OGSM Defined: Objective, Goals, Strategies, Measures
Many people don’t understand that strategy is simply aspiration. The real challenge for most is the definition, prioritization and alignment of the work required to achieve that aspiration.
ArchPoint’s strategic planning methodology gives an organization the capability to prioritize work and identify required resources. It gives everyone involved the opportunity to keep the work visible and drive alignment throughout the organization. Importantly, it helps leaders determine what the organization can actually do based on available resources.
OGSM is ArchPoint’s preferred approach to strategy development and execution. In short, an OGSM is a written and easily communicated statement of an organization’s Objective, Goals, Strategies and Measures. OGSM brings alignment, transparency of priorities and metrics that define success. OGSM frames what the business needs to achieve and how it’s going to get there. The OGSM defines success and helps groups work together across functions, geographies and up and down the line.
OGSM is a world-class strategy model that transforms objectives, goals, strategies and measures into actionable and executable plans. The origins of OGSM stretch back to the 1950’s with roots in Total Quality. In the 1980s, Procter & Gamble popularized OGSM as a means of aligning the direction of their corporation around the globe. Many Fortune 500 companies have adopted OGSM to build and execute their strategic plans. ArchPoint, the world leader in OGSM methodology, has helped clients across Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America develop and implement OGSM.
The Objective sets the direction for the organization for the next three to five years. This statement describes the ambition of the business and answers the question: What are we trying to achieve? The Objective should define the playing field and the rules for winning. An Objective is a constant and meaningful reminder to the organization about what success looks like in the future. An effective Objective statement is not generic or easily adoptable by others; it is a customized, business-specific view of where the business is headed. Importantly, this is not an organization’s vision or mission. Those statements have a longer time horizon. The Objective is time-bound to focus the organization.
Goals are numbers that define what success looks like over a three-to-five year time horizon. These Goals are usually financial and/or operational and make the Objective visible in measurable terms. Goals should be more strategic in nature, defining the financial health and guiding the direction for the strategic choices. The Goals of an organization answer the question, “what must we accomplish financially?” in terms of critical targets.
Strategies are words that provide explanations and descriptions of specific choices that focus an organization’s plans toward accomplishing the desired Objective and Goals. Strategies guide the work activities and allocation of limited resources across the organization. Strategies are implemented through initiatives and structured work plans called charters. Strategies tighten choices needed to deliver the Objective, Goals and to win in the market. It’s much more important for Strategies to be written in clear, complete language as opposed to clever headlines.
Measures are numbers that define an organization’s progress toward delivering a Strategy. Each Strategy should have no more than two or three Measures that define whether the Strategy is effective and is having the desired impact. Each Measure is tracked to determine the progress of a Strategy, and used to make decisions regarding any necessary adjustments.