Strategies express managements vision of the direction the business intends to take in the next three to five years. In contrast, objectives are specific, measurable, and time-related statements of desired near-term results. They translate the broad strategies into bite-sized, tangible intentions.
Generally, it is more productive to limit the number of objectives at any given time to 10 or fewer. As the first cycle of objectives are met, they can be replaced with a new cycle, as the company progresses toward the vision.
Following is a sample list of objectives for a small company that manufactures boxes for the candy and bakery industries. It lists each objective, its priority, and the initials of team leaders responsible for achieving it. An item with a priority of 1 - 3 is considered critical; priorities of 4 - 6 are important; those of 7 -9 are beneficial. Dates for completion of each item remain blank until management can devote time and money to it. Of the 10 items on the list, number 4 appears to be the weakest, because it is neither results-oriented nor measurable.
|Item||Priority||Objective||Date for Completion||Team Leader|
|1||1||Have new computer system online by||__/__/__||DB/PM|
|2||1||Begin EDI processing with both Acme and Jones by||__/__/__||BT/RM|
|3||2||Achieve employee motivation by establishing new participative management, and an incentive program, to encourage employees to reach at least 5% bonus by||__/__/__||BS/LL|
|4||3||Spruce up and maintain plant and office by||__/__/__||SB/RM|
|5||3||Acquire specialty packaging manufacturer with non-food packaging experience by||__/__/__||SB/TR|
|6||3||Launch new advertising campaign with new sales materials by||__/__/__||GT/DK|
|7||5||Reduce costs 2% by establishing cost control process by||__/__/__||CG/SB|
|8||5||Obtain a major account ($500K+) in non-food interior packaging by||__/__/__||BT/DK|
|9||7||Complete cross-training of all first-line manufacturing personnel by||__/__/__||BK/SB|
|10||7||Decide on entering Canadian market by||__/__/__||GT/CG|