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Project Management for R&D

Making your goal statement.


Directions making your Goal Statement


1. Brainstorm around each category for 1-3 minutes. Each participant is asked to write down statements or keywords within each category that they think are vital for project success. Underline that participants should only write one statement or keyword per sticky note.

Tip: Select the sticky note icon (or press "N" on the keyboard). Click on "Bulk mode" and select a color for the notes depending on the category. Write as many sticky notes as needed and click on "Done". Change the shape of the sticky notes to rectangular.


Use 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)

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 if necessary.

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

4. Initiate a Miro voting session (see below). The voting tool is available in the top right corner, on the collaboration toolbar. Select 1 vote, which means that each person can vote only on the favorite in each category. Set the time length for the voting to 1-3 minutes. Click select "Selected objects only." Use your cursor to select one category at a time — for example, all the green HOWS. Start the voting procedure by clicking on the "Start" button.  Repeat for each category (When, How, What and Why).




Select notes in one category at a time!

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/keywords in any category, move these notes to the side and vote on these to get a winner (one vote each). 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. Write down the goal statement on a medium sized rectangular sticky note and move to the Project Definition Board and place it on the designated place.

8. 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. You can do that by asking each person to mark the goal statement with a dot with the pen tool, see below.




Step 1 Place a dot on the sticky note


Pen tool

"Signing" the goal statement.

The Info for the dot will reveal the name of the person who signed.

Pen size

Step 2 Change the color by marking the dot


Change color

Click the three dots to check who made it.

Resize if necessary.

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