Too many posts begin with "establish your objectives".
That's simple enough to say. Much harder to do.
We take a slightly different approach. We establish objectives that are one of the following:
1) The biggest win. This is the single greatest thing the community could accomplish for the organisation. What is the ultimate turnaround here? What would it look like?
2) The quickest win. The second is the quickest win. This is far more common. What is the quickest goal a community can achieve for the organisation?
The benefit of both should be obvious. The biggest win is usually the thing most likely to have the biggest, long-term, benefit to the organisation. Retention rates, new business, reduced costs are all good here.
The quickest win is more common. This is something that the community can quickly establish to showcase the benefit of the community internally and to members. It builds momentum and increased collaboration.
For organisations that are fully supportive of the community effort, go for the biggest win. For organisations that aren't fully aligned, go with the quickest win.