Quality Management Guide


Step 2: Setting Objectives And Targets

Once you have an understanding of what your business is about, you need to set objectives that are linked to your vision and mission.

This involves:

  • defining a set of workable objectives
  • balancing financial and non-financial considerations
  • deciding how to track and measure progress against objectives.

Objectives

Successful business objectives need to be clear, measurable and have a set time frame. They should also cover a range of areas, including:

  • Finance – for example improving profit, sales or reducing costs or losses.
  • Customers – for example, increasing customer satisfaction, choice, value.
  • Internal results – for example, increasing the number of products developed or speeding up the delivery time to customers.
  • Growth, learning and innovation – for example, increasing access to knowledge sources, developing organisational skill, improving access to information.

When developing objectives, refer back to your vision, mission and values. Ask yourself:

  • Does this objective help us achieve the vision and mission of the business?
  • Will achieving the objective ultimately add value to the stakeholders of the business?
  • Will this objective be measurable?
  • Does the person responsible for delivering the objective know what it means and what the deliverables are?

Measurement

Business performance measurement has changed over the last decade. Managers are now measuring those things that influence financial performance, as well as the financial performance itself. This allows decisions to be made long before any financial impact can be recorded.

Producing business measures is relatively easy. However, defining ones which genuinely gauge what you aim to improve is much more difficult. Ask yourself:

  • What is the purpose of the measure?
  • Who is going to act on the measure once the information is available?
  • What are they going to do with the knowledge gained from the measure?
  • Where is the data going to come from?
  • Who is going to collect the data?
  • How often are they going to collect the data?
  • How often will the data be reviewed?
  • How much time is it going to take to collect the data – is it worth it?
This document is based on Crown Copyright © 2004
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