A huge proportion of businesses failings can be traced back to the planning phase, when goals exceed objectives. Badly planned goals and objectives, or goals without objectives along the way, could potentially push projects off course, lead to personality clashes and even into debt.
But what are project goals and objectives, and how would you go about defining them? Within this blog post we will be exploring how they can help your activity centre move positively, providing you with real life examples.
So, what are Goals and Objectives?
Of course, you know the traditional definitions of
‘goals’ and ‘objectives’, but within business they take on a slightly different role. Put simply, goals are the ‘what’, whilst the objectives are the ‘how’ this will lead to your goals.
Goals – The broad statements
We’re all familiar with goals, they give us targets to hit and aspirations to aim for. For an activity centre, some of your goals might look something like:
- Increase repeat bookings by 15% over the next 12 months.
- Encourage a 50% increase in visits to the website, with a 10% boost to conversions.
- Transition away from phone-based booking and towards an online booking platform.
Setting project goals like this is an essential marker which you can judge your activity centres achievements by. You might have multiple, specific goals or just one broad goal. Either way, it’s important not to confuse goals with objectives.
Objectives – How you’ll achieve goals
Objectives are the specific statements that will help support and actualise the goals you’ve set. Every goal will sport a number of objectives, and put simply, objectives are how you’ll achieve your goals.
You’ll find many sources suggesting that you should always start your objectives with an action verb, and whilst we see the value in this, it’s not entirely necessary. If you’d prefer to do otherwise, feel free to, but in the examples below we are following the structure of creating objectives to support achieving the overall project goals.
Project objective examples:
Goal 1: Increase repeat bookings by 15% over the next 12 months.
- Create an email campaign to target one-time bookers with your company.
- Design a special offer for existing clients to encourage repeat bookings.
- Compare how the competition encourages repeat bookings and implement their most effective measures.
Goal 2: Encourage a 50% increase in visits to the website, with a 10% boost to conversions
- Implement a paid social media campaign to encourage visits to the homepage.
- Launch a blog with valuable information to boost visits & SEO.
- Investigate A/B testing on product pages for increased conversions.
Goal 3: Transition away from phone-based booking and towards an online booking system.
- Identify leading online booking platforms
- Compare the feature sets of online booking platforms before picking one
- Launch an email & social media campaign to encourage bookings through the website, drawing attention to the ease and simplicity of booking online
If you’re having trouble defining objectives, take into account four main areas: quality, score, time and money. It’s then possible to build a multifaceted objective quickly.
Another aspect of project objectives that should be noted is that; whilst goals might have a loose timeframe of a year, objectives should have a much specific and rigid timeframe in place, in order to achieve the project goals. So it’s all about planning the small steps in order to achieve the overall goal.
Let’s use an example of a goal and its objectives from earlier:
Goal: Increase repeat bookings by 15% over the next 12 months
- Create an email campaign to target one-time bookers with your company
- Design a special offer for existing clients to encourage repeat bookings
- Compare how the competition encourage repeat bookings and implement their most effective measures
In this example, the timeframe for this project management goal is included already. However, defining objective time frames can be a little trickier. As a rule of thumb, however, we recommend that you give yourself until a third of the way through your goal timeline to complete your objectives.
With the remaining two thirds, you’ll be able to see the effect that your objectives have on your goal, and be free to course correct if something isn’t working out as you’d intended.
Why is this valuable?
By placing an emphasis on this dichotomy, it becomes clear how you should go out and achieve your goals. Merely setting goals is rarely enough to see a project through to completion, especially if you’re delegating to a team.
By dividing goals into individual objectives, both you and your team know exactly what needs to be achieved and how you plan to achieve it.
Whilst it’s true that many businesses make use of this system, it does little to diminish just how valuable it can be for a fledgling activity centre, attempting to carve out a niche in a crowded market.