The terms goals and objectives have been used interchangeably as though to imply they are synonymous. Although the line that distinguishes these two is very thin, there is a difference between these two concepts. This discussion focuses on the differences between goals and objectives and why each of them is important to an organization. This discussion will further focus on strategies to achieve goals and objectives and the implementation of these strategies.
A mission also referred to as a mission statement in most organizations is a short phrase or number of words which states the purpose for which an organization or a company was set up. The mission statement acts as guide to the organization’s employees in their activities by ensuring that they keep within the mission of the company. Mission and vision though often confused as to mean the same things are different in that mission is the purpose of existence of an organization while vision is what the organization hopes to achieve.
Need to Differentiate Goals and Objectives
It is important that the line between goals and objectives is recognized. Goals on one hand are aims that are set on a long term basis which an individuals or an organization hopes to achieve after a given period of time. Objectives on the other hand are more concrete and specific and their attainability is set for a relatively shorter time. This means that it is easy to validate objectives than it is to validate goals. Goals also tend to be broad while objectives are limited in their scope.
Due to the short time span that objectives are expected to be attained, they are considered tangible while goals are intangible and always considered as intentions to do something as opposed to objectives which are precise. If you have a proposal that you are making, being able to clearly draw the line between goals and objectives is important if your proposal is to be accepted. Both objectives and goals are important in any organizations as they are tools that help an organization get to where it wants to be. An organization should therefore have both aspects for the forward movement of the company and to be able to ensure whether or not accomplishments have been achieved.
Strategies to Achieve Goals and Objectives
It is of paramount importance for any organization to have well laid down strategies to help the organization achieve its goals and objectives. The first strategy is to be clear on what you want.
An organization cannot come up with an effective strategy of attaining goals and objectives if they do not know what they want to achieve. The next important thing is to be committed in whatever it is that the organization wants to achieve. (Vurnum, 2010). Setting goals and objectives is the easy part, attaining them, is the most difficult and challenging part. This means that an organization must work towards the set goals and objectives without relenting or looking back. It is only through putting considerable efforts that expected outcome will be realized.
Be S.M.A.R.T is the other strategy that organizations must embrace so as to succeed in the attainment of their goals and objectives.
S.M.A.R.T is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant and time bound. This means that the goals and objectives that a company sets must be specific.
If the goals and objectives are general, then it will be difficult in the end to determine whether or not they have been achieved. Goals and objectives must also be measurable. It should be possible to measure and determine the extent to which the goals and objectives have been attained and what is remaining for the two to be fully achieved. (Rouillard, 2003).The goals and objectives set must also be relevant to the core business of the company.
If they go outside the scope of the business then they may not be attained. Goals and objectives must also be time bound meaning that they must be achieved within a specific period of time. An organization cannot set goals and objectives which it hopes to achieve within an indefinite period of time.
Implementation of the Strategies
Once the strategies have been developed, the next thing is to implement these strategies. This is done by considering six important factors which are: Action planning- this involves coming up with a number of actions that need to be carried out, estimating the finances that will be required for these actions to be successful and giving a time limit within which these actions should be complete.
Organizational structure- This is taking into consideration the manner in which the organization is structured. Considering human resource needs so that the people in charge of the implementation process do fully understand what they are expected to do. Annual business plan- having the picture of the organization on a long term basis. Monitoring and Control- This is an evaluation to ensure that the organization is still on track.
Linkage- This is ensuring that all the above factors are interconnected and working in harmony.
The success of an organization is highly dependent on the kind of goals and objectives that have been set by the management and also the laid down mechanisms that are meant to oversee the implementation. With these tips in mind, an organization cannot go wrong.
Rouillard, L. (2003). Goals and goal setting: achieving measured objectives.
London: Cengage Learning Vurnum, G. (2010). Goals and Objectives: 92 Affirmations That Apply Smart Goal Setting to Achieve Your Goals in Life.NY: Create Space.