Archivist Handbook

Appendix B: Writing Goals and Objectives

Archivists determine their goals and objectives for the upcoming year based on their major areas of responsibility. The current job description and ongoing projects should be used to determine responsibilities. Each major area of responsibility should have at least one goal. Goals are written definitions of what you expect to accomplish within a given time period. A goal is not what you do, but the result you want to achieve. Objectives are more specific and have measurable outcomes. Objectives are the steps needed to achieve the goal.

The Anatomy of a Goal:

Goal Statement

What do I hope to accomplish?

Action Plan

What do I need to do?

What steps must I take and what is my timeline?

Performance Measure

How good is “good enough”?

How will I know that I have achieved this goal?

Goals should be SMARTSpecific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-limited


Vague goal:

“I want to improve the way we keep reference statistics.”

 Better goal:

“Develop a new system for tracking reference queries and implement by the start of the calendar year.”

Objectives for this goal:

Determine which statistics related to reference are necessary to maintain

Design and test a tracking database

Write up instructions and conduct training at a team meeting

Follow up with staff to determine if any problems

Back to the Archivist Handbook