Community Goal Setting with OGSM

Having a buzzing community where people talk, share and engage with each other and the community content is far superior and more valuable than an idle one. Having clearly set objectives and goals for your community aids you in creating a community where interactions happen and the members are engaged because your objectives guide you and help you stay true to your vison. However, setting objectives and manufacturing a strategy to reach these objectives is easier said than done, hence we recommend using a framework such as the OGSM (“Objective-Goal-Strategy-Measure”) to strategically plan and define your objectives, the goals connected to this objective, the strategy to reach these goals, and to measure if your strategy is working.

OGSM is a goalsetting and action planning framework that is used for strategic planning in organizations, teams, departments and communities as a way of ensuring that long term visions are reached through proper planning of short-to medium-term goals, actions and metrics (measures). OGSM is believed to be the bridge between strategy and execution and is used by over 50 of the Fortune 500 companies (including P&G, Coca Cola and Mars Inc.), so if you need to proof of the effectiveness of OGSM, have a look at these companies.

Advantages of OGSM

  • Simplicity: Easy to implement and summarizes your essential strategic choices on one page.

  • Coherence: Creates a bigger picture of what belongs together and how executing one part of the plan contributes to the rest.

  • Specificity: Clarifies what actions need to be taken to reach goal because you have defined them properly.

  • Flexibility: Can be used by various institutions and at different organizational levels.

Look out for

  • Keep it specific: If you interpret the model too broadly it becomes messy and it’s hard to see what actions you need to take.

  • Do not dilute important metrics because you are focusing too much on the bigger picture.

  • Do not become rigid in your approach. Adjust the model as you go along, if something is not working, change and adapt.

4 steps of OGSM

1 – Objectives

Objectives sets the direction for the whole plan. They should therefore reflect what the organization or community wants to achieve as an extension of the overall vision or mission, and describes the conditions you want to reach during the agreed upon time-period.

Objectives are:

  • Short and easy to remember, understand and explain in your own words.

  • Give direction.

  • Ambitious, but achievable.

  • Be in line with what stakeholders want: Intellectually sound and emotionally resonant.

  • Lead to complete satisfaction when completed.

2 – Goals

Goals in the OGSM model are the clear, measurable target results that must be achieved in order to realize your objective. These goals usually include numbers like key financial targets or more organizational numbers such as client’s satisfaction, employee churn or organizational performance.

Make sure that the goal you set are SMART (find out more about how to do so here):

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Achievable

  • Relevant

  • Timebound

3 – Strategies

In the OGSM model, strategies are the roadmap you create to realize your objectives by meeting your goals. For every goal you should have 3-5 strategies that describe how you will reach the fore mentioned goal, less is more at this stage, we do not recommend having more than 5 strategies per goal as it can blur your focus. We don’t want you to spread your efforts too thin.

Whilst the objective and goals describe what you want to achieve, the latter in more detail than the former, your strategies are describing how you will reach the what you have set your eyes on. Good strategies are crucial to organizational success, so choose wisely. To help you do so, there are a few areas in which your strategies should focus, growth (innovation or customer), productivity (quality or production) and people (culture and talent management), think about what needs to be done in one or more of these areas to reach your goals and subsequently your objective.

4 – Measures

The last main components of OGSM, Measures, is often split in two, between action and dashboard, this split is not part of the original OGSM model, but is widely used and quite helpful. The dashboard refers to measuring the progression of your strategies, we recommend using or aligning this with the dashboard or measurement you already use in the organization if you have them. The dashboard information is there to tell you if and how well you are staying on track towards your goals.

The actions part of measures consists of creating an action plan that shows the projects and actions that needs to be executed to follow your strategy. This includes what needs to happen, who is responsible for that particular action and by when it needs to be done.

Where to go from here

Let’s imagine you have just set up your OGSM plan, congratulations, now the real work begins. Now is the time to start executing your plan and following up on your OGSM by habitually working within the framework to create a successful outcome and reaching your goals. While performing the actions according to plan, constantly reflect on the strategies and measures you have chosen. If they do not serve anymore, adjust them accordingly as you go. This ensures that your OGSM plan stays true to your vision, mission and organization, which in turn help you and your colleagues enthusiastic and motivated to drive the change you seek.

Author: Mathilde Bastiansen

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