Achieving your objectives
Length: 1 hour as a team
The long term aspirations of any organisation have to get broken down into the tasks and activities that people perform on a daily basis.
There are many models for how this happens, but all basically move from a big picture, long term aspiration (termed ‘Vision and Values’) to an organisational strategy (‘How the organisation will go about realising its Vision and Values’) then to Annual Strategic Goals, then to quarterly team and individual Objectives, along with their measurable Key Results to be achieved, and finally to the daily activities designed to make them happen.
This move from a long term big picture for the organisation as a whole to individual objectives that are immediate and specific has traditionally been called Management by Objectives, and is currently championed by Google under the heading of the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) process. In Google, for example, every individual has their own OKRs, and these are openly available for viewing by everyone else in the business.
Team objectives are more than just the sum of individual team members' objectives, and should be discussed by the team as a whole starting with the question: "What are we trying to achieve as a team?".
There is clear evidence that clarifying your objectives, with measurable targets, and refining them into a set of tasks that enables you to hit the targets will help you to produce better results and feel more fulfilled in your work.
Consider your vision for the organisation. What are the central 3-5 objectives that you need to set, to make that vision a reality? Write them down.
Next, consider your first objective. What do you need to get right for this objective and its targets to be hit? What are the critical areas that will determine success or failure? Try to focus only on the really critical factors that will influence your success.
Repeat this for your other objectives.
Look for overlap between the work you need to do to for the different objectives.
Next, list the main tasks and activities you and the team need to undertake to make those objectives a reality. Draw a boundary around discrete tasks in a way that makes sense for you.
Ultimately, you can then assign the tasks to different members of the team.