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Examples of Good Strategic Objectives

by Tom Wright, on Apr 3, 2018 5:46:16 PM

We've written extensively about how to go about creating good strategic objectives for your organization (see this post) - but sometimes, instead of a long blog article, all you need are a few examples of good strategic objectives to get your own creative juices flowing.

We've put together the following list - based on hundreds of successfully executed strategic plans from our very own cloud system Cascade. We've grouped our examples of good strategic objectives into a series of broad categories (which we call Focus Areas). So without further ado, here's our list:

Focus Area: Financial Growth

  • Grow gross revenue to $2m by 31st Dec 2020
  • Increase net margin by 15% by 31st Jul 2018
  • Reduce net costs by $900k by 1st Nov 2020
  • Deliver 3 consecutive periods of monthly recurring revenue (MRR) of $50k by 1st Jul 2019
  • Build $1m of reserve working capital by 31st Dec 2019

And here's an example of what not to write when creating good strategic objectives:

- Significantly increase profit in all business lines by 1st Nov 2018

The term 'significantly' is highly subjective - avoid where possible anything that can't be measured - there's really no excuse when it comes to financial goals!

Download the Strategic Planning Template Free  The template is 100% free and comes in Excel format allowing you to build up  your strategic plan and output an auto-generated 'plan on a page'. DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE

Focus Area: Customer Satisfaction

  • Deliver a customer survey overall satisfaction score of 90% by 1st Jul 2018
  • Increase average customer product holding to 1.5 products per customer by 1st Jan 2017
  • Lose fewer than 2 major accounts per year until 1st Dec 2019
  • Win at least 1 industry award for customer service by 1st Jan 2018
  • Attract 3 major customers in Asia Pacific by 30th Sept 2017

And here's an example of what not to write when creating good strategic objectives:

- Work with the customer service team to improve satisfaction by 1st Jan 2019

Apart from having no defined target as to what 'improve' means - strategic objectives need to be actual goals, rather than statements of intent!

Focus Area: Innovation / Product Growth

  • Launch 3 new products by 31st Dec 2018
  • Launch / transition to a cloud service model by 1st Jan 2017
  • Establish 4 new major distribution partnerships by 1st Feb 2018
  • Ensure that 30% of our approved projects are classed as 'Horizon 3: Blue Sky Thinking' by 1st Jan 2016
  • Launch a innovation lab by 31st Dec 2019

And here's an example of what not to write when creating good strategic objectives:

- Become more competitive than our competitors by 1st Nov 2018

Strategic objectives need clearly defined start and end points - define your starting position, set a target increase (in percentage or absolute terms) then state that number as part of your goal.

Focus Area: People / Culture

  • Reduce staff attrition to less than 10% per annum by 1st Jan 2017
  • Launch a staff engagement / survey programme by 1st Mar 2018
  • Win a major employer award by 1st Jan 2017
  • Implement a flexible working programme by 1st Jul 2017
  • Hire 3 additional product managers by 1st Feb 2017

And here's an example of what not to write when creating good strategic objectives:

- Improve our workplace culture by 1st Nov 2018

This is far too broad for an example of a good strategic objective and should instead by either part of your Vision or your Focus Areas. Break this down into several actionable goals!

Focus Area: Processes / Operations

  • Reduce product return rate to less than 3% by 1st Jan 2018
  • Implement a rigorous process of auditing our warehouses by 1st Nov 2019
  • Increase sales efficiency to a 20% conversion rate through use of a CRM by 1st Dec 2019
  • Host a quarterly supplier forum with our top 20 suppliers by volume by 1st Jan 2018
  • Implement a cloud based strategy management platform by 15th Nov 2017

And here's an example of what not to write when creating good strategic objectives:

- Be more compliant as a business by 1st Mar 2019

Don't leave room for interpretation in your strategic objectives (unless you actively want to encourage discussion as part of the planning phase) - be specific about what you mean rather than using general words like 'compliance'.

What are your best examples of good strategic objectives?

Hopefully the above examples of good strategic objectives will help your own thinking in terms of what objectives to create for your next strategic plan. So long as you keep your strategic objectives clear, concise, specific and measurable - you wont go too far wrong! We'd love to hear any more examples of good strategic objectives in the comments below.

Download the Strategic Planning Template Free  The template is 100% free and comes in Excel format allowing you to build up  your strategic plan and output an auto-generated 'plan on a page'. DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE
Topics:Creating Your Strategy

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Download the Strategic Planning Template Free  The template is 100% free and comes in Excel format allowing you to build up  your strategic plan and output an auto-generated 'plan on a page'. DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE