Chap8 - 8 Developing your Objectives and Choosing Methods...

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8 Developing your Objectives and Choosing Methods Once you have developed your project aim, you can start to develop objectives, and later also choose a method for each objective. This means that you will shift your focus from what you intend to do (i.e. your aim) to how you intend to structure your work (i.e. your objectives and chosen methods) in order to achieve the aim. For this you can use a four-step process: (1) develop objectives, (2) find potential methods, (3) choose methods, and iv) present details of the chosen set of methods. This chapter will elaborate both on important concepts and on how you can develop your objectives and choose appropriate methods. 8.1 Important Concepts Once you have developed your project aim you can start to develop objectives, and later also choose a method for each objective. Figure 8.1 depicts the relationship between your aim, objectives and methods. Your project has one overall aim. In order to reach the aim, a number of objectives are formulated. Each objective is a small, achievable and assessable unit, i.e. a sub-goal of the project. Objectives should be formulated in such a way that fulfilling the objectives leads to the overall aim being satisfied. Each objective can be achieved by different methods. In general terms, by a method we refer to a systematic endeavour to address a problem. In addressing a project’s aim and its associated set of objectives, you need to identify, for each objective, an appropriate method by which it may be reached. This does not mean that you need to use the same method for addressing all your objectives. Rather, you might want to choose different methods for different objectives. However, in a project which makes use of a combination of methods, the issue of validity becomes more complex. Your choice of methods will have an impact on both the quality of the resulting data and the conclusions you can draw with respect to the overall aim. Let us now describe the relationship between the aim, objectives and methods by means of a simple analogy. Suppose that you have a green car and you would 54 M. Berndtsson et al. (eds.), Planning and Implementing your Computing Project - with Success! © Springer 2008
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like to change the colour of your car to red. For this project, we can identify “ change colour of car to red ” as the aim of the project. Given the aim, we can formulate a number of objectives as sub-goals: Remove parts that should not be painted Buy paint Paint car Re-assemble removed parts once the paint is dry The activities associated with some of the objectives need to be performed in a sequence (e.g. buying paint followed by painting the car), whereas other objectives do not need to be addressed in a sequence (e.g. removing parts that should not be painted and buying paint can be done in any order). Let us consider the objective: “
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This note was uploaded on 10/10/2010 for the course IFT 7002 taught by Professor Lamongtagne during the Spring '09 term at Université Laval.

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Chap8 - 8 Developing your Objectives and Choosing Methods...

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