How To Set Objectives That Work

How To Set Objectives That Work

Careful measurement is the cornerstone of effective and efficient management and having clear Objectives increases productivity by 30%.  No successful organisation or member of that organisation can succeed without having Objectives

Having Objectives in any organisation gives clear direction, sets personal goals and allows you to get on with your own tasks

Write it in the positive so that it can be measured: some examples could be to increase sales, review our current range of suppliers and to deliver an internal communication plan

NEVER write down how you are going to it! Some examples are given below:

  • Increase sales, not Make more sales calls
  • Develop a method for manufacturing DPZ, not reading journals and using the Web to research manufacturing
  • Produce more of model CBA, not upgrade the OPT machine
  • Reduce waste from Production Line A, not measure the amount of waste being produced

Making the Objectives Specific means having a strong focus:

  • Redesign the packaging for the new products
  • Move the Lab into the new building
  • Increase sales of the Invincible range by 15%
  • Pilot the new Training Course by November

Measuring Success: How will you know when you have achieved your Objective?

Very importantly, can this measurement be understood by anyone?

  • Redesign the packaging for the new products: drawings produced to show the new packaging
  • Move the Lab into the new building: lab built with all of the equipment working
  • Increase sales of the Invincible range by 15%: Percentage sales increase
  • Pilot the new Training Course by November: Course delivered and reviewed

ALWAYS plan out how you will achieve the Objective

We can start by thinking about the steps that we need to take to get to where we want to be. There may be steps that are inter-linked and depend upon each other in the process – these need to be made very clear.

What resources are needed at each stage? (Staff, machinery, raw materials, information) and how long will each part take to complete. Can some tasks be completed at the same time as some of the others and what parts of the activity are more critical than others?

Set up a deadline

It is vital to set a Target Date/Deadline and include this in the Objective: if there is no deadline then nothing will ever be finished, simply because we will ignore the Objective and move onto something else that is more important or interesting!

  • Increase sales of the Invincible range by 15% by 31st August
  • Redesign packaging for the new product range by 1st June
  • Complete Lab installation by 30th November
  • No Deadline = No Action and outcomes drift, it becomes a “nice to do” or Vanity Project

How will you measure progress?

If you cannot measure it you cannot measure it!

  • Achievement of each step in the process?
  • Percentage of growth at each stage?
  • Pure use of facts and figures?
  • Quality changes seen by the internal and/or external customers?
  • Has the original Objective been met?
  • No Deadline = No Objective completed

If there is no deadline then you have not written an Objective.

Is your Objective SMART?

Specific – states exactly what you want to achieve

Measurable – could someone else easily measure that you had achieved the task?

Achievable – is it possible? Will the plan actually work?

Relevant – relevant to the overall aims of the department/organisation? Does it help you in  achieving overall aims of profit and business growth?

Time-bound – do you have a date or time for completion? This needs to be an achievable date

Good Luck!

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