Welcome to financial year 2014! Whew! July marks the new financial year and for some of us, the end of a strategy, planning and budgeting cycle. Once again, I had the opportunity to design and facilitate my organization’s business strategy, planning and budgeting process and it seems that each time I learn tons. As a quick blog post, I thought I’d share a simple tool that was useful in my experience to help business leaders articulate their Business Objectives. Maybe it’d be useful to you too. The tool is a set of highly generic Business Objectives I refer to as “The Big 8”. The Big 8 business objectives comprehensively cover any business to describe what they want to accomplish inclusive of customer/market-facing interests that a line of business would primarily be concerned with as well as internal-facing interests that support organizations are often primarily concerned with. Organizations that can think through their objectives as well as the objectives from the organization(s) they support drastically reduce risk of failure to streamline execution and deliver a holistic business change.
The Big 8
The Big 8
Description with KPI examples
1. Increase market share
Increase <name of product/service market goes here> market share
2. Increase revenue
Increase in sales revenue generated
3. Increase customer/partner satisfaction
Increase in customer or partner satisfaction, loyalty, or company brand
4. Reduce cost
Reduction in cost such cost avoidance, licensing costs, lowered rates, etc
5. Increase productivity
Increase productivity to improve “time-to-market” of products/services to customers;
6. Increase quality
Increase the quality of our products, processes or data.
7. Reduce risk
Reduce the risk to achieve business objectives and/or compliance to policy
8. Improve people
Improve people skills and discipline
For context when to use The Big 8, below is a simple strategy formulation process. I normally use The Big 8 when defining business objectives after analyzing the market and before defining KPIs.
Why use The Big 8?
Often organization leaders are focused on their internal responsibilities or maybe the company’s trendy, top-of-mind priorities and putting at risk the articulation of a comprehensive set of business objectives useful to organizations upstream or downstream to them. To avoid unintentionally ignoring critical business objectives, I use The Big 8 as a simple checklist to make sure the resulting set of business objectives covers all business concerns. I’m not suggesting every organization include a business objective for each of The Big 8. I’m only suggesting to use The Big 8 as a discussion topic to make sure that an appropriate business objective for that group isn’t over looked.
How should you use The Big 8?
Here are a few tips how to use The Big 8: