Planning is an essential part of any business, whether it is a large or small company. Managers set general goals for the company and divide them into objectives, which must be achieved through the development and implementation of plans. The objectives of operations and their associated performance measures are the focal point for integrating operations into the planning process. They are contained in the MTP and guide the debate on operations in the region.
Goals relate to the overall vision or desired end result, while objectives are specific and measurable. Regions can develop operational objectives that are based on activities and support the desired system performance outcomes. Setting a realistic objective and reaching an agreement on it should be done in the context of the region and the participating organizations. The key for managers is to match the implementation of the plan with the type of objective.
All activity-oriented lower-level operations objectives must support an existing result-oriented operations objective, providing simple verification to ensure that operations activities are carried out in pursuit of a system performance outcome. When defining objectives, developers must consider the best way to measure progress towards them, since this affects how they are set and, subsequently, the improvements that are made. To maintain clarity in planning, the type of objective must remain consistent throughout the organization. It is important to note that the creation of heavy industries is not an objective of planning.
This example objective provides direction for relieving congestion, but it does not express the extent to which it must be alleviated to meet it. In Figure 2, the M&O strategy of organizing more coordinated regional incident response teams to cover six more corridors is based on one of the activity-based objectives.