Use S.M.A.R.T. goals to launch management by objectives plan

Use S.M.A.R.T. goals to launch management by objectives planManagement by Objectives, or MBO, is a management strategy that uses the S.M.A.R.T. goals method–setting objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. This article discusses the first steps toward implementing this management method in your department.

Management by Objectives, or MBO as it is affectionately called, is a concept expressed by Peter Drucker more than 50 years ago. This strategy for managing people, which focuses on managing teams based on their ability to complete individual and team goals, has been used in larger organizations since its inception. Small to midsize organizations, however, can also benefit from adopting this strategy, particularly if you also take on the S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based.) method of implementation.

Making the case for MBO

MBO works because it helps to align the individual efforts of broad teams around the organization’s collective objectives. MBO works in the same way that a laser works. A laser is, at its heart, just light. We have light all around us whether through the light bulbs overhead or the computer screen that we’re reading this article from. However, that light is diffused. It is scattered, going in every direction. As a result it doesn’t cut through the things that it strikes. Similarly, unless the light is very bright and/or extremely focused, it isn’t generally noticeable. Lasers, however, take a relatively small amount of light and focus it into a narrow beam which is very noticeable and at sufficient size can cut metal. Management by Objectives does the same thing.

Organizations today are often diffused light sources with each member of the organization focusing on different, often personal, objectives. So instead of being able to cut through the market and capture more market share, or command higher prices, organizations are lucky to make steady growth.

The MBO process starts with the organization defining its objectives. The process of strategic planning, goal setting, or visioning generates from its process a set of objectives that the organization should strive to achieve. From there it is up to the individual departments to form their objectives, most if not all of which should align and support the organizational objectives. Individual objectives are then established to support the departmental objectives.

To be continued…….