Goals versus Tasks

Goals versus Tasks - Goal ManagementI was recently reading a white paper* by SuccessFactors titled: “Doing the Right Things: Using Goal Management to Drive Business Execution.”1

A section that really stood out and is worthy of sharing discusses the difference between goals versus tasks.

As an obsessive list maker who hasn’t completed a list in umpteen many years, this topic obviously caught my attention. The basic premise is that employees should have no more than 10 goals. When an employee has more than 10 goals it’s usually because they have confused goals with tasks:

Goals are outcomes, accomplishments, or responsibilities people need to fulfill to be effective in their jobs. Tasks are activities people perform to achieve these goals.

Well said.

Then to bring the idea home, the paper makes a rather excellent sports analogy:

The difference between tasks and goals is like the difference between executing plays in football and scoring points. At the end of the day achieving points is what matters, not the number of plays you ran.

I was much more of a soccer player but even I related to this mainly because of how awesome it is! Thank you SuccessFactors for actually creating and providing a white paper that educated me AND captured my short attention span at the same time.


1 “Doing the Right Things: Using Goal Management to Drive Business Execution.” SuccessFactors. 2012. Download White Paper.

R.E. Ferguson

About The Analytical Consultant

Analytics and Business Intelligence professional with over 15 years of experience.
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