fundamental objective

Tradeoffs and the Project Management Triangle

A critical stage in our process is “structuring” preferences.  What does this mean and why is it critical?  We like to express preferences in the form of fundamental objectives.  These are aspirational statements that emerge from an initial, problem-specific, consultation with your community.1  A fundamental objective typically consists of a directional verb plus an outcome.

The First Rule of participative decision making

I have written elsewhere about the distinction between fundamental objectives and means objectives (see the classic work by Keeney). What is the difference? To use an example from our success stories on this site:

Means objective: Build an ultra-violet water treatment plant
Fundamental (end) objective: Provide safe water for the lowest possible cost

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