Goals or targets that businesses (and individual departments within the business) strive to achieve, which help to provide direction and a focus for decision making. Objectives are particularly important as a business increases in size because they help to ensure everyone works towards a common goal. They also provide a means of measuring performance and so provide an important means of control. To achieve these benefits, however, objectives should be SMART ie specific, measurable, agreed by the key people involved, realistic and timescaled. The existence of SMART objectives guides the business towards making the best decisions, given a number of choices. Lack of SMART objectives is likely to lead to poor decision making, conflict, and loss of direction and control.