How MyObjectives accelerates business growth

This is an example of how MyObjectives accelerates business growth,
based on a software company in the UK

Where they began

This is an example based on a software company in the UK employing about 1,000 staff.

The company had grown revenue by acquisition, but organic growth was slow. The acquisitions had not been fully integrated, resulting in different teams focusing on different technologies.

Revenue and margins were good but not what could be achieved – benchmark comparisons indicated the company could do better.

There were product lines that were under-represented in sales, due to the silo approach to developing, marketing and selling.

There was an over-dependence on existing customers. Market share was not expanding and relatively few new customer accounts were being added.

The company had “strategic goals” but these were not formally documented or communicated across the business, and were not used to drive specific business activity.

Business KPIs were all based on historical (month-end) reporting of financial and other recorded metrics such as billable hours. Some activities were over-recorded (they called it “weighing the pig”), others not measured at all. Most statistics were collated too late to be useful. All other activity was covered by brief documentation in month-end reports to the Board.

The company needed a framework to align teams, link activity to goals and provide predictive measures. They also needed to engage and motivate staff, removing silos and creating a clear focus on a common purpose. They selected MyObjectives to provide the framework, and an experienced consulting partner to facilitate workshops and guide the adoption of the new approach.

How they transformed the business

Step 1: Defined Strategic Goals

This was a facilitated workshop with the senior management team to review, agree and document strategic goals for the next 1-3 years. These were recorded in MyObjectives.

Examples: Increase total sales revenue by 50% by the end of Year 3. Increase market share in the Mobile Social Care Systems sector by 10%. To move up and right in the Gartner Magic Quadrant (Vision/Execution) every year.

Step 2: Communicated to staff

Guided by their consulting partner, the board communicated the vision and strategic goals to every member of the company. This made the goals visible, and most importantly, connected the work that everyone in the company is undertaking with the business strategy.

Example: Company meetings were held in every office with presentations from board members. Strategic goals were published on the company page on the intranet. All staff understood the goals and how their own role contributed towards some or all of the goals.

Step 3: Aligned Strategic Goals to Business Objectives

In many organisations, objectives are defined by the budget (for financial operating model) which is year-on-year and sets expenditure limits based on projected revenue. To move a company towards strategic goals, the business objectives must be aligned to strategic goals. Some objectives will be linked to the budget as well as the goals, other objectives, particularly non-financial measures, will have an indirect link to the budget but a direct link to the goals. The operational management team used a series of facilitated workshops to define quarterly business objectives which supported the budget and aligned to strategic goals.

Example: To increase market share (Goal) they needed to win new accounts at a faster rate than customer attrition. Objectives were needed to act on slowing customer attrition and winning net new business.

Step 4: Set Quarterly Objectives

Each department or team reviewed their existing budget (BAU) and defined specific objectives (SMART) that moved them towards the strategic goals. These were initially planned quarter by quarter. Objectives are recorded in MyObjectives and each one linked to one or more Strategic Goals.

Example: Customer attrition was initially 5%. They set a target to reduce this to 2% over a two-year period. The first Objective defined was to measure reasons for attrition, to complete within the first quarter. The next Objectives would be to prioritise corrective action and set up early-warning systems to anticipate and prevent customer loss.

Step 5: Defined Tasks

The next quarter Objectives were broken down into specific measurable tasks that moved the team towards the Objective. These were recorded in MyObjectives

Example: To identify reasons for customer attrition by running a quantitative survey and follow-up qualitative interviews on recent customer losses by the end of the first quarter.

Step 6: Assigned Responsibilities

They assigned RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) names to each task to ensure the progress towards completion was to be managed, measured and communicated.  These were recorded in MyObjectives.

Example: Set up a new target customer database: led by Sally Jones, Head of Marketing; supported by Field Sales and Inside Sales; reporting to the Sales Director.

Step 7: Monitored Progress

Progress reporting is a combination of physical events and status flags in MyObjectives. Review meetings were arranged proportionate to the timescale: weekly stand-up meetings; monthly progress meetings and quarterly review meetings when the next quarter’s objectives were also agreed.

Each team defined their own reporting method. Some could be easily measured (e.g. number of accounts added), others needed to be estimated (e.g. build a competitive product database – 50% complete).

Example: after week two, the team had made great progress. They had loaded the list in the CRM system and the status was Green Flagged (“will be complete by target date”). The progress was so good they had decided to add another task which was to clean the list and create customer segmentation, ready for campaigns to start the following month.

Step 8: Celebrated achievement

People are motivated by knowing the goals, understanding their contribution and seeing progress towards achievement of objectives. By recording individuals’ contributions to tasks and team achievement of goals, scores can be shared and compared. This enabled individual and team achievement to be recognised (and rewarded!) which provided additional motivation to achieve future goals. The scoring system in MyObjectives is normalised so each team performance can be compared.

Example: the marketing team over-achieved against a very important task. This was highlighted and they became the “Star Players” of the month. The company also subscribed to Perkbox so each member of the Star Players was awarded an Amazon voucher, providing a tangible and visible reward with minimal administration and company-wide recognition of achievement. 

 Read more about MyObjectives

The Result

The project required buy-in and visible sponsorship from the top. Although there was initially additional work to run workshops and set up the framework for success, this was done with high visibility and open communication. This gave a quick win in employee engagement and a cultural swing from silos to a common purpose.

Before After
Strategic Goals known only to the senior team Strategic Goals known by everyone in the business, including how individual activity contributes to achieving Strategic Goals
Business Objectives were focusing on meeting short-term financial targets with little focus on the longer term goals Business Objectives aligned to financial budget and Strategic Goals. The organisation is moving measurably towards achieving business goals
Much time was spent collecting data for analysis with little useful result Only relevant performance data is collected. More information is collected but it takes less time to collect, collate and measure
Team morale was good at a local level but there was little sense of “one company” and employee engagement at company level was considered low Having visible objectives, measurable progress and recognition of individual effort created much higher employee engagement and also increased productivity and performance
Little expectation of achieving strategic goals. The main focus was on achieving quarterly financial targets with no attention given to improving future business performance. Consequently every quarter was a struggle Quarterly financial targets were met and the additional focus on progress with supporting activity made achieving stretch financial targets in future quarters much more realistic
The company is well on the way to sustained growth. Costs have reduced due to higher productivity and lower staff turnover

The success of MyObjectives in moving the company into active growth was more than a short-term project. The company is now committed to using the framework to maintain the momentum and drive sustained growth over the long term. The flexible framework means that changes in the business landscape requiring adjustments to goals and objectives can be instantly reflected in the business. This makes them more responsive and business operations remain relevant to strategic goals.