Step 2: Establish Goals and Objectives
Stake Out Your Stakeholders!
Seattle―Community Power Works (CPW) engaged more than 40 public, private, and nonprofit partners at the outset, drawing largely from Seattle's vast network of "green" and energy-related efforts. These organizations helped CPW set its goals and objectives so that it focused on areas where CPW could add new value while complementing the efforts of other entities doing related work.
Working with Evaluation Partners
Seattle―Community Power Works (CPW) realized the importance of a comprehensive evaluation and monitoring strategy from the outset and budgeted resources for developing one upfront. To ensure it implemented a successful evaluation strategy, CPW engaged evaluation and monitoring partners from project inception. One of these partners, Washington State University's Extension Energy Program, is involved with energy efficiency projects across Washington State, which allows CPW to compare and contrast a variety of strategies that can be used to meet its program goals and objectives.
Clearly defined goals and objectives will form the basis of your program's design, help communicate the value of your efforts to key audiences, and help you make smart decisions about the strategies and tactics you select for program design.
Goals are statements identifying what you hope to accomplish over the long term. For example:
- Increase the energy efficiency of homes in your community
- Create a qualified workforce of energy professionals.
Keys to successful goal setting include:
- Establishing one overarching goal that articulates program success. (Goals based on specific program components are good to have too.)
- Making sure your goals clearly articulate what success looks like, given your community's context (see Assess the Market).
- Engaging stakeholders early in the process to ensure their buy-in from the very beginning. (Stakeholders may include community leaders, your local utility, financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations, community colleges or vocational schools, and energy consultants).
Objectives are specific and measureable and should tie directly to one or more of your goals. These are meant to act as steps toward goal completion. For example:
- Upgrade 1,000 homes in your community by a certain date.
- Train 100 energy professional by a certain date.
When establishing objectives, be realistic about your expectations; don't aim too high or too low. Objectives may end up changing over time as you refine your program's design.
Measureable objectives help you track progress and results. Measuring your program's progress allows you to identify strategies that are working well or need retooling and provides a guide for efficiently allocating your program's resources.