Strategic Objectives describes what the organisation want to achieve in the short to medium term and serve as stepping stones for attaining its Goals.
Objectives can be categorised into long term (between one and three years) and short-term (up to one year). Long -term objectives tend to be directly linked to attaining the organisations goals.
Long-term objectives will often be broken down into annual objectives which are linked to the next level which ultimately leads to the attainment of the larger, more ambitious, goals and ultimately to achieving the organisations vision.
After you defined your annual objectives, you might break each one down further into short-term objectives, which define the actions and outcomes for the next three months that will help you on the way to achieving your long-term objectives and goals. The plans for achieving your short-term goals are your action plans.
This is akin to breaking a large, complex, task into smaller tasks that are more manageable and/or can be allocated to different people/departments.
As shown in the diagram, it is important to ensure that the various levels of objectives are linked together and ultimately to attaining one or more Goals.
In addition, breaking a large objective or goal into smaller, more manageable chunks can also mean that they can be directly linked to the outcomes of individual projects and/or activities.
As with goals, it is important that, where possible, we apply the SMART criteria to each of our objectives so that they are clear to everyone involved and that their progress can be monitored.