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How to write an objective: 5 methodologies to plan

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How to write an objective: 5 methodologies to plan

Having a goal is the starting point of any strategy. The objectives are the basic input for the strategic plan, since from them the resources and efforts of a team are aligned. However, many times, the leaders of the organizations overlook this momentous task, in part because of the difficulty of thinking and translating the expected result into a document. We accept it, defining objectives is not an easy exercise, but it is necessary to do it. The question then arises: how do I write a goal for my business? That is what we propose to answer in this article.

Not defining the objectives of an organization is an irresponsibility about which a lot has been written. For example, in 2001, Michael Porter – a renowned Harvard University professor, writer, and professor – spoke of the limited time many managers and companies spend in defining goals. According to the professor, neglecting this task is “a clumsy trend that causes Bulgaria Phone Number List to drift, without a clear direction and without a tool for making day-to-day decisions. A panorama that, in addition, produces unbridled experimentation that is economically unsustainable.

First, let’s understand what a goal is in business We should not take steps before defining a destination. Well, the objectives are that horizon that allow us to chart a course. An objective is simply the desired result. So concrete. So clear. That is why we constantly affirm that objectives are the key to any strategy. A successful business begins with the objectives and “ends” – in quotation marks because this task is continuous – in the analysis of the objectives. These are the beginning and the north of business. So a deep reflection of what you want to achieve is the essence of strategic minds. Those who do not assimilate this indisputable truth and, instead, insist on jumping into action, will not be following a plan, but their daily impulses.

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In conclusion, the objectives are the what and the why, they are the pillar on which strategic thinking , plans and the future of companies are based.How to write an objective that motivates and defines the course? To define an objective we need to first understand the two basic requirements that these must have: (i) help people and Forex Email List imagine the future and (ii) transmit to all members of the collective the illusion that it desired can be achieved. The first requirement allows companies to synchronize their collaborators so that they work in the same direction. For its part, the second requirement is a powerful element for team motivation because the clearer the goal is defined, the easier people will be excited about taking the path to achieve it. Consequently, an intelligent organization is one that sets out to write its objectives with these two conditions clear and always in mind, because compliance with both will guarantee the definition of valid objectives.

But what is a valid goal? It is the one that leaves no doubt about what you want to achieve. For example: “I want to run a marathon” is a confusing goal. And it is because it does not provide us with adequate and concrete information and does not show us a clear path to address it. What marathon? Where? When? Why? None of those questions solve them. Then the goal will be easily postponed. Those kinds of invalid goals end up looking more like a wish; and desires are easily abandoned. Whereas: “I want to run the New York City Marathon before I turn 40 and take a picture with the medal” is a completely valid goal. A goal that makes clear the times, places and reasons; that gives us the necessary tools so that we work to achieve it. The 5 methodologies to write valid objectives Throughout history, many methodologies have been published that help people to define well the objectives of their companies. From hilarious acronyms to clever tutorials they have filled the bookstores. There are a myriad of recipes for managers to take easy paths in their grueling planning sessions. Shortcuts? Few, but many ingenious mechanisms to make the job easier. Here are the five most popular:

1. The OKRs
The first of the methodologies has been our favorite for a couple of years – and we think it is the most effective of all. We learned about her from the book Measure What Matters , by John Doerr, published in 2018. The creator of this methodology is Andy Grove; Its use has spread basically because it is the planning and monitoring tool used by the leaders of Google. OKR is short for Objectives and Key Results . In this methodology, the objective defines the place where we are going. For example: “We want to be the leading company in the sale of T-shirts in Colombia.” For their part, the key results are the ways we will use to reach that dream place. For example, for the case raised in the objective, two possible key results would be: (i) have a commercial and marketing presence in the fifteen cities with the largest population of Colombia and (ii) optimize manufacturing to become the cheapest shirt in the world. Colombian market. The particularity of the key result is that it must be measurable and reviewable without any possibility of doubt —it is true or not, it is binary. In itself, what the OKR methodology proposes is the drafting of ambitious quarterly objectives in each area of ​​the organization. Then, they must break down at least three key results, and then launch into strategy planning and action.

John Doerr publishes a case study that exemplifies the methodology very well: imagine a car racer who is writing his plans for a season. If you choose OKRs as your planning method, one of your goals could be: earn the Indianapolis 500. Clearly a short-term goal – less than a year. With that objective, the key results of the first three months of the year could be: (i) increase the average speed per lap by 2% on the Indianapolis oval, (ii) test the car’s performance ten times in a wind tunnel to improve its aerodynamics and (iii) reduce the average time of each pit stop by one second . Very clear! This is how business objectives are built with the OKR methodology.

2. The 5 S of Chaffey and Smith
The second technique is an alternative way of creating the targets. This methodology is known as the 5 S, a method announced by Dave Chaffey and PR Smith in their book eMarketing eXcellence: planning and optimizing your digital marketing , published in 2008. In this text, the authors suggested five angles of analysis to structure and write the objectives of a business. This pair of academics propose to review the needs of the company on five fronts and, based on this, define the objectives to be pursued in each of them. The 5 S’s for Chaffey and Smith are:

Sell (sell) : all organizations should be proposed sales targets to improve their income and expand marketing efforts. This is why, when the objectives are written, a space must be opened for the expected results in the commercial aspect.
Serve (to serve) : as important as selling is to serve. Companies must set service goals before, during, and after the sale to add value to the proposition.
Speak (speak or communicate) : the third front is made up of the abundant package of expected achievements in the communicational field – both advertising and relations. Businesses must set objectives that allow a rapprochement with customers, the environment and the supply chain to converse, obtain feedback and issue messages. Save (save) : companies have to explore the possibility of setting goals that allow them to save efforts and resources. The cost and time savings is a good source of inspiration for creating goals. Sizzle (shock or amaze) : each organization must aim to extend its brand and reinforce its values. Impact goals will help build brand awareness, recognition, and market share.

