Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)

Definitions (or, How is a Goal different from an Objective?)

The goal offers the "why," to explain the reasoning behind that task.

A Goal is:

  • A statement that explains what the organization wishes to accomplish

  • Sets the fundamental, long-range direction.

Objectives then break down the broader goal into its smaller parts, and may provide guidelines for how the goal can be accomplished. There are two kinds of objectives: Program Objectives, and Supporting Objectives:

A Program Objective is:

  • A specific statement that explains what the committee will accomplish in order to fulfill organizational goals.

  • Measurable level of achievement

  • Purpose

    • Provides clear expectations

    • Guides content

    • Helps organize tasks

    • Lets IS Executive know what's going on

    • Provides basis for evaluation

A Supporting Objective is:

  • A statement that describes what the committee needs to accomplish in order to fulfill program objectives.

Next: What is a SMART Objective?

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