Professionals manage projects, activities, costs, revenue generation, groups. Professionals make things happen in organizations.
Well-formed goals and objectives drive activities toward overall goals, vision.
Ill-formed or non-existent goals or objectives cause confusion, drain motivation, create in-fighting. It’s not good, as Jason knows.
Jason, my favorite professional to pick on, floated along in his job. Jason was fond of saying, “I’m action oriented. I don’t have time for goals or objectives. It’s a waste of time.”
Jason was busy, chasing lots of the activities people kept dumping on him. Jason “delegated” by passing along some of these activities. His staff never could get a handle on how the activities fit together and where they activities were taking them. Some didn’t match their abilities.
It just didn’t work.
Goals objectives and professionals
Professionals who make progress, set overall objectives and goals to achieve them. In the short term, goals follow the definition of SMART goals.
I’ve found overall objectives to be extremely useful in setting the direction as part of my strategic direction and plan. These overall objectives span months to years. They lead straight to reaching the vision.
Goals set at 90 days or less help make progress toward the objectives and builds confidence in execution.
Sometimes goals have to be set longer term. Set the long term goals and build sub goals to achieve them.
As professionals, planning is essential if we want to achieve bigger things, that is goals and objectives. I understand not all professional want to be pushed or to push into new areas. That’s okay.
Those who want more out of their profession set goals, specifically SMART goals.
What defines SMART Goals anyway?
S — Specific. Specific goals name exactly what will will be done. “Our group needs to be excellent in everything we do.” Not specific. The development team produces releases reviewed and accepted by QA, marketing, key customers and partners.
M– Measurable. Goals become measurable when tangible results occur. Any team member or stakeholder can measure the product of the goal and see get the same results as another person. The development team produces 5 releases, accepted by QA, marketing, key customers and partners with fewer than 5 known defects at rating of 2 or lower.
A — Attainable. A goal has to be within the capabilities and aligned with the strengths of the group. If not, progress slows and the project eventually stalls.
R — Realistically high. Goals set just beyond perceived reach can lead to innovation and “thinking outside the box.” Set too high and people give up.
T — Time based. Give a deadline. Commit to the deadline. Hold the person responsible for the SMART goal accountable to the deadline even if that’s you.
But, I have so many goals!
Often lot’s of “candidate goals” emerge. Yes, “candidate goals,” those ill-formed goals. Label candidate goals as “ideas” not goals.
Vet ideas by aligning them with the direction (vision, values and organizational objectives) and professional strengths. Vetted goals objectives and professionals produce focused, executable priorities.
Once vetted, turn your prioritized ideas into SMART goals and you have the start of an executable plan.
But, the organization doesn’t have a defined direction
Professionals solve this problem too.
When no direction is cleanly defined, tasks and activities all become priority one. Confusion ensues. Conflicting directions emerge. People pursue conflicting goals simultaneously. Progress stalls.
For professional who take control, the way out is to create a direction: vision, values, goals objectives. No matter what level in an organization as a professional you can define your own direction.
Poke around on this blog for more posts on the topic.
Do the work on your own. Start now.
OR, give me a call and let’s talk. Talk is free. Many people find it useful to talk things through with someone informed and interested. It helps uncover blind spots and refocus on strengths.
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Get unstuck. Make things happen.