SOFTWARE IN PRACTICE
(Contrast with: goal)
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Objectives are general statements about the directions in which an individual or group intends to proceed, without stating specific targets to be reached at particular points in time. Reaching a particular objective might involve several intermediate goals.
The following statement is classed as an objective: "The objective of the Purchasing System Maintenance Project is to improve system response times"
An associated goal might be: "To achieve sub second respose times for the Purchase Order Update Function with forty concurrent users on the system by 20 June, 2014."
Embedded in the following statement by Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs at the unveiling of the iPad 2, is an objective that has made Apple a highly profitable company:
It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough - it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing, and nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices.
The objective that paid off was: "To merge the skills of artists, musicians and psychologists with those of engineers to build elegant products that make our hearts sing".
Deriving Goals from Objectives
General objectives are seldom achieved unless they are supported by specific goals. The table provides an example.