Working with KPIs III- Setting Goals/Objectives

Continuing the example of strategy development for “3D Printing Corporation”, following

a)      preparation of an inventory of corporate assets (“Working with KPIs I”),

b)      cataloging of various strategies (“Working with KPIs II”),

the next step is to set Objectives and then, for complex initiatives, establish one or more Goals per Objective.

If your initiative has only one Objective and is not a complex initiative the Objective and the Goal can be the same, eliminating the need for a Goal.

Whereas rough timelines for individual strategy implementations are usually set during strategy development, Goal/Objective setting involves itemizing “deliverables” that must dovetail together to reach a status of “complete” for each strategic initiative.

Goals are points in time along the way to Objectives. They must represent verifiable stages toward preparation of a deliverable (i.e. “prototype complete, certified OK by QA”). Goals always have calendar dates.

Top management needs to consult with operations managers at this time to work out the logistics for preparation of deliverables and assess each strategy with respect to risk, costing and timelines.

It’s best to start with a formal description of each strategy, then prepare a timeline, followed by an ROI. If the timeline does not fit the initial time expectation set during articulation of a strategy, it may be necessary to re-work the strategy.

If the ROI does not reach a breakeven point within a reasonable timeframe, it may be necessary to re-work the strategy. As for risk, the strategy should receive a low, medium or high risk ranking.

Now comes a gatekeeper phase which involves confirmation that the organization has sufficient resources to meet timelines. This is where strategies compete with each other. Here is a screenshot of our Kbase for 3D Printing Corporation.


Notice that the Kbase consolidates data from multiple entities (assets, industry specific strategies, plants, customers and Country Profiles).

The Kbase shows the sharing of Plant A and proposed Plant B across the customer base/proposed customer base in the USA, UK and Singapore. Projected volume across the three target countries impacts the extent of use of Plant A as well as the location and size of Plant B.

It’s important to point out that whereas, in the 3D Printing Kbase, the principal use of the US Dept of State Country Profiles are for placement of Plant B, it is not essential, in a free-form search environment, to park the Country Profiles under say Strategy – Healthcare \Singapore or Strategy – Healthcare\UK.

Another point is that for nodes labeled “Plant A” and “(Plant B)”, there really is only one instance of each, the others being alias nodes (i.e. update any one occurrence of one of these nodes, the others all update contemporaneously).

Once a firm decision is made re location, if that location is Singapore, the node under Strategy – Healthcare\UK would routinely be deleted.

Not visible in the screenshot is auto-versioning of forms/documents that may be attached to individual Kbase nodes – as edits are made, the system automatically builds a history such that users can “browse” the history (i.e. what was the preferred location for Plant B in December 2013).

One of the great advantages of the use of a Kbase for planning is to be able to collapse entire sub-structures, allowing planners to reduce clutter.


In respect of searches, planners can carry out isolated searches on sub-sets of the Kbase (i.e. only search the US Dept of State Country Profiles).

Going forward to “Working with KPIs IV – Defining KPIs”, once a strategy has evolved to, say, where construction of Plan B is underway, we would reasonably want to set up a KPI that assesses progress toward construction of the plan. A second KPI would be set up to assess progress toward signing up new customers in the UK and in Singapore.

This blog post is #3 in a set of five, with titles as shown here below:

Working with KPIs I    – Taking Stock
Working with KPIs II   – Formulating strategy
Working with KPIs III – Setting Goals/Objectives
Working with KPIs IV – Defining KPIs
Working with KPIs V – Measuring Performance





Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, major crimes case management, healthcare services delivery, and b2b/b2c/b2d transactions. (C) 2010-2019 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
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