures of success, which are:

  • Valid–they accurately measure the Objectives
  • Verifiable–clear, non-subjective evidence exists or can be obtained
  • Targeted–quality, quantity, and time targets are pinned down
  • Independent–each level in the hierarchy of Objectives (Outcome, Purpose, Goal) has separate measures

In this post, I will discuss the fact that there is a horizontal linkage between the objectives and their success measures and what the implications are of this.

2.   Measures Sharpen Vague Objectives

If you find that you are unable to think of a measure for success for your objective, then the problem may not be with the measure, but with the objective itself.    If you decide that you want to “improve your corporate image” as a Goal for the organization, then how would you measure this?   You would have to pin that objective down in order to measure it.   Improve it for whom–your customers, your industry association, your vendors?    Improve it with respect to the quality of the products, with respect to the level of community involvement, or with respect to the attention of a particular demographic segment?   Once you start pinning down or sharpening a vague objective, then you start to see specific measures that you can use to be able to decide whether your project is successful.

3.  Choose Valid Verifiers

Let’s say that you are going to hold a conference where you invite speakers to give various presentations to the members of your organization.   If you say as a success measure that the presentations should be well-attended, and you say specifically “each speaker should have 50 people attend his or her presentation”, then would it be enough to count those who registered for the event and divide by the number of speaking “tracks” going on in various rooms?  No, because that assumes that the people attending the conference have an equal preference for the various speakers.   You might have to change the registration method so that it specifies the speeches the person intends to go to.   But this assumes that people will not change their mind, and will go to the speeches they “promised” to go to during the registration process.    The most valid measure is probably to assign someone to actually count the number of people at each speaking event.    Even if you put a little survey on each person’s chair and count up the number of surveys returned after each speaking event, that would assume that everybody attending the speech actually turns in a survey.

4.  Importance of Purpose Measures

You may be focusing on getting a measure for the outcome of the project, but remember, the whole reason why you are doing the project is so that the product, service, or result that it creates is utilized by a customer to fulfill some sort of business need.    The Field of Dreams leap of faith “if you build it, they will come” has to be fleshed out by an understanding of why they will come.    If the product isn’t desirable from the customer’s standpoint, then it won’t generate any benefit for the organization (the Goal of the project) because they won’t buy it.

Purpose measures are sometimes referred to as being written in “from-to” language, because they always involve some sort of change.   After all, if your product is new, that is the change.   If it is an improvement on an existing product, well then that is the change.   But you need to capture the difference in the market before the product is introduced and then afterwards.    You need BOTH of these figures to know what the market went from and where it went to after the product has been introduced.

5.  Conclusion

Measures that are valid make Objectives verifiable, and thereby give confidence that your team will be able to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the project was indeed a success.   Although Outcomes are most easily measured, it is important to include measures for your Purpose and your Goal, because the project has deliver value to the customer if they are going to shell out their hard-earned money to purchase it.   Then and only then will your organization reap the benefits of having done the project.

Now, there may be some objectives that, for whatever reason, are too difficult to measure directly.   What do you in those special situations?    That is the subject of the next post.

Mastering the Second Critical Strategic Question–Part 1


The second part of Terry Schmidt’s book Strategic Management Made Simple focuses in on the relationship between the four critical strategic questions and how they are captured visually in the Logical Framework approach.   As a review from the first part of his book which introduced them, those four critical strategic questions are:

–What are we trying to accomplish and why?

–How will we measure success?

–What other conditions must exist?

–How do we get there?

The second chapter of this second part focuses in on the second critical strategic question, “How will we measure success?”

1.  Introduction

The answer to the first question will yield you the Objectives, which are the …

–Outcome of the project (the answer to the question “What are we trying to accomplish?”)

–Purpose of the project (“why is the project being done from the standpoint of the customer–what business need is the product of the project is trying to fill?”)

–Goal of the project (“why is the project being done from the standpoint of the organization doing the project–what strategic need are the benefits from the project going to meet?”)

The answer to the second question will ask you “how do you measure success” for EACH LEVEL of the objectives.

2.  Four Tips for Meaningful Measures

The four tips for meaningful measures are that they must be

  • Valid–they accurately measure the Objectives
  • Verifiable–clear, non-subjective evidence exists or can be obtained
  • Targeted–quality, quantity, and time targets are pinned down
  • Independent–each level in the hierarchy of Objectives (Outcome, Purpose, Goal) has separate measures

Let’s say you are a member of a non-profit organization that is putting on an an educational event such as a conference.   You want the conference to be successful–that is an Outcome.   Why do you want it to be successful?   So that those who go to the conference learn useful information.   That’s the Purpose of the project from the standpoint of the person who goes to the conference.   If the conference is successful, your organization that puts on the conference will gain benefit by enhancing its revenue.

What would appropriate successful measures be?

–For the Outcome, since you want it to be successful, you would want a lot of people to attend.   That would be measured by “number of attendees”, and would be verified by looking at some sort of “registration list.”

–At the Purpose level, looking at the project from the standpoint of the person going to the conference, that person should get a lot of useful information from the conference.   But how do you measure that?   Ask them the question! “Ask them, did you get a lot of useful information from the conference?” and put it in an objective format where they have to answer from, say, 1 to 5, with “1” meaning “not at all” and “5” meaning “very much so.”   That survey then becomes the means of verification.

–At the Goal level, looking at the project from the standpoint of the organization putting on the conference, you should enhance the organization’s revenue that it can towards its operating budget for programs that benefit the members of the organization in other ways.   The measure will then be the revenue the conference brings in and the verification will be the receipts from the sales from the registration for the conference.

I hope you can see by this example that, by adding success measures, the vague phrase “the conference will be successful” now has a meaning which everyone can point to.   The three measures discussed above are

valid, in that they do actually measure what the corresponding Objective is

verifiable, in that they are based on non-subjective evidence that can be obtained

independent, in that they are all different for the three levels of Objectives

The one element of a success measure that was missing in the above example is that they are not targeted, meaning that they do not numbers attached to them because they were, after all, hypothetical examples.   If this is a conference that is being given year after year, then one way of attaching a target to the success measures would be comparing them to the results of last year’s conference as a benchmark, and creating them consciously as targets that would make the conference even more successful than it was the previous year.    Now you have quantity (number of attendees) and quality (satisfaction of attendees) targets, and you could add a time target by trying to encourage earlier registrations through an early-bird registration discount.

3.  Conclusion

With the Logical Framework Matrix as a visual metaphor for the strategic planning of the project, with the answers to the first question, “What are we trying to accomplish and why?”, you get vertical linkages between the levels of Objectives, the Outcome, Purpose, and Goal of the project.   With the answers to the second question, “How will we measure success?”, you get horizontal linkages between the levels of Objectives and their Success Measures and means of Verification of those measures.

Sometimes the result of developing these horizontal linkages is that you realize your Objectives are too vague.   That means you need to go back to your Objectives and sharpen them up and make them more focused.  That is the subject of the next post.