The Goal of our work

The top level requirement for an organization would be:

We must make a living

We make a living through the remuneration by our customers for what we do, therefore, let's define the Universal Goal for our work:

Delivering the Right Result at the Right Time
wasting as little time as possible (= efficiently)

Or even shorter: Quality on Time

More formally:

Universal Goal for our work:

Providing the customer:

  • with what he needs
  • at the time he needs it
  • to be satisfied
  • and to be more successful than he was without it
Constrained by:
  • what the customer can afford
  • and what we mutually beneficially and satisfactorily can deliver
  • in a reasonable period of time

The Customer
The customer is the entity that orders and pays. The customer, however, in many cases doesn't use what we deliver himself. He gets the benefit through the users.

What he needs
What the customer says he wants is usually not what he really needs. And our perception of what we think he says is probably not what he thinks he is saying. Together we have to find out what it's really is about.

At the time he needs it
This may be earlier or later than the customer says.

To be satisfied
If the customer isn't satisfied, he doesn't want to pay.

And more successful than before
If the customer isn't successful with what we deliver, he cannot pay.
If he's not more successful, why would he pay?

What the customer wants, he cannot afford
If we try to satisfy all customer's wishes, we'll probably fail from the beginning. We can do so many nice things, given unlimited time and money. But neither the customer nor we have unlimited time and money. Therefore: The Requirements are what the Stakeholders require, but for a project: the Requirements are what the project is planning to satisfy.

Mutually beneficially and satisfactorily
Of course it should be a win-win situation. After all, why would the customer get all while we don't get our share out of it? Both sides should benefit and be happy with the result.

In a reasonable period of time
We will plan and optimize to get the result in the shortest possible time, but not shorter than possible. The impossible takes too much time.

If the Requirements aren't clear (which they usually aren't), any schedule will do
If the Requirements are unclear or incorrect, we will be spending time on the wrong things, wasting time and money. That's in contradiction to the Goal of the project. And what use is a schedule that plans for doing the wrong things? Using the Goal as a top-level Requirement helps us to focus on what we have to do and what not. Understanding better what we should and shouldn't do is one of the drivers for doing less, while delivering more. Continuous Requirements Engineering and Management is imperative for optimizing the duration of a project.

Every word of the Goal is carefully chosen and if you can suggest a better definition, please let me know. This Goal is the top-level requirement for any project. If we do anything in the project not supporting this Goal, why are we doing it?

Shouldn't the project deliver Value?
Projects don't deliver value. The result of the project should provide the users the conditions to create greater value.