An objective is the end or ends that an organisation is trying to achieve. Typically, objectives will be set at a number of levels, e.g:


Objectives, wherever possible, should be SMART i.e:

Specific – clear and easy to understand.

Measurable – i.e. able to be quantified.

Achievable – possible to be attained.

Realistic – not ‘pie in the sky’.

Time bound – associated with a specific time period.

Public sector organisations like the Inland Revenue set objectives for service, such as processing customers’ tax returns within a given time period.

Private sector organisations like Kelloggs might set objectives for customer satisfaction, and effectiveness in handling customer orders within a given time period. Visit Kelloggs

Objectives are the ends to be achieved, whereas the strategies or plans are the means to achieve these ends.