Each organization needs a clear vision, mission, goals, objectives, and long-term strategies to make their business a movement. These statements help in outlining the organization’s future. Also, create a mental image of the organization. But many professionals use these terms interchangeably. They mixed up meanings and create confusion. In this blog, I will discuss to burst the differences between these terms.
Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics – These are 5 statements which form the two aspects of the business-
- What the organizations want to achieve – reflected by the Vision mission and objectives of companies.
- And how they are going to achieve the above “what”- reflected by the Strategies and Tactics. These are long term and short-term implementation plans respectively.
Organizations gain real strength when these statements show:
- Completeness, and are consistent with each other.
It implies that there should be an alignment between these statements. You can ensure this alignment by the assessment of:
- Definition: If these statements are defined for the foundation of organization success?
- Clarity: If these provide a direction and plan for the work, organizational resources do?
- Communication: Are Organisation resources aware of these statements? And use them as a context of the work, they do?
- Commitment: If these statements make people supportive of the organization’s intent? And, if they agreed to the content of these statements?
If your assessment says “Yes” on the above-mentioned parameters- it significantly ensures internal organization capability.
And, if any of the above is lacking, then there is a potential of weakness. This weakness limits and undermines organization success. These statements are vital in assessing the internal capabilities and limitations of the organization.
Let’s see how these statements create a foundation of organization Success? I am beginning with the comprehension of these statements.
What are the vision mission and objective of Companies?
A vision is a Big Picture of “What” the organization wants to achieve in Future. It should inspire people in the organization. It excites people to be part of “What.” And, also motivate to put their energy and time to achieve the future. How do you write a good vision statement? What does a vision stamen include? Let’s take an example of an agriculture business:
“A Vibrant Economy is driven by value-added agriculture” Here the Vibrant Economy has the ability to inspire the people involved in this agricultural business. A good vision statement inspires to create a movement. It describes the desired outcome to invoke a mental image of the organization.
A Mission is about what the organization does to achieve the vision. A mission is an action statement to achieve the vision. A mission statement is not required to be inspirational. Instead, it provides a clear focus on what an organization does and what it doesn’t.
What should be included in a mission statement? What do you think a good mission statement can look like for the above vision statement?
Let’s see the below example…
“To create and facilitate the development of value-added agriculture”
Here “Create and facilitate” are two clear focus areas. The organization put its energy into these two areas. The organization makes efforts for the development (Create) and to ease (facilitate) the agriculture business. And, whatever is not mentioned here, the organization is not involved. It is a clear direction about what the organization does and what it doesn’t.
A mission statement is simple, direct and operative. Now the question is – how do you write a powerful mission statement? What makes an effective mission statement? Let’s see the following characteristics of a good mission statement:
- Short: The mission statement should be easy to remember. Each person in organizations should be aware of the mission statement to use in context with the work he/she does.
- Simple: Mission statement language should be of everyday life. We do not use words like stakeholder values, financial goals, and best practices in daily life. For example, a mission statement – “Help people in achieving work using best practices.” How many people dream about best practices? The answer is very few; do you believe, people talk in such a language. The answer is ‘NO.’
- Operative: A mission statement should provide a clear direction. It should focus on what an organization does. It also gives a clear route about initiative and resource allocation.
So, what kinds of resources needed for the mission statement mentioned above for the agriculture business?
- Probably SME, who can provide their services for the development and facilitation of the agriculture business.
- And farmers involved for the financial support in the venture.
A mission statement should help to understand:
- “Who we are”,
- “What we do”
- and to “which industry we belong to”
For example, mission statements like “Increasing customer satisfaction”. Well, it is impossible, anyways – does it provide to which industry a mission belongs to? Or what the organization controls? The answer is no, and hence we cannot claim it as a mission statement. An organization should try to find out a mission statement, which can drive them.
3. Goals & Objectives:
Goals are statements of mileposts to achieve the vision. Goals describe – what you want to achieve through your efforts.
And, an objective is a time-sensitive statement to achieve the goals. We defined it in measurable terms.
Goals for the above-mentioned vision of agriculture business can be defined as, but not limited to:
- Improve profitability
- Increase volume
- Provide stability
A goal is a broad definition, saying “improve profitability”. It lacks the specifics and defined in general and broad terms. Objectives, on the other hand, are quite specific and further define the goal. To continue with ‘profitability’ example, objectives can be defined as:
15k$ net profit as % of the sale in a year
10k$ net profit as % of investment in a year.
Here, the question is – How do you set a good objective. What are the smart objectives used for? Well, while explaining, objectives a SMART acronym is commonly used:
- Specific: It is entirely job-related. In the above example, “sales” and “investment” are related to the job.
- Measurable: Objectives are always defined in measurable terms. We can measure the above objectives using a target of 10k$ and 15k$ profit.
- Attainable: Objectives should be attainable within the provided environment and resources. Organizations need to analyze what is required to achieve defined objectives and need to need to make sure it continuously.
- Relevant: Objectives should be aligned with goals. These goals are further aligned with the mission and vision of the organization.
- Time-Bounded: Objectives should be achievable within the provided time period and in our example, we identified time ‘a year’.
So without question, goals and objectives are similar (not same) and complement each other. With goals, there is no pressure to be specific, and in fact, goals are open-ended. Setting goals are useful as a broad outline. Yet, due to its fundamental nature of being broad and open-ended, these are not the ideal way to achieve something.
Whenever you want to achieve something – define a goal and then set a series of objectives to achieve those goals.
To summarize goals are broad direction setting statements, objectives are more specific. And both are designed to get you to take action.
Strategies are long term implementation plans to achieve the goals and objectives. These statements define how you can succeed in achieving your mission and stay along in the completion. Strategies are likely to be defined following a SWOT analysis as both external and internal environment assessment is needed as an input to develop strategies.
How do you write an organizational strategy? Strategic options may include:
- The development of market or product or
- In some diversified cases, both the market and product development.
Example strategic options like:
- Increase Market (sale in customers),
- New Product (like product enhancement, product line extension, and products at different quality levels) and
- New distribution channel
These are examples of strategies to achieve goals and objectives.
A strategy like- design social media promotion for the next year can be identified for the above-mentioned objectives. We can define one or many strategies for a combination of goals and objectives.
Tactics are short term implementation or action plan to deliver the long-term strategy. A grass-root level action plans are defined to ensure daily activities are in line with achieving the relevant strategy(s).
Tactics like a sales staff member are expected to do 10 social media activity daily, could be an example to deliver a long-term strategy.
Once you have defined all these 5 (Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics) statements, you will have the foundation of your business. For this reason, we need to know that these five statements are open acted with each other.
You use these statements to assess the internal capabilities and limitations of an organization. Also, you examine these statements for their completeness, clarity, and awareness within organizations. If these qualities are missing, then you need a change to solve the identified organizational level internal weakness.
These statements should provide a clear focus and direction and should serve as an internal strength for the organization.
You may watch and listen to the following video presentation on the difference between Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics. This video will give you a walkthrough to write a good vision, mission, goals, and objectives, and will provide you with a fair idea of how these are related to others:
I hope this blog has answered your all queries related to Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics. Good Luck with your PMI-PBA® Certification Exam. Good Luck with your PMI-PBA® Certification Exam. Our online course gives you the best value for money and comes with end to end 24/7 trainer support.