Thursday, January 3, 2013

Impact of Goals on Project Management

Tarek, Sengupta and Swett (1999) discuss the impact of goals on project management in their article and the effect it has on the progress of the project. Many have studied organizational behavior and the important of establishing goals. However, a literature gap remained in an empirical sense regarding the effect on projects that fail to meet goals and deadlines. Tarek, Sengupta and Swett's (1999) article explores the impact of project goals on managerial decision making in a project environment.

They investigated the differences that goals have on managerial planning and staffing decisions. Their research question explored their hypothesis in a role playing project simulation, where participants played the role of a software project manager. The two structures that were evaluated consisted of a cost/schedule structure and a quality/schedule structure. The experimental design goals involved minimizing overruns in both cost and schedule, and delivery of a quality product and schedule overruns.

Tarek, Sengupta and Swett (1999) discovered several specific results. First, the cost group preferred smaller cost adjustments and were more willing to extend the project completion timeline. On the other hand, the quality group increased the staff level in the later stages of the project and allocated more resources to the quality assurance of the project.

Since the goals did influence the project planning, the authors also examined whether goals affected cost, duration and quality of the project. The results showed that the quality group remained strong at meeting deadlines and goals, and therefore, the project’s cost tended to increase significantly. On the other hand, the cost group consistently under invested in the project which prolonged the timeline and often reduced the project’s quality.


Tarek, K. A., Sengupta, K., & Swett, C. (1999). The impact of goals on software project management: An experimental investigation. MIS Quarterly, 23(4), 531-555. Retrieved from

1 comment:

  1. It is necessary for every project team to know their goals. By knowing the goals, the team will have a unified thought; and at the same time, they will know how the limitations of their project. In addition, team members can strike a balance among the elements of management by following the set goals.

    Valencia Paz