Starting a development project well contributes greatly to its ultimate success. Key to a good start is recognizing issues that are important and establishing thoughtful policy positions on them that will guide the succes- sive stages of development. Issue-based project definition in Structured Planning uses defining statement documents to study issues in depth. Each defining statement consists of a single page with a question at Issue, the position to be taken, other positions considered, and background and arguments supporting the position taken.

Of special note is the use for positions of three kinds of goal statements, each, by definition, decreasing in force of commitment. Constraints must be achieved if at all possible. Objectives should be attempted and achieved if practicable. Directives ought to be achieved, but are recognized as preferences to be observed as appropriate. Clarifying the intention of goals opens the planning process to greater trust and understanding.

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