Project Management for R&D

Making your goal statement.


Directions making your Goal Statement


1. Use the iObeya brainstorming mode for 5-10 minutes. Ask each participant to write statements that they think are vital for the success of the project. Keywords in the following four categories:

  • What? (always a noun, tangible things the project shall develop/deliver)

  • When? (finish date) or How much (maximum budget or cost/product)

  • Why? (values, steppingstones, or revenues)

  • How? (assets or limitations, stating the framework within which the project is to be carried out)

One note for each statement.

2. One person at a time presents all his/her notes and places them on the board in the right category. Change the color of the note depending on the category.

3. Get rid of all duplicates and move them to the trash bin. Work together and group similar notes and replace them with one note if possible. Be careful not to reduce nuances.

4. Each person gets to distribute a total of five votes (left click and vote function or stickers smallest size) on the best statements. At least one vote on one deliverable and one process parameter. The remaining three are you free to place on any statements. Preferably all participants should use a unique color, one person uses yellow, another green, etc.

5. Duplicate the notes with the most votes from each category and place them at the bottom of the board. If there is a tie between two or more statements in any category, ask each person to distribute one extra sticker (vote) on just these statements. Repeat if necessary. When you are ready you should have one red, one green, one orange, and one yellow note at the bottom of the board.

6. Try to formulate a sentence using the four statements. Suggestion syntax:

(How?) we shall (Why?) by (What?) before (When?)


First, type "we shall", "by" and "before" on separate grey notes.


Place the notes in the following order:

  1. Green ( how)

  2. Grey (we shall)

  3. Yellow (why)

  4. Grey (by)

  5. Orange (what)

  6. Grey (before)

  7. Red (when)



(Based on the SPD patent) we shall (secure technical leadership) by (producing a VDT-prototype) before (August 15, 2021).

Read and fine-tune the wording on the different notes. If it doesn’t sound great, place the (How?) (Why?) (What?) (When?)  in a different order and glue it together to a complete statement.

7. Get the core team, steering committee, and sponsor to confirm that this is what we shall do. Preferably everybody should sign off the Goal statement. 

9. Write a new post with the final goal statement and place it in the Exchange zone.

10. Move the final Goal statement to the exchange zone. Go to the Project Definition board and fetch the Goal statement from the Exchange zone and place it on the board at the designated place.