Objectives and initiatives

5 minutes

Setting goals and objectives can help you become more efficient and organized. At ZOOMcatalog, we have company-wide objectives, and team objectives. These define what everyone and anyone is working on at any given time and ensures everyone is working in the same direction. If someone is not working towards an objective, something is wrong. It may mean that we as a team need to re-evaluate what the current objectives are, or it may simply mean they need to get back on track. Objectives and Initiatives are so incredibly important that we will be releasing an entire course on this topic. For now, we leave you with a few key tips:

Your company objectives:

  • Set no more than three objectives at a time - these are company-wide goals that everyone in the organization should be working toward. This will ensure everyone stays focused and gets things done quickly.

  • Check-in with your objectives once a month or once a quarter

    • Make sure they still represent what is most important to your company and teams.

    • If one has been met, record the results, reflect what went well and what did not, then choose a new objective to focus on.

    • Right now, with our shifting economy, objectives are likely to change more often than usual. If an objective you set no longer makes sense or is a lower priority, do not hesitate to make changes.

  • You should be able to track the progress of your objectives; you do that by setting key results. These key results look at how we’re going to achieve the objective, and are always measurable, reachable, and easily understandable. Here are a few examples of objectives and their key results.

    • Objective: Increase profit generated from apparel

      • Key result: Hit revenue of $100,000 in quarter

      • Key result: Increase gross profit margin from 50% to 60%

      • Key result: Reduce returns by 20%

    • Objective: Successfully launch our new website

      • Key result: Visitors increase by 5%

      • Key result: Sales leads increase by 20%

      • Key result: Revenue generated online increases by 20%

Your initiatives

  • Next you will define the initiatives you will tackle in order to achieve your objectives. These are high level ideas you can work on that will result in you reaching your goals.

  • Start with a brainstorming session. Focus on one objective at a time. You can use the “ideas” list in Trello and make a card for each idea, or you can write each idea on a sticky note. These are tasks you can complete that will get you closer to reaching the goal.

    • Using the example objective above - “Successfully launch our new website”, ask yourself -- what do we need to do to accomplish that objective? To increase our visitors by 5%, you might create an email campaign, improve sharing on the site, focus on the mobile experience, or experiment with different calls to action for sales -- these are all different initiatives you can consider to drive your objectives forward.

  • List out any and all ideas you have, and if applicable, include your team in this session. Once done, you will have a number of different possible tasks you can tackle.

  • Review each idea, one at a time, sorting the ideas from most impactful to least, and also considering how much effort each will require. A good technique is to sort them into a graph like the one depicted below.

    • On the x-axis you will have least impactful to most impactful, on the y-axis you will have least effort to most effort. This will give you a clear visual of where you should start, which will be the items that land in the lower right quadrant. Strongly consider starting with ideas that require the least effort, but have the most impact.

  • Select three initiatives per objective to get started with.

  • Once you have executed the ideas, come back to your objectives and assess if you met the measurable goal. From here, you can decide if you need to continue working through more initiatives for those objectives, or if you are ready to move on to a new objective.


Summary of objectives and initiatives

While there are a lot of great techniques you can use to keep your company on track and to make sure you are doing work that moves your company forward, defining and tracking goals and initiatives is a great place to start.

Now that you have completed this course, we encourage you to sit down and spend some time planning your current objectives and initiatives to build a clear path forward.

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