How to Develop a Strategic Plan for Business Process Automation: Step 3 – Identifying the Objective

An objective is a measurable step taken to achieve a strategy, and like a strategy, it also accounts for existing barriers and resources. “Measurable” is the keyword in that definition. Objectives should be tied to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – a metric that helps you interpret how you are doing against your objectives.

Let’s continue to draw from the example in the previous articles. So far, we have established a SMART goal and selected a strategy.

Business: Widget Company

Mission: Be a market leader in widget production while providing excellent customer service.

Vision: Best sales in the region.

SMART Goal: Sign 200 new contracts for widget production and delivery in 2017.
(10% higher than the number of contracts signed in 2016 by any of the companies in the Midwest region of the National Association for Widget Production and Delivery)

Strategy: Improve marketing

Providing your employees with just these points without an objective will leave your achievement up to fate. In 2017, the Project Management Institute reported 28% of organizations’ strategic initiatives failed. The primary cause of failure was a lack of clearly defined objectives and milestones to measure progress. So, let’s defines some objectives, metrics (KPIs), and milestones!

How do you improve something? The first step, figure out what you are currently doing and how it affects your results. Then compare your findings to what others in your industry are doing and what their results are. Once the analysis of that information is complete, we can determine what we need to change and how to make those changes. Et voilá, we have a list of basic objectives (mini-goals) we can pursue to achieve our goal including:

  1. gather market research
  2. conduct focus groups
  3. complete analysis
  4. develop a marketing plan
  5. execute marketing plan

Now, we are ready to set milestones and metrics to these basic strategic planning objectives. This process will also serve as the bones of your next step in strategic planning – the actual plan.

Look back to your goal – if it is a SMART goal, it already has the measurements and timelines built into it. In this widget company example, “200 contracts” and “2017.” This gives your employees a place to start brainstorming on how to get there:

  • What can we get done in the next 12 months?
  • What will have the largest impact on our goal of 200 contracts?
  • Where do we focus our resources?

This is where Naviant’s considerable experience in different industries can provide a base to start from. Our business process consultants can help your organization evaluate objectives more quickly and provide strategies and metrics that other organizations in your industry are using to grow. We see ourselves as a partner, and our partnership is most effective when we can help your organization set objectives and determine KPIs.

“Leadership means forming a team and working toward common objectives that are tied to time, metrics, and resources.” Lt. General (retired) Russel Honoré, an American soldier.

Let Naviant help you lead your organization to a successful future. Come back for the next article, where we will discuss how to create a plan that meets objectives and delivers positive change in KPIs.


About Ann-Marie

Ann-Marie is a Project Management Institute, Professional Project Manager and 10+ year veteran of the Project Management discipline, focusing primarily on health care and information technology projects. She also holds multiple Epic Clinical application certifications and managed some Epic implementations in roles representing (at different times) the vendor, health system, and consulting firm. Ann-Marie has also worked on OnBase implementation large and small over the last few years. Currently, she is an Account Executive at Naviant in Verona, WI. Outside of work, Ann-Marie is a life-long nerd who enjoys books, video games, and cross-stitch embroidery.