When going through the strategic planning process an organization will set goals or ideals, which are then incorporated into the organization’s mission statement. While the mission statement provides direction for an organization, strategic objectives provide a way to measure the organization’s progress toward realizing the ideals listed in the mission statement.
Applying Strategic Plans
Strategic objectives provide a means to apply the strategic plans made by an organization, helping make reality out of what was before only plans. Strategic objectives put into motion the concepts and ideals contained in an organization’s mission statement. For example, if an organization has the ideal that it will provide excellent customer service, then a strategic objective for the organization would be to score at a certain level on customer service satisfaction surveys.
In any organization, whether it is commercial or not-for-profit, individuals inside the organization have their own ideals and values that they wish to apply to their activities within the organization. Strategic objectives that are clear and measurable hold individuals accountable for activities that contribute to the achievement of these objectives, helping to rally everyone in the organization around the objectives. Strategic objectives will inspire individuals to stretch themselves so they can contribute to the organization’s achievement of the goal, giving them a personal sense of satisfaction.
Use of Resources
Every organization has a limited amount of resources, including money, people and buildings. When devising strategic objectives, the organization must take into account all of the resources available. This resource inventory will allow the organization to make use of any available resources in its pursuit of the objectives rather than leaving some resources untouched. With clear objectives, employees and different divisions of the organization will not waste resources in the pursuit of activities that do not contribute to the achievement of the strategic objectives.
For a strategic objective to work, the organization must have a means of measuring its success in meeting the objective. Financial objectives can and should be measured regularly, such as spending limits and sales goal achievements. Other objectives may not have a number value attached to them, requiring extra work in devising a numerical value system for the objective. The ability to measure strategic objective achievement will help the organization adjust its activities until it meets the objectives. In this way, strategic objectives provide a way to measure the health of an organization.