The terms Goals and Objectives are often used within a business interchangeably. They do however have different attributes and purposes.
Goals are expressed in broader terms than objectives. A Goal describes a general intention and is neither specific nor tangible enough to be measured.
Objectives are more specific in what they describe and involve the definition of precise actions which, being task oriented, are able to be measured as to their ultimate success or failure.
Goals, when defined, are likely to have a longer time horizon associated with them than Objectives. Objectives usually have very precise targets set for the shorter term. Any single goal may be achieved by the successful completion of multiple shorter term objectives.
An Objective can be characterised as being:
- Realistic and
A good Objective should also support the Goals of a business which, in turn, support their Mission and Vision Statements.