Goals & Objectives - Aviation SMS Software Modules for Airlines & Airports

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Managing Mission Goals & Objectives in Your Safety Program

Safety Goals and Objectives

Introduction to Safety Goals and Objectives

Safety Goals and Objectives inspire teamwork and communicate important milestones to the organization.

Collaborations among organizational members need goals and objectives in order to be effective. Clear, motivating goals provide collaboration members with a sense of opportunity, challenge and consequence, and give the collaboration a sense of purpose.

In essence, goals and objectives allow members to understand and participate in what the collaboration is doing. They are most effective when written down and agreed upon. Furthermore, everyone in the organization must know what these goals and objectives seek to achieve.

The Goals & Objectives module places company goals and objectives within the reach of everyone. Furthermore, users can see real-time progress toward achieving company objectives.

Why Set Safety Goals & Objectives Using SMS Pro

Key safety goals and objectives reviewed regularly are very important for successfully implementing aviation safety management systems. Your safety objectives are the small steps you take toward achieving your goals, i.e., the successful aviation SMS program.  Safety goals define what your airline, airport, MRO, FBO or flight school hopes to accomplish by implementing the aviation safety management system (SMS).

Safety objectives are the smaller steps the organization hopes to accomplish while striving to accomplish its safety goals.  Safety goals and objectives should be published in a public, easily accessible location so all employees understand what your company is attempting to accomplish by taking all this time and energy implementing the aviation SMS program.

Setting goals and objectives is not a "do it once and forget it" exercise. You should always be mindful of identifying goals and objectives that will help identify hazards and discover solutions to mitigate, transfer or control the associated risk. While you may be mindful of these safety goals and objectives that are tied to your aviation SMS program, another task safety managers have is to continually keep these safety goals and objectives at the forefront of the employees and stakeholders.

Using sound risk management strategies will help safety managers determine where the most salient hazards exist. Hazard identification, risk mitigation or control and communicating these hazards and risk to the organization is tied closely to your goals and objectives.

SMS Pro™ facilitates the process to define your collaborative goals and objectives with solid principles of effective goal setting.

With the Goals and Objectives module, you can determine your goals for how you will achieve the ultimate result of your collaboration (your mission). For example, if your mission is "to improve safety to areas of your business", a goal may be to "train company employees on safety processes."

Develop goals/standards for how your collaboration will work. Include goals related to collaborative communication, hazard management, negotiation, meetings, leadership and relationships. For example, a goal related to communication may be to 'maintain monthly newsletters', and a goal related to hazard management may be to 'promptly resolve' reported issues and learn from the experience to prevent future situations."

Related Articles on Goals and Objectives in Aviation SMS

What Is the Difference between Goals and Objectives

People often use the words goals and objectives interchangeably. In the context of SMS goal setting, the difference between goals and objectives has an important practical meaning.

Goal Definition: Desired end result. Goals typically are not measurable but usually supported by one or more measurable "objectives".

Objectives Definition: Specific and measurable targets for accomplishing goals.

Rationale:After companies set important goals, they next move to setting objectives. Objectives are also goals, but they are down the hierarchy. They are sub goals set with the only purpose to serve your goals.

Goals must follow company-wide guidance. Objectives can be set at either the company or division level and should support company goals.

At the top of the page, we see company-wide goals that have been agreed upon by management. Safety Managers and SMS Admins will see an "Edit Goals and Objectives" link in the upper right. This link allows users with permissions to manage the goals and objectives easily.

SMS Pro provides two types of objectives:

  • Auto-track (real-time data from the database)
  • Manually tracked (not supported by database)

AutoTrack Objectives are tracked automatically in SMS Pro's database. All you need to do is use SMS Pro and these values are calculated automatically for you. No extensive research or report writing is needed.

Values in the Latest Stats column are live data, retrieved from a configured "Start Date" minus the "Objective's Set" duration period. If an objective set's start date was 9/1/2010 and the selected duration was set to "Semi-annual", the Latest Stats would be retrieved from 3/1/2010 to 9/1/2010. 

Manually Tracked Objectives can not be tracked automatically in SMS Pro's database.

One easily creates any type of objective imaginable with this utility by providing:

  • An objective statement
  • Starting Value
  • An Objective (Goal) Value
  • Unit of Measure (dollars, percent, number of lost time injuries)

Periodically, managers must return to this module to update the progress. Enter the Current value. This allows the entire organization to see how they are performing in regard to respective Manually Tracked Objectives.

Later, these values can be incorporated into custom reports by NorthWest Data Solutions.

Focusing on Key Performance Indicators with Goals and Objectives

Key performance indicators, also sometimes called key safety performance indicators have advantages and disadvantages when using them as a data source for setting goals and objectives. The following table provides a definition of key performance indicators (safety performance indicators) and some of the advantages and disadvantages of relying upon their data.

Key Safety Performance Indicators Definition and Uses

Key Safety Performance Indicators

  • Measures of safety performance, example: reportable incidents; number of audit findings; loss time injuries etc.
  • Key performance indicators regarding safety culture, example: number of CEO safety visits; number of safety meetings and attendance levels; safety observations made; near misses reported etc.
  • Measures of responsiveness, example: number of days to close reported issues; number of days to start investigations on reported issues;
  • Selected leading indicators are used for monitoring key inputs that enhance safety culture, example: number of safety meetings, safety tours, safety observations.
  • Actual safety performance may miss lagging indicators (example: Lost Time Injuries, etc.).
  • Key safety performance indicators provide insights into the current safety culture at the 30,000-foot level.
  • Selected combinations of indicators are often useful to monitoring organizational safety culture.
  • Key safety performance indicators can be useful when reviewed during safety related investigations.
  • Key safety performance numbers may be misleading.
  • Numbers don't accurately reflect underlying employee attitudes.
  • Unable to identify hazards, risks, control measures from simply reviewing key safety performance numbers.
  • Numbers are just numbers. No clues provided on areas to improve on unless reviewer is familiar with organization.
How to use Key Safety Performance Indicators
  • Should be a key part of the overall safety performance monitoring program that includes review of goals and objectives.
  • Useful for prompting further investigations and/or actions, such as safety promotion activities

Goals & Objectives PowerPoint Presentation

More Information

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