Setting Goals and Objectives in the Budget Process
Goals help improve the overall effectiveness of budget planning. Objectives are specific steps that are taken to reach goals. Defining goals and objectives to describe what will be financed is critical. Several states have developed plans that include goals and objectives (and results and outcomes) to create and sustain an early childhood system. States use this information to inform their early childhood budgets.
For example, Washington State’s Office of Financial Management implements a management framework that includes the proposed strategies in this guide, described in a slightly different way. The Washington State framework includes the following: plan, allocate, manage, analyze, respond, improve, results. The state has goals that agencies use to develop strategic plans themselves that match the overall state goals. The state agency strategic plan must describe trends in revenue sources, fund balance changes, and identify cost pressures that may affect the financial sustainability of the agency. Agencies are required to use the framework in their day-to-day management and to show results.
 Peterson, S. D., Jaret, P. E., & Schenck, B. F. (2014). Set goals and objectives in your business plan. In Business Plans Kit For Dummies, 4th edition. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Retrieved from http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/set-goals-and-objectives-in-your-business-plan.html.
 Office of Financial Management. (2012). Results through performance management [Web page]. Retrieved from http://www.ofm.wa.gov/performance/default.asp.