These terms are all similar but with subtle differences. An objective is a generic term hence a goal is an objective
The purpose of a process would be its a reason for existence. E.g The purpose of the Demand Fulfilment process is to convert customer requirements into products and services in a manner that satisfies all stakeholders. This purpose describes what the process has been set up to do.
The objectives of a process are the measurable results it is intended to deliver. They differ from its purpose in that they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Process objectives provide a means to measure the effectiveness with which the process fulfils its purpose. Typical objectives for a Demand Fulfilment Process might be:
The targets are the level of performance to be achieved e.g. standards, quota, requirement, yield
The outputs of a process are the measurable results it produces not necessarily the outputs it should produce. The only difference between an output and an objective is the way it is expressed. The process outputs should align with the process objectives. However, for a process output to be an objective it has to be predefined – in other words it has to be something you are aiming for, not necessarily something you are currently achieving.
Taking the first objective above and turning it into an output would become. The right conforming products delivered on time every time. This could be broken down into separate outputs such as
A goal is the object to which effort or ambition is directed, therefore the goals of a process can be looked upon as the sum of its purpose, objectives and targets.
© Transition Support Last edit 20/03/2018
A flexible approach to business improvement