Goals vs objectives are two terms which are most commonly used in business and education sectors and are commonly confused with each other. These two words sound the same but they have a huge difference in them. In simple words, we can say that a goal is a kind of dream and an objective is a kind of action plan.
The goal is something that you want and objective, on the other hand, if your planning to achieve it. in a business word, projects can be a very challenging event for a project manager. He is responsible to keep all stakeholders in perfect harmony and on the same page.
Therefore, good communication plays an important role in the success of any project. To do this, it is important that the meanings of commonly used terminologies like goals vs objectives should be known and understood by all who are participating in the project.
Thus, it is crucial to include the definition of both of these words in the glossary section of every project to establish an understanding of them. These two terms start appearing since the very inception of every project.
The goals vs objectives of work define the central purpose of a project.
Definition of Goals
A goal can be defined as a target that a person plans to achieve or accomplish or reach in the future. A goal can be described as a driving force that pushes a man to reach what they desire. When we were young, we wished what we wanted to become in the future and work in the direction to achieve it.
a goal is envisioned by a person to be achieved after a certain span of time. To accomplish this, people set a timeline which ensures that they can achieve what they want in the desired time. Goals are usually long-termed.
The term goal can be used in project management for the three most important target values such as time, performance, and resources. Therefore, a project goal postulates the desired results (performance), certain assigned resources (resources), and a decided end date (time). Usually, a goal is the answer to “what” which is the main aim of the project and most of the times there are one than one goal in a project.
Definition of Objectives
The objective, on the other hand, is an aim or a target that a person what to achieve or accomplish within a limited period of time. Objectives are kind of milestones that direct one to achieve their goals. Sometimes objective can also be referred to as subgoals. These are the baby steps taken by an individual to reach a certain point. The method to measure an objective is the attainment of the decided target within the decided timeline. For example, if a person wants to lose 10kg weight in the next 6 months and when he hit the target it can be measured by weighing his weight and reduced figures will indicate the objective achieved.
In project management terminology, an objective is a measured and tangible outcome in support of the deciding goal. It should also meet the decided budget, time, and quality restrictions. Objective defines “how” something should be done. S.M.A.R.T method can be used to set the most effective way to do this. S.M.A.R.T can be defined as
S stands for “Specific”
M stands for “Measurable”
A stand for “Achievable”
R stands for “Realistic”
and T stands for “Timebound”.
Therefore, objectives should be S.M.A.R.T performance specific.
The key differences between Goals vs objectives.
|A goal is a long-term target that a person tries to attain.||An objective is a short-term achievement that is important to attain to reach a long-term goal.|
|A goal is broad in scope.||An objective is narrow in scope.|
|It is a general direction or intention.||It is specific and precise.|
|It is intangible in nature.||It is tangible in nature.|
|Goals are abstract.||Objectives are sold and concrete.|
|Goals are hard to measure or validated.||Objectives can be measured or validated easily.|
|Goals are large in size.||Objectives are small in size (basically chunks).|
|Goals are end.||Objectives are end in themselves.|
|Goals are final result.||Objectives are the means to end.|
|Goals are whole.||Objectives are small parts of whole or milestones for a larger goal.|
|Goals are long-termed.||Objectives are short-termed.|
|Basis of goal is an idea.||Basis of an objective is fact.|
|I want to invent something in field of genetics.||I will complete my thesis within next six months.|
From the above discussion, the differences between goals vs objectives are clear. However, goals and objectives are related to each other.
One has to achieve short-term objectives to reach a long-term goal. For example, you need to get a graduation degree before you can become an IAS officer. Therefore, it is right to say that objectives are part of the goals.
It is important to complete well-defined objectives within a decided timeline to achieve an abstract goal.