Matts Rehnstrom – Shaper of Business Excellence
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Three Ways to Get Your Goals in Order and How to Measure Them (BV26)

In this video, I’m going to talk about three ways to get your goals in order and how to measure them. Hi there. Matts Rehnstrom here, Shaper of Business Excellence. Welcome to another video where I will describe this poster for business excellence components and their relationship between them. In this video, I will take you further down. We’re drilling down vision, strategy, goals, and critical success factors and now goals and measurement for those critical success factors. So that’s what I’m talking about in this video.

You Need To Measure Things In Real Time

I work with a lot of different businesses within different areas and I see that goals and measurement are missing in a lot of these businesses. The only thing that they really follow closely are the finances; however, just following or just measuring finances is not good enough. You need to measure things in real time, not history.

Therefore you need to have goals because you can’t measure things without connecting it to a goal, and if you have a goal but don’t measure it, it doesn’t really matter either because you don’t really know where you are.

So here we take what we’ve learned in the critical success factors. We talked about that we break down the strategic goals into the critical success factor, the areas that we need to work with in order to reach that strategic goal, but now we’re down into activities.

An action needs to be taken and we’re focusing on goals that we need to work with in order to ensure that the critical success factors are taken care of. And that will then give us the fulfillment of the strategic goal. So we have goals in different layers here with the critical success factors in between.

Without Goals to Work Towards You Have Confusion and Fuzziness

And if you don’t have goals, then again, my favorite description, confusion and fuzziness. People don’t really know that they’re working with the right thing in the right order and heading in the right direction. That’s why we need to measure our progress because if we don’t measure our progress, old work is fine, isn’t it? I mean, if we don’t have a goal and we don’t measure it, in that case, what we do must be fine because no one can tell us anything else, but they do.

That’s what’s happening in businesses because people come in and say we’re doing the wrong thing, but how can they because we don’t have goals? We don’t know that we’re heading in the right direction and that might be convenient for many businesses because if you don’t have a goal, you can’t miss it.

I mean I can shoot an arrow wherever.  But did I hit the goal? I don’t know. I don’t have a goal. I just fire an arrow here and there and there and there. So I don’t really know if I’m hitting anything, but I do have a lot of activity within the organization.

If You Want to Improve Your Organization in the Right Way You Need SMART Goals

And that is not for you if you want to improve your business in the right way, and if you want to have a business excellence. What we need to do is to take the critical success factors and make sure that you find out each and every goal that you need to work with within that factor, within that area, because that area is important to reach the strategic goal that we talked about in an earlier video.

We have our strategic goals up and we have our critical success factors, and now we’re breaking it down and we’re making goals for our progress towards the strategic goal. So we know that we’re heading in the right direction on the very operational level right now. Up here, we’re on the strategic level, but now we’re coming down to the operational level.

Create a Goal for Each Critical Success Factor

And when you then design, so take this as I said first, take the critical success factor, break it down, find the goals. When you find a goal, describe the goal. The goals should be described as SMART. I mentioned earlier that we can maybe be a little fuzzy about SMART when we talk about the strategic goals, but not here. Here we need to make it SMART:

  • Specific: Everyone understands what the goal is and that it needs to be accomplished
  • Measurable: Specify how you are going to measure the fulfillment of the goal
  • Acceptable: The goal needs to be accepted by those who are responsible for reaching it
  • Realistic: The goal you create needs to be realistic. It might be a stretch goal, but it is not so far off that it is unrealistic
  • Time-based: We connect the fulfillment of the goal in time

You can’t be fuzzy about what a goal is because if you’re fuzzy about a goal, then you don’t really know if you’re hitting it or not.

The goal needs to be acceptable or accepted by the team. It can’t be something that is forced on the team. The team needs to say oh, here’s the goal. Yes, we can do this. We have been a part of this work, so we are sure that we want to go in that direction towards the vision because we’re being a part of this work all the time and now we except this goal.

We don’t really need a goal in this state that is totally out of realism that we’re not going to hit it. We shouldn’t say that it couldn’t be a stretch goal because that’s something else.

A stretch goal is harder to reach, but it’s not impossible. Impossible is to say that I’m going to run 10 K’s in 25 minutes because it’s never going to happen and as I don’t accept it, it’s not realistic either. So anyone can give me that goal, but it’s not really a goal because I’m not going to fulfill that goal.

And then we have Time-based. So that’s when are we going to have reached this goal? So back to me running 10 K’s, then. If I have a goal of running 10 k’s, it should be something like, I’m going to run 10 kilometers under 50 minutes no later than the first of July, 2019 or whatever.

Then I’ve just made a goal. It was specific. I’m going to run. It could be even more specific to say how I’m going to run. Is it in the forest or is it on a plain track or what kind of track it is, and then I say, I’m going to measure it time-based, and I’m also going to have it based on the time it is. The first of July or whatever I said, and then it’s 50 minutes. So that I can go back to and say, okay, has Matts delivered on that goal or not?

You need to make your goals that are specific and SMART.  It’s so important so that the team can be a part of this and needs to be a part of this because someone else can give me a goal, but if it’s not realistic for me, if I don’t accept it, in that case, it falls because it’s someone else’s wish that I will fulfill this. But I won’t because I don’t put it as a goal and that’s important for the team to put this as a goal.

How are You Going to Measure Your Goal?

Now, when you have been SMART with defining your goal, you can then go over and start looking at how are you going to measure that you’re heading in the right direction.

Measurement: Specify early on how this measurement is going go done; WHAT is measured, HOW it is measured, and WHEN it is measured

Taking a look at the 10K example again: What is being measured? In this case, me running 10 kilometers. I am specific, I’m running on a flat track. I’m running 10 kilometers and I’m running it in 50 minutes.

Now I can start measuring minutes because that’s what counts here. So I can say I started running and it’s 62 minutes and okay, 62 minutes and then we measure it again at 61 minutes and then we can see your progress because the goal is that within 10 months or whatever, I’m going to run these 10 kilometers in 50 minutes. So that’s the goal. And so we need to measure them in time because time is a part of the specification of the goal.So with that said, if you have been following along here and you’ve done with all the homework, you now have a business idea that is broken down into vision. That vision is broken down further into strategic goals.

Those strategic goals are broken down into identifying the critical success factors for those strategic goals. And now after this video, you go out and you find these goals that will give you a measurement, or you will have a measurement of those goals that will lead you towards the strategic goals. The strategic goals have several operational goals, and those are the ones that we’re working with here.

So now you have the series. The series continues because as you see, there are more, more components down here, but that will come in an upcoming video.

So how about in your business? Do you use SMART definition of your goals? Do you have goals? Do you follow them? Do you measure them? Do you talk about them, and is goals a part of your life in business? Please leave a comment below. I’m excited to see your comments. And until next time, let’s go and shape our business for excellence.

About the Author Matts Rehnstrom

Matts helps Business Analysts, especially those who work in government administration, to design efficient and high quality business processes for their clients so they are able to deliver value in a sustainable and transparent manner. With over 20 years of advanced business process design in both IT and government, he can show you a simple ‘Business Excellence’ formula which dramatically reduces the time required to design a process as well as ensures it is created in a way which is optimized for the people who actually do the work. The health of the business and the people working in it is always at the forefront of how I help business analysts design their processes. ➔➔If you are a business analyst who wants to ensure you deliver the best possible outcome for their clients (especially if your current project is not running perfectly according to plan!) then Matts can help you.

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