Priorities and Objectives

Two weeks ago, I did a podcast on priority management as part of the Leap Programme which, in particular, is aimed at helping companies move from being small and good to big and great.  It is also relevant for anyone who works in any type of company, with the setting priorities at work.

That podcast regarded what priorities were, then confronting your priority list with actually what you do and finding that actually you do a lot of things during the day which do not relate at all to your priorities. This caused quite a few discussions with my clients.  One of the discussions was what actually was a priority compared to an objective or indeed compared to a task.

In this podcast I will go a little bit deeper into what actually is a priority.  And it leads, very nicely, on to further discussions of why priorities are important and the whole structure around why arriving at your priority for your company or your department is important and it links in very nicely with the idea of reporting and then, of course, delegating which is the second part of the Leap Programme.

Today I have four points to make; the first one is the confusion between priorities, objectives and tasks. I’ll look into the different definitions of those three things.  The second one is why is knowing the priority important.  The third I will look at the construction and the use of objectives and how we can actually arrive at the objectives, who arrives at the objectives and how we use them.  Finally I’ll talk about reporting and the link with delegating, as I’ve just mentioned.

Confusion between Priorities, Objectives and Tasks

  • Does it really Matter?
  • Remember from The Leap Program:
  • Only One Priority is Great but difficult, so let’s say Five
  • Concentric Circles


Why is Knowing the Priority Important?

  • It Avoids Misdirection
    • Non so Insular
  • It helps build strong teams:
    • Contribution in terms of department, other departments and the company
  • Reduces the need to hire more people:
    • Effective use of current resources
    • Everyone moving in the same direction
  • And, which direction?
  • The Requirement of Energy and Thought


The Construction and Use of Objectives

  • Where people have set roles: Spare Parts/Service Manager
    • They set their objectives
  • As the priority comes from a higher level:
    • Participation in the decision
    • This is creation of a team !
  • What does this mean:
    • Set the objectives
    • The Measurement
    • What he needs to do to reach these measurements
    • What his boss and company do that helps and hinders him
    • The programme for the next 12 months
  • Measurement:
    • Priorities and Objectives need to be measurable?
    • Rigid and Exact – No
    • Clear, Simple and Rational – Yes
  • Measuring Performance drives effort in the right direction
    • Timely
    • Accurate
  • Who sees it, leads into Reporting and Self Control


Reporting and the Link with Delegating

  • Technological Development – Lots of data
  • It must go to the Manager not His Boss !
    • Otherwise it becomes imposed control
  • Delegating and the Balance with Feeling Comfortable?
  • Think Carefully:
    • What Information
    • When You Want it
    • Responsibility and Accountability for Results
  • Too Much Reporting Kills Effectiveness and Profits – Example
  • Only the Forms and Reports needed to achieve performance



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