Before beginning any research, especially paid projects,adequate time and energy should be directed toward the creation of clear andmeasurable research goals/objectives.
"If you don't know where you're going, any road willget you there."
- Good objectives help ensure the accuracy of the researchplan.
- Clearly stated objectives help the researcher understandwhat they need to discover or uncover and help the client know what to expect
- Objectives provide the means by which the success of theproject can be determined.
Use of the SMART model will help ensure your objectivesare well written:
- Specific: both the client and the researcher should beable to clearly identify the purpose of the research.
- Measurable: how will the client and researcher knowwhether 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 tomeet this objective given the available documents and time constraints?
- Time-Constrained: when must the researcher achieve theobjective, i.e, the project due date,
Follow this basic process to develop objectives for yourproject:
- Create objectivesbased on the needs of your client, not on what you want to find.
- Check objectivesagainst the SMART model.
- Gain approval fromthe client that objectives capture what he/she wants from the project.
- Document theobjectives in the research plan.