“Removing Roadblocks on Your Path to Success”
This month: Managing Strategic Objectives
Every business needs a road map to guide its progress; a path to reaching the larger term goals of the company. Strategic objectives are the best means to develop a measurable approach to help the organization and its employees focus their efforts toward a common goal. The long-term target may vary depending on the needs of the company. Strategic objectives may center on financial growth, expansion, acquisition, breaking into a new market, cutting overhead, or some other immediate path to reach your final destination. For Example, if you plan on setting a larger goal of selling your company, your 2012 strategic objective that supports the bigger objective may be to establish long term contracts with your clients. Thus, improving the value of the company when it comes time to sell.
When developing strategic objectives, consider how each objective falls into one of these eight basic classifications:
- Marketing standing
- Human Resources
- Financial resources
- Physical requirements
- Social responsibility
As in the above example of selling your company, in order to be strategic, an objective needs to have a direct impact on the success of reaching the ultimate target of the company. Consider how each element answers these three primary questions about reaching your end result
- Where is it today?
- Where is it going?
- How to get there?
Then narrowly define strategic objectives in order to reach the company’s long-term goals. When breaking it down into a plan, and the necessary tasks consider whether that objective qualifies as “SMART” – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound?
Narrowly defined metrics are important to track progress toward achieving strategic objectives. Broadly defined strategic objectives such as “increase sales” are unattainable if they aren’t measurable. Creating metrics that provide measurements against a target or goal clarifies desired outcomes and provides incremental steps to achieve those outcomes. Metrics also keep the corporate team focused on immediately achievable goals that contribute to long-term strategic objectives.
With the start of a new year, it’s an excellent time to revisit and refine strategic objectives to determine if they still map to the company’s long-term goals. Use the SMART criteria as a litmus test to determine if those objectives are sufficiently targeted, and measurable. If they aren’t it’s an excellent time to correct course for the year to come.
March 2011 Newsletter
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Copyright 2011, Pacific Crest Group, All rights reserved.