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Goals, Strategies, and Tasks: A Must in Corporate Planning

Corporate planning is the bread and butter of business nowadays, but how exactly can companies organize and deploy a strategy in ever-evolving market landscapes?

Whether you are part of a small startup or a large corporation, one of the main keys for success lays on one simple statement: Everyone, no matter what role they are in, must be aware of the end goal and equipped to accomplish it.

But how does this translate to an everyday scenario? How do worldwide companies with thousands of departments, teams, and groups – ensure all employees know the corporation’s endgame? The answer: Setting goals, planning a strategy, and assigning timed tasks.

Companies such as Coca-Cola or teams like Google Search engine set public, long-term goals and stand by them as the main pillar for success. There is more behind these compilation of well-thought words, though. Goals are just the starting point of pyramid-styled business strategies that not only steer a company’s direction but also plays a key role in fostering employee motivation and engagement.

Understanding Goals, Strategies, and Tasks

The concept is simple, so much so that it can be applied to many instances in life: To pursue a common group goal, it needs to be backed up with a set of strategies on how to accomplish such goal. Lastly, each strategy must be backed-up with a set of clear actions that are practical, measurable, and fully understood by whoever will comply with them.

Here’s a breakdown of each:

  • Goal:

Goals are specific, detailed targets that define the desired outcome a company aims to achieve in a given amount of time. They are aspirational, qualitative, and provide direction to the company’s teams.

For instance, a furniture company might have a goal to become a market leader in eco-friendly products in Latin America.

  • Strategy:

Strategies break down the broader goals into specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timed targets. They specify the necessary steps to accomplish the goals.

For the eco-friendly furniture company, a strategy might be launching a multi-platform marketing campaign within the next 6 months, investing 5% of last year’s income in the research and development department to launch a new product in the next 3 years, or contacting 3 sustainable, Latin American suppliers by next week.

  • Tasks:

Tasks are the actionable steps implemented to achieve the strategies. They are more granular and detailed, and they are usually seen as day-to-day activities or specific plans.

In our example, tasks might include outlining the platforms, messaging, and content for the marketing campaign, review financial records to approve the allocation of research funds, or contacting several suppliers soliciting a Request for Proposal (RFP).

Differentiation and Application of Goals, Strategies, and Tasks

The distinction between these concepts lies in their scope and specificity. Goals set the overarching direction, strategies define the measurable milestones, and tasks are the everyday steps.

Ideally, there should be a single goal which will be accompanied by 5-6 strategies. Each strategy comes with a set of tasks, and the number of these will depend on the number of steps needed to accomplish the strategy or the number of employees/teams working on it.

One thing if key: All goals must be accompanied by strategies and, subsequently, tasks.

For example, consider a tech startup:

Goal: To attain a customer base of 10,000 users in the European Union within the first year of app launch.

Strategy: Implement targeted online marketing campaigns in TikTok and Instagram, collaborate with five to ten industry influencers by the end of Q3, and set up a system to offer limited-time trial versions to attract potential customers.

Tasks: Present the communications strategy to upper management by the end of the quarter, including a contact database of possible industry influencers; draft a benchmark study of other apps offering trial versions.

Concrete Criteria and Project Management Tools: Your Best Allies

When it comes to planning, tracking is the key to success. Using a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound approach helps to create pertinent statements, gives clarity to teams and stakeholders, and is the best way to evaluate the efficacy goals, strategies, and tasks.  

Another great way to keep track of your progress is using basic project management tools like Trello, Asana, or Monday. For more advanced options, consider using Taskia. This software is great for tailoring projects to different roles and is especially useful for bigger companies handling multiple projects at once.

These platforms are simple, intuitive ways to collectively oversee and track tasks, ensuring alignment with strategies and goals. By using a project management software, you can also keep very detailed track of KPIs and easily visualize data, which are great things to have when upper management needs to take high-level decisions or when year-end reports are due.

In conclusion, the synergy between long-term planning, delineated by goals, strategies, and tasks, is the cornerstone of sustained corporate success. Whether you are part of a small team or a numerous enterprise, embracing these strategic practices will cultivate a culture of innovation and engagement that, when coupled with concrete criteria and project management tools, you are all set for success.

Image by Freepik

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