What makes a good Aim?
Defining the Aim; not the journey.
The aim is what you want to achieve. Think of this as the aspirational end point that you are seeking to reach at a defined point in the future. An end point is not a strategy, a tactic, or a set of decisions and so on. All of these are events in the process of working the project and if done well then they will lead to achieving the aim. The Aim should be directional, motivating and inspiring and describe what you want to be. Be very clear about what your aim is, because if you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there. Here is an example of a very clear aim: ‘To be the brand leader or strong number two in every market we operate in within five years’. You can see in this example, that I have started with ‘to be’, because this keeps me focused. Then I include an end state such as ‘brand leader’. Finally, I include the time frame.
One of the best aims came from the former USA President John F Kennedy in May 1961. He stated that the United States should set as the goal “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to this earth by the end of the decade” The strength of this aim is it that is aspirational, stretching but a realistic achievement.
The aim should always integrate with the entity. For example, if you and other participants in the project are directly accountable for market leadership then the aim should reflect this. If you are not directly accountable then the aim is unrealistic for you.
If you are struggling to come up with an aspirational aim then defining what success looks like can help. These can help bring the Aim to life. For example, if my Aim was to be ‘the Shampoo brand leader in Europe within 2 years’, then my definitions of success could look like this:
- Products should be in every shopper’s baskets
- Higher awareness than your competitors
- Endorsed by key opinion leaders
- Highly engaged sales force