The key to any business’s success is to set clear goals and objectives from the very beginning. Everyone involved in the project must understand the ‘why.’ Why is this project so important and what you are doing it for? 

Whenever you are starting a new software development project or any other project for that matter, you should know the following things:

  • What is the problem that your project aims at resolving
  • All the requirements you need to solve this problem
  • And finally, a project schedule to help achieve this goal

This is where SMART comes in. The SMART criteria are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, and Time-based.

Setting these objectives and goals is a cumbersome task that involves many people. But this should not be the reason for you not to do this process properly.  This is one area in which you should not rush. The percentage of the success of your project will only increase when you set your goals and expectations correctly.

What is the importance of setting any milestone in a software development project plan?

In simple terms, this is to make sure that every person involved in the project is on the same page. This is the management’s responsibility to make sure everyone is clear on this aspect. When there is someone to sign off on the various stages of a project development project, you won’t find any reason for confusion or any kind of unrealistic goals.

Another area in which these milestones aid is reminding everyone of the dates and timelines to be maintained during the software development life cycle.

A way for you to look at this is by viewing them as a fixed moment, the time of which should not change. You and your team will notice that your aim now is to not only achieve the goal but that it has to be done by that date itself. This might not seem easy, but the expectations must be clear from the beginning so everyone can plan accordingly. This will help you track the whole project even better.

The following are ways in which you can set clear milestones throughout your project and measure whether your goals are being met or not:

1. Know what is important and what is not

You can find yourself remain on point with all the tasks when you know you can see the critical development stage that has an explicit mark saving its importance. When you can see the big picture and realize you’re working well according to the timeline, you’ll see people being more motivated to get their tasks done.

2. The communication of the goals to the entire project team

Generally, the stakeholders do not know what is happening with the day-to-day operation of the project. When you have a timeline of when each milestone is to be achieved, these stakeholders can find that as a reference point. They will know the progress of the entire operation and see the status of the deliverables. Communicating this to them also instills their confidence in the project. 

3. Making a clear and detailed plan

The one thing to look out for a while making the objectives for your project is that you should not experience scope creep. This is when you can feel the project’s scope shifting over some time from the starting parameters. To avoid this, you have to make sure to do your project as detailed as possible. There is no doubt that this can occur in any software development project, but if you plan it out well enough, you can find a way through it.

A point to remember is to not get too wrapped up in the product’s architecture, functionality, code development to the extent that you forget about the business goal as a whole. By making a detailed plan, you allow your developers to have proper focus and know the pace they need to maintain.

4. Track all the progress bring made till the project is completed

Setting these milestones and having control points in place to check on the various stages of the project will make your job easier to track the development process. You’ll find that your team as a whole is more in sync with each other and are better organized.

How should you set up clear objectives for the software project and how to plan for software development?

Only once you have set the goals for your project can you move onto the objectives part of the project.

The difference between the two is that goals are the target that the management has set to check on the project’s progress. Objectives, on the other hand, are the over big picture and the aims for the project.

You should take reference from the SMART system or even the ACES approach. This stands for:

  • Achieve: what do you want to do?
  • Conserve: what do you have to keep to do so?
  • Eliminate: all the things you have to get rid of so you can achieve your goal
  • Steer-clear: the things you have to avoid completely

The following are all the things you have to keep in mind while making your objectives:

  1. Practical

It will not help you think of this as a 100m sprint but rather think of it as a marathon. Your objectives should be something that you are capable of achieving. Hence you can only reach them if they are practical.  

  1. Make a schedule and try to follow it

the objectives should align with the values and goals of the company make a roadmap of what’s to come ahead for the development project for the product

  1. Clear objectives

When the objectives for the project are clear, then half the battle is won. Transparency in the project will make it easier for everyone involved in it.

What is the result?

When the end goal for the project is made clear, and everyone can see it, it reduces the chances of scope creep taking place. This will reduce stress levels for everyone, from the stakeholders to the entire developer’s team.