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Project Risk

In: Business and Management

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GOAL DEFINITION AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS IN SOFT PROJECTS: BUILDING A
COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM (CIS)
François Lacasse
Université du Québec à Hull
INTRODUCTION
This paper describes a "soft" project: the setting up of a competitive intelligence system (CIS) in an agency of government. This case serves to illustrate: 1. how project management methods can be successfully applied to situations where the objectives are, at the outset, relatively unclear
2. how success requirements were determined and subsequently used to keep the project on track and how, even in nebulous areas such as
"managerial technology," such indicators can be selected and applied 3. how performance indicators need to be tackled early on for purposes of control and, more importantly, for sharpening the planning and implementation processes.
After describing the context of the project, we review the project itself.
The conclusion draws some lessons on the specifics of managing soft projects.
THE CONTEXT AND THE PROJECT
The government agency where the project took place is concerned with tourism; its mandate is similar to other governmental tourism bodies throughout the world, that is, marketing and promotion, assistance to private sector industries related to tourism (grants, technical support, standards, etc.). The organization is structured into three divisions: marketing, product development and research, and policy
(including most data collection and analysis). The rivalry between divisions is relatively high, and coordination requires substantial resources.
The competitive intelligence system project idea flowed from a complete review and strategic reorientation launched in 1984. This reorientation called for a clearer role definition and a more commercially aggressive stance for the organization (i.e., concentrate all efforts first on...

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