3. SMART objectives
This is the most popular technique for writing objectives. The acronym SMART —intelligente, in English— brings together the words: specific , measurable , achievable , result-based and time-related. The acronym is used as a mnemonic resource so that leaders can easily remember the main characteristics that objectives should have when they are writing them. What is sought is that organizations build “smart goals” that bring them closer to the desired result and that facilitate efforts to measure performance. The process for creating SMART objectives is supported by the evaluation of each objective in light of the five variables that make up the acronym – clarifying that there are several translations, but we chose the one most repeated by marketing theorists :Specific (specific) : Is the goal detailed enough? That is the question we must ask ourselves to recognize if the objective meets the first condition of the acronym. As much detail as possible is critical to writing good objectives because, when this is the case, it is possible to create secondary objectives, which in turn become useful for specifying and reinforcing the main purpose. In some texts they affirm that the S in the acronym stands for strategic .

Measurable (measurable) : you can choose a quantitative or qualitative attribute to create a metric? A measurable objective is one that allows the choice of an indicator that facilitates its monitoring and the analysis of progress. This characteristic is a relevant factor for optimization processes. In the business literature there is an alternative definition for the M of the acronym: motivating (motivating), which states that goals should stimulate the team to take the necessary actions to obtain the result. Achievable (achievable): the objectives have to be adjusted to the reality of the company and the environment. The achievable objectives are challenging but with realistic expectations and consistent with the capabilities of the organization. Some theorists of the marketing assign other meanings to the A of the acronym: Agreed (chord), attainable (achievable), action-oriented (oriented actions), ambitious (ambitious) and aligned With goals corporate (aligned with corporate objectives) . Result-based (results-oriented) : An objective is results-oriented when it attacks the specific problems faced by the company and its employees. Results-based objectives are those that are closely related to the mission and vision of the business, that are close and that are permeated by the environment. Setting goals based on expected results helps to synchronize teams and actions. Other meanings given for the R in SMART are: realistic and reasonable .

Time-related (timely) : Are the goals set at a specific time? A timely goal makes clear to the team the time in which it must be executed and met. The temporal ambiguity of a goal is a door that, when left open, can become an excuse for never moving forward. To the Like the other letters, the Talso found with other meanings in some of the books marketing : trackable (trackable), time-limited (deadline) and time-sensitive (sensitive to time). A good example of a SMART objective for a digital strategy would be: in the next three months, achieve a sales conversion rate of 10% in our online store of the traffic that comes from digital advertising sources.

4. The PURE objectives
Like the previous methodology, the PURE objectives – pure, in English – are an acronym for: positively stated , understood , relevant and ethical .

This technique, unlike the previous one, which is very pragmatic, focuses on more philosophical aspects for the definition of objectives. What the PURE methodology proposes to write objectives is the review of the statement from the four angles that make up its acronym: Positively Stated (positive statements) : to create valid targets is preferabledescribe what you wantget and not what is toavoided. According to the methodology, formulating a positive objective is more constructive and motivating for work teams. Understood (understandable) : the objective embodied in the plan must be clear to each member of the organization. If it is not understandable to everyone, it will not work as a goal. If any of the team members do not understand it when reading it, it should be reformulated. Leaders must ensure that objectives are concisely stated. Relevant (relevant) : good objectives have a direct relationship with the company, the environment and the circumstances. Relevance is a very important quality because it is in charge of reviewing how close the relationship is between the objectives and the problems faced on a daily basis. The relevant objectives have a binding relationship with the reality of the business, they are close and close to the moment lived.

Ethical (ethical) : ethics is a priority component for defining objectives. Fortunately, many organizations have embarked on a one-way journey towards sustainability and respect for the environment; reason why ethics has earned a place within corporate objectives. To exemplify this methodology, we will use the example objective that we wrote in the SMART methodology and transform it —because it could be argued that the concept of conversion rate is not understandable for the entire organization. The new wording would be: in the next three months, get 10% of the people who come to our online store , after clicking on an advertisement on social networks or search engines, buy a product.

5. The CLEAR objectives
The last technique is also an acronym. The CLEAR objectives – of course, in English – are the combination of challenging , legal , enviromentally sound , appropriate and recorded .Clearly, this technique is very similar to the previous two because it aims to validate an objective based on certain parameters or characteristics in particular. For this case, the characteristics that are used to validate the objective are: Challenging (challenging) : the challenging targets are those whose result has a high value for the company and requires great effort. Some marketing theoriststake the C in CLEAR as collaborative , giving a double meaning to the characteristic that begins the acronym to affirm that clear objectives must also have a collaborative construction component. Legal (legal) : each objective must be governed by the legal framework of the place where the actions to achieve it will be carried out. In some texts the L also has a double connotation, by associating it with limited (limited), which is intended to put a limit to the scope, resources and time invested.
Enviromentally sound (harmless to the environment) : sustainability is a fundamental area for today’s companies, so it must be taken into account when writing an objective. Clear objectives are those that measure the impact of actions on the environment in which the organization operates. The E of the acronym is also defined as emotional , meaning that each purpose must have a connection at this level with the environment.

Apropiatte (appropriate) – Valid goals are always consistent with each other. Most companies accumulate a good number of objectives in their plan and that is why they must validate that there is congruence and thus to avoid contradictory scenarios. Refinable (tunable) – Targets should never be carved in stone. By this we mean that businesses can afford to evolve. It is very important that those who write the objectives can refine and optimize them over time, to keep them current and in line with the evolution of the market.

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