Set Objectives

ICS 202 – Set Objectives

Foundation 2: Set Objectives:
It’s time to discuss the 2nd of the ‘Foundational 5’, Setting S.M.A.R.T. Objectives. In this post and in the podcast episode I:

  1. Share what objectives are
  2. Talk about when we need to create them
  3. Introduce the “sticky note exercise” to help us group issues into S.MA.R.T. objectives.

1. What are objectives?

According to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), “Quality objectives lead to clarity of purpose and unified effort across divisions through a clearly articulated incident strategy.“. This statement provides a great guardrail for those preparing objectives for fighting wildfires, incident response in the All-Hazards world and for public safety n general.

2. When should we create objectives?

Now let’s look at a Project Management focused definition from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) 7th Edition, Objective: Something toward which work is to be directed, a strategic position to be attained, a purpose to be achieved, a result to be obtained, a product to be produced , or a service to be performed.”

In the Incident Management world, objectives are created by the Incident Commander or Unified Command. For special event planning objectives must be created early in the planning process. This will enable the various jurisdictions to focus on shared objectives. In Project Management objectives need to be created early in the process.

PPP82: Foundation 2 – Set Objectives

3. How do we create objectives?

Remember to be S.M.A.R.T. about it. This is to say, view objective creation through the lens of having them be Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timebound.

Sticky Note Exercise

Sticky notes to group issues
  1. Write down 3-4 word issues that need addressed
  2. Group the issues together. Get rid of the duplicate.
  3. Pull the similar issues into S.M.A.R.T. reading objective statements

Objectives are the key to beginning to act on Leader’s Intent. We need to differentiate that they are not the tactics or individual tasks for each project. If we learn critical information after the initial creation of objectives we should re-evaluate and revalidate them.

Thank you all for reading this quick summary. Please like and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform and leave a rating.

Stay safe, wash your hands and Godspeed,


Kevin Pannell, PMP | Creator & Host, ‘People, Process, Progress’ | Connect and subscribe at

#objectives #smartobjectives #nwcg #pmbok #pmi #canadacollege #projectmanagement #incidentmanagement

Sources for PPP82: Foundation 2 – Set Objectives:

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