How to Write Killer Objectives Using the Verb-Target-Measure-Time Formula

Whether you’re setting goals for your business, your team or yourself, well-crafted objectives are crucial for focusing your efforts and driving results. One of the best ways to write clear, actionable objectives is to use the verb-target-measure-time sentence structure. Let me break it down for you.

The Verb

Every objective should start with a powerful verb that spells out the key action you want to take. Some good verbs to use include: increase, reduce, launch, improve, develop, implement, expand, generate, etc. Starting with an action verb sets the tone and makes it clear what you’re trying to accomplish.

The Target 

Next, you need to identify the specific target that the verb is aimed at. This could be a product, service, process, financial metric, market segment, etc. Getting super clear on the target focuses your objective.

The Measure

How will you know if you’ve achieved the objective? The measure lays out the quantifiable criteria for success. This could be a percentage increase, a revenue number, a delivery date, etc. Having a clear measure baked into the objective removes any ambiguity.

The Time

Finally, every good objective should have a timeframe associated with it to create a sense of prioritisation and urgency. Often this is a month/quarter/year, but it could also be something like “by the product launch date.”

Put it all together and you get a nice, tight objective like: “Increase online advertising revenue 25% by end of Q3” or “Launch new AI-powered service offering by September 15th.”

Some more examples:

– Reduce manufacturing defects 30% in 2024

– Improve customer satisfaction scores to 95% by Q4

– Develop 3 new product prototypes for CES 2025

– Expand into 2 new regional markets this fiscal year  

– Generate $5M in new sales from recent acquisition by Dec 31

See how the verb-target-measure-time structure outlines a clear goal in just a single sentence? It’s a compact but powerful way to set objectives.

Tips for Writing Great Objectives:

• Make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) 

• Keep them concise and unambiguous 

• Align them with higher-level goals/strategy

• Ensure they are realistically achievable 

• Allow some flexibility when circumstances change

• Involve stakeholders in setting objectives

• Cascade objectives down to all levels 

• Track progress and adjust course as needed

Using this verb-target-measure-time formula, you’ll be able to craft focused, motivating objectives that give you and your team a clear target to work towards. Just Watch how it super-charges productivity and performance when everyone rows in the same direction!

Give it a try for your next set of quarterly objectives or annual goals. Your future self will thank me.