Goals allow you to track the progress of your projects in Lobster. Our intention with project goals is to help our customers to learn and ultimately improve the efficiency of their activities.
The goal functionality in Lobster will keep on evolving in the future releases.
While it’s not required for projects to have goals we recommend that each project has one or more measurable goals.
Goals have two major uses:
1 They help the team to plan a project, the steps they need to take to reach the desired outcome.
2 They capture and present the current situation in an efficient way, keeping the team on the same page on how things are progressing.
Project goals are displayed not only at projects, but also at themes, helping to keep an eye on the bigger picture.
As all goals are displayed on the project timeline, they are highly suitable for planning the project, not only displaying the end goal, but also using goals as milestones along the way to reach the desired outcome.
Each goal has a name, goal date, description and measurement type.
Goal name should describe it in the context of the project, but it doesn’t have to identify the project name. Goals in Lobster are always displayed in context of their project, so it’s always clear to the user to which project a goal belongs to.
Goal date defines when the goal should ideally be reached. All goals will be displayed on the project timeline based on their date. If a goal hasn’t been completed before it’s date it is considered overdue.
The optional description text explains the goal to your team members. It’s only shown on the goal page, to which you can get by clicking a goal name anywhere in Lobster.
There are five kinds of measurements for goals
When creating a goal, take a moment to reflect which kind of measurement suits your use case the best. Note that one goal can only use one type of measurement.
The measurements are:
Completed or not?
This is a simple checkbox for reaching the goal. While most of its use is self explanatory it can also be used for goals that are used as milestones. Project timeline shows both goal and the status of its completion, this type of goal is perfect for just tracking project milestones.
Progress of a goal measured in percentage. Works well for internal tasks such as writing a policy paper. A goal measured with percentage is considered done when it reaches 100%.
For tracking how many of the required number we have, for example if our goal is to have at least five articles published in the media about our project we could set the target to five and track reaching it. Count also works well for tracking support in a group of people. A goal with numeric count is considered reached when the goal is reached.
For less exact tracking we offer a simple traffic light indicator. A goal is considered reached as long as the light is green.
This measurement type tracks the attitude environment towards the goal. Stakeholders and organizations are placed on a grid with attitude from negative to positive on horizontal axis and amount of influence on the vertical axis.
The combined attitude is calculated as a weighted average where the amount of influence increases or decreases the overall attitude. All project stakeholders and organisations can be added on the attitudes grid, it’s also possible to leave some of them out. A goal with attitudes is considered reached as long as the weighted average attitude is positive.
After creating a new goal you will be sent to add the first measurement for the goal. It’s not required to add a measurement right away, but it’s recommended to set a starting point. Future updates to the goal status can be done either on the goal page or on the project front page by clicking the ruler button next to a goal.
Unlike most other objects in Lobster each time you update the goal status old measurements will be kept. This means you can always access the full history of how a goal has evolved from the goal page. Editing of the history is not currently possible, it will however be supported in the future Lobster releases.
Using Goal status text
All goals also include an optional current status text. Status can be set or updated every time a new measurement for a goal is added and a history of status text updates can be seen on the goal page.
One good way to use the status text is to keep it empty unless there is something special happening with the goal at the moment. This helps your colleagues to immediately see only important information instead of having to look at all status texts.
What happened to the old project attitudes?
Old project attitudes were converted into a project goal with attitudes as its measurement. The name of the goal is simply Attitudes and the date was set to the end of last known action in the project. It’s recommended that for active projects these goals are adjusted with a proper name and more appropriate date.
What will happen to the old project goal text field?
It will be phased out. The same thing can be accomplished by creating a goal with a description text in a project. For now the field still exists and is editable, but in the future releases it will become first read-only and some time after that it will be removed. Please update your projects accordingly.