Strategic Objectives – The Ultimate Guide with Examples

“A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.” says Lee Bolman to underline the significance of strategy. Strategy is the main diverging factor between businesses and strategic management is the key element of success.  Setting strategic objectives is the most crucial part of this process which we will talk about today. The content we will cover is mainly as follows:




We will start with the definition of strategic objectives. Then, we will move on to the purpose of strategic management. We will talk about what makes an effective strategic objective and give some examples. Finally, we will conclude our topic with a quick review. Now that you know the roadmap, let's get on with it.



Strategic objectives definition

strategic objectives

Strategic objectives are milestones that align with your organizational strategy and help you achieve your company goals.  These objectives are usually set quarterly for companies. They might be defined as what you want to achieve in this quarter. Objectives might belong to certain individuals, teams or departments depending on the strategy of your company.


While strategic objectives are the objectives that help you achieving a long-term goal, operational objectives cover a shorter time frame. In other words, they are the breakdowns of the strategic objectives to become assignable tasks for daily or weekly operations.


What is the purpose of strategic objectives?

strategic objectives

The objectives mainly aim to unify the company towards a certain goal. They help you clear the ambiguity about the strategy for achieving goals. In addition, they guide your operational objectives to be conducted. To be more precise they help you mainly in four ways.

It helps you to create your strategic plan

The strategy is mainly the way to achieve a final goal.  Your strategic plan will basically be the steps to take. Definition of these steps can be named as your strategic objectives. Each objective is a milestone that helps you to reach your destination.

It clears the ambiguity

Thanks to the objectives that are set, now you have a roadmap to reach your target. Let's say that you want to increase your brand awareness. How are you going to do that? What are the steps that you need to take? Well, objectives that you set will be answering those questions. Therefore, it will clear the ambiguity about the method that helps you achieve your final destination.

It helps you to set your operational objectives

Now that you know your strategic objectives that you need to follow for the quarter, you may now go in detail. The operational objectives that are set weekly or daily will be clearer after defining the quarterly milestones. Hence, defining strategic objectives not only clear the ambiguity about reaching the final goal, but also it clears the uncertainty about weekly or daily operations.

It unites your team to achieve a certain objective

The strategic and operational objectives for either your teams or your departments will be clearer now. In addition, there will be the transparency of information between the team members. So, everyone will know what they are doing and why they are doing it. This will help your employees to unite around a certain goal.


Alright, now you know what a strategic objective is and what is the purpose of it. However, how to set these objectives in an effective manner is another question to ask. This is what we will cover now.


What makes an effective strategic objective?

strategic objectives

Well there are a few important keys to bear in mind when coming up with objectives. To begin with you need to be precise about the quantity and timeframe. This means that you need to define measurable objectives bound by a due date. In addition, you need to think about the industry you are working in and your company's strategy in this particular industry.

Strategic objective should have a due date

While you are creating your strategic objective, you should also think about by when you need to finish it. That actually defines the amount of energy that will be given to complete this task in a defined time. The strategic objectives are usually defined quarterly. However, you might plan them yearly and divide into pieces as well.

It should be quantifiable

Although this is not a must, it is much more effective to make your objectives quantifiable. This would clear the ambiguity even further and would help you to come up with your operational objectives. Quantifiable objectives are also actionable which means your employees could take an immediate action.

It should align with your industry

You should also bear in mind the industry you are operating in when setting the objectives. For instance, think about two industries FMCG and automotive. While, having a stock-out in FMCG sector would not be too costly, it would be huge for automotive sector. Therefore, the company strategies and related objectives should be set bearing in mind the industrial facts.

It should align with your strategy

In addition to your industry, you should also think about your strategy in the developing process of the objectives. Different companies in the same sector might be focusing on different aspects. For instance, one company might be working upon increasing the service level of all products. On the other hand, another one in the same sector might try to be decreasing the costs regarding stock-outs. That concludes in different strategies and different objectives as a result.


Now that you know how to create your objectives, let's see some examples to give you a better understanding of the topic.


Strategic objectives example

We may analyze the subject in various ways and talk about infinite number of examples. However, let's divide the objectives in terms of departments and see some examples related to each department.



Marketing Objectives



Finance Objectives



Supply Chain Objectives



IT Objectives



Sales Objectives



HR Objectives



To sum up

Let's summarize what we did together. We started with the definition of the strategic objectives. Then, we talked about the aim for creating the strategic objectives. They are basically created because they unify the employees towards a certain goal. It helps you create your strategic plan while making certain the operational objectives. Moreover, we talked about what makes an effective strategic objective. There are mainly four things to think upon while coming up with objectives which are quantifiability, time horizon, the industry and the strategy. Lastly, after clearing the subject we talked about some examples of the objectives in different departments such as IT, Marketing, Sales, Finance, Supply Chain and HR.