Objectives workshops. One of the most important purposes of briefing is to define clear objectives for the project, but that is easier said than done. At the start of a project, objectives may still be fuzzy and diverging. An objectives workshop with the projects key decision makers or stakeholders can help to bring clarity to this. The purpose of the workshop is to uncover and elicit the participants ideas about what should be achieved with the project, and to translate these ideas into a clear set of project objectives. An objectives workshop usually has three parts. The first part is a presentation about the project and its potential to deliver value to the client organization. This presentation is important because its aim is to trigger initial ideas and to speed up the thought processes of the participants, who usually havent had much time to think about the project beforehand.The next step is for the workshops participants to work together in groups and formulate possible project objectives. To structure this process, participants can be asked to link these objectives to the organizations general mission or strategy. Groups may also be asked to make an objectives tree (see page 54), in which general objectives are broken down into smaller, more concrete objectives and possible solutions that help to achieve these objectives. When the groups are ready, they present their results to the other participants and discuss which objectives should be kept, developed further or discarded. The workshops facilitator plays an important role here in trying to achieve commonality, clarity and consistency. If there are too many objectives, the facilitator should open up a discussion about prioritization. If objectives are too vague, the facilitator should try to rephrase and concretize these. If there is no consensus, the facilitator should seek compromise or come up with alternative ideas. The latter is better than the first because compromises can easily result in meaningless formulations that are of little use to the design process.Recommendations-Use organizational statements (e.g. concerning strategy, mission, corporate values) as the starting point for the formulation of project objectives.-Make sure there are at least three hours available for the workshop: people need time to warm up and discussions should not have to be cut short because of time constraints.-Keep the groups small so that all participants are actively involved in the discussion.-Try not to let the objectives become too vague or too consensus-driven.-Make sure that all the key decision makers participate. The workshop will be counterproductive if the outcomes are pushed aside at a later stage by decision makers who did not participate.-Use the workshop outcomes to draft a formal text about the project objectives which can be sent back to all the participants for feedback and approval.