What are the general and specific objectives?

We explain what the general and specific objectives are, examples and the functions they fulfill. Characteristics and steps to carry them out.

General and Specific Objectives
All the specific objectives would have to hit the general objective as a result.

What are the general and specific objectives?

When speaking of general and specific objectives, allusion is made to the goals set by a research, a project or an organization, classified based on the elements on which they focus and the specific approach they contemplate, as follows:

  • General objective. There is usually only one, since it encompasses the entirety of an investigation or a project, and is the primary goal to be achieved, that towards which all the efforts of an organization or all the chapters of a degree thesis contribute, for example.
  • Specific objectives. There are usually several, since each segment of an organization or each chapter of an investigation has its own goal to achieve, which is sub-edited or contained in the general objective.

A) Yes, the sum of all the specific objectives would have to give the general objective as a resultSince the latter comprise the steps that must be taken first (and often in a successive or organized way) to reach the top of the ladder.

Examples of general and specific objectives

General and specific objectives
Publishing a novel has several specific objectives, such as writing it and correcting it.

A simple example of general and specific objectives is the publication of a novel. The general objective is that: to write a novel and publish it in a publishing house.

But it encompasses many small steps to follow, many short-term goals to achieve and which will be the specific objectives: write the first chapter, write the second, and so on; then correct the first, correct the second, and so on until the end. And then find a publisher. All of them can be considered specific objectives.

Another simple example is quitting smoking as a general goal. But that happens by smoking one less cigarette each week, then buying half a pack, then buying only the few that are smoked a day and so on until you quit smoking completely. All these previous steps would be specific objectives.

Role of general and specific objectives

Normally, the objectives are raised before taking action or investigation, it is much more convenient to know where we want to go before starting to walk.

In other words, we can only find out which is the best route to success if we first know what the goal we have set ourselves is. That is why setting clear goals is part of any planning in any area.

For example: university research, technology projects, business plans and military strategies always have a goal set in advance. A) Yes, its effectiveness will depend on the method that is most convenient (ie: faster, safer, profitable … depending on the specific area).

Characteristics of the general and specific objectives

general and specific objectives
The general objective is usually long-term compared to the specific ones.

General objectives are easily defined: they are global ones, covering the entirety of a project or task. There may be more than one, of course, in cases where there are high general aspirations.

But usually only one is chosen, which will be the north towards which all efforts will outline separately. The general objective is usually the mission of the companies or the projects, and it is usually long-term.

Instead, specific objectives are usually short-term and circumscribe to concrete conditions, to individual goals. Any general objective can be broken down into a series of specific objectives, which must first be met in order to achieve the totality of the proposed global goal.

Steps to formulate objectives

To formulate objectives, various algorithms can be followed, but a very simple one would be the following:

  • Establish an ideal state of affairs. This means: dreaming. Think positive. Our general objective, the first that we must find, is that future and possible goal that we want, that place where we want to find ourselves and we are willing to strive for it.
  • Specify the general objective. The dream, the ideal vision, must be “translated” into concrete, achievable, measurable objectives, and inserted into a credible time sequence. For example: it is useless to consider losing weight from one day to the next, it is unreal; But if I set my mind to it over six months, I will have time to accomplish my specific goals.
  • Identify obstacles. Once I know where I want to go and how long it will take to get there, it’s time to see what things I will find along the way and how I can prepare for it. My specific objectives will thus be to overcome each of these obstacles, or each of the steps taken on the route that I intend to take.
  • Identify resources and skills. As soon as I know what my obstacles will be, I will be able to know what my strengths, strengths and weaknesses are, and I will be able to plan my specific goals based on them, so that they are as adapted to reality as possible.