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Essentially an objective is an organizational aim that helps to provide direction and control activities. In order to achieve successful organizational objective: appropriate strategies must be deployed ensuring that resources are being efficiently and correctly allocated, used and directed towards the final goal. Moreover strategies must be regularly reviewed to check that targets are being met. Strategic objectives are goals that organisations strive to achieve in the long run; these objectives are usually decided by top management whose aim is to make the company more competitive on the market to overcome its competitors. Whenever objectives are set, the aim that is the vision and mission statement must be derived first. The aim is the long term vision of the firm - where does it want to be in the future whereby the mission statement summarises the aim of the company in a motivative and appealing way intending to enjoy greater competitive advantage in the marketplace. (Peter Stimpson 2004, pg. 46)
According to baldrige, strategic objectives need to consider:
Addressing the organizational strategic challenges and Advantages
Strategic challenges are those pressures that exert a decisive influence on an organization's likelihood of future success. These challengesÂ often are driven by an organization's future competitive position relative to other providers of similar products. While not exclusively so, strategic challengesÂ generally are externally driven. However, in responding to externally drivenÂ strategic challenges, an organization may face internal strategic challenges.
Strategic advantages are those marketplace benefits that exert a decisive influence on an organization's likelihood of future success. TheseÂ advantagesÂ frequently are sources of an organization's current and future competitive success relative to other providers of similar products. Strategic advantagesÂ generally arise from either or both of two sources: (1) core competencies, which focus on building and expanding on an organization's internal capabilities, and (2) strategically important external resources, which are shaped and leveraged through key external relationships and partnership. When an organization realizes both sources ofÂ strategic advantages, it can amplify its unique internal capabilities by capitalizing on complementary capabilities in other organizations.
Addressing organizational opportunities for innovation in products, operations, and its business model
That is making meaningful change to improve products, processes,Â or organizational effectiveness and to create new value for stakeholders. InnovationÂ involves theÂ adoptionÂ of an idea,Â process, technology, product or business model that is either new or new to itsÂ proposedÂ application.Â The outcome ofÂ innovationÂ is a discontinuous change in results, products, and processes.
Capitalizing on the organisation core competencies and addressing the potential need for new core competencies.
Core competencies refer to an organization's areas of greatest expertise. The organization'sÂ core competenciesÂ are those strategically important capabilities that provide an advantage in its marketplace or service environment.Â Core competenciesÂ frequently are challenging for competitors or suppliers and partners to imitate, and they provide a sustainable competitiveÂ advantage. Core competenciesÂ may involve unique service offerings, technology expertise and so on.
Balancing short-term and longer-term challenges and opportunities
This refers to written assessment statements included in Baldrige assessment reports that describe requirements that are not addressed or that could be more effectively addressed through process or illustrated through results.
Balancing the needs of all key stakeholders
These refer to all groups that are or might be affected by an organization's actions and success. Examples of key stakeholdersÂ might include customers, the workforce, partners, collaborators, governing boards, stockholders, donors, suppliers, taxpayers, regulatory bodies, policy makers, funders, and local and professional communities.
Enhancing organizational ability to adapt to sudden shifts in its market conditions
Moreover Baldrige gives much importance to ethical behavior which ensures that all its decisions, actions, and stakeholder interactions conform to the organization's moral and professional principles. Senior leaders should act as role models for these principles ofÂ behavior. The principles apply to all people involved in the organization, from temporary members of the workforce to members of the board of directors, and need to be communicated and reinforced on a regular basis.
This describes the conversion of strategic objectives into action plans. It summarises an organisation action plans, how they are deployed and key action plan performance measures.
Action plan Development and Deployment
Action plan Development: refers to specificÂ actionsÂ that respond to short- and longer-term strategic objectives.Â Action plansÂ include details of resource commitments and time scopes for accomplishment.Â Action planÂ development represents the critical stage in planning when strategic objectivesÂ and goalsÂ are made specific so that effective, organization-wide understanding and deployment are possible
Action plan implementation: this refers to the deployment ofÂ action plans includes creating aligned measures for all departments and work units. Deployment also might require specialized training for some staff employees or recruitment of personnel. Example deployment requirements might include work unit and team training in setting priorities based on costs and benefits.
Resource Allocation: this is to ensure that the organizational financial and other resources such as manpower are available and efficiently allocated to accomplishing the action plan.
Workforce Plans: this deals with the extent to which an organisation to accomplishing its work processesÂ through the knowledge, skills, abilities, and competenciesÂ of its people, sustainÂ relationships with customers; to innovate and transition to new technologies; to develop new products and work processes; and to meet changing business, market, and regulatory demands.
Performance Measures: The baldrige criteriaÂ address four types ofÂ performance: (1) product, (2) customer -focused, (3) financial and marketplace, and (4) operational. "Product performance"Â refers toÂ performanceÂ relative to measures and indicators of product and service characteristics important to customers. Examples include product reliability, on-time delivery, customer -experienced defect levels, and service response time." Customer-focused performance" measures customers' perceptions, reactions and behaviours. "Financial and marketplaceÂ performance" refers toÂ performanceÂ relative to measuresÂ of cost, revenue, and market position, including asset utilization, asset growth, and market share. OperationalÂ performance" refers to workforce, leadership, organizational, and ethical performanceÂ relative to effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability measuresÂ and indicators.
Action Plan Modification:
This refers to forecasting future performances. Projections involve past performances, competitors' or similar organisation performance that require to be met or exceeded.
Moreover, organization can utilize TQ principle to improve its business process for achievement of business objectives. TQM recognizes the importance of internal customers and thus introduced the concept of quality circles. A Quality Circle consists of employees who are trained to identify, analyze and solve work-related problems and present their solutions to management in order to improve the performance of the organization, and motivate and improve the work of employees. Quality circle helps in greater empowerment and in continuous improvement of the processes. TQM helps to change the attitude of the employees and the quality becomes rooted in each process. TQM should not be considered as a short term solution. Organization must take TQM as long term strategy according to (Rahul Jain, 2012).
Besides, objectives must be SMART, that is (Peter Stimpson, 2004);
â€¢ Specific. This provides a clear message as to what needs to be accomplished.
â€¢ Measurable. There must be at least one indicator that measures progress
against fulfilling the objective.
â€¢ Appropriate. It must be consistent with the vision and mission of the organization.
â€¢ Realistic. It must be an achievable target given the organization's capabilities and
Opportunities in the environment. In essence, it must be challenging but achievable.
â€¢ Timely, there needs to be a time frame for accomplishing the objective.