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How to implement Management by Objectives

A Step by Step Guide to Implementing MBO

How to implement Management by ObjectivesMany authorities on business management identify five functions of management: planning, organizing, directing, controlling, and coordinating.

The planning and controlling functions often get less attention from owner-managers of businesses than they should. One way to strengthen both of these functions is through effective goal setting.

Long range goals for sales, profits, competitive position, development of people, and industrial relations must be established. Then, goals are set for the current year which will lead towards the accomplishment of the long range goals.

This guide presents Management by Objectives to the owner-manager of a company for use in this type of planning and goal setting. MBO includes goal setting by all managers down to the first level of supervision. Their goals are tied to those of the company.
This guide will walk you step by step through all the essential phases of Implementing a results driven Management by Objectives program.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. What Business Am I In?
3. The Complete MBO Program
4. Goal Setting
5. The Miniature Work Plan
6. Kinds of Goals
7. Progress Reports

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Sample Content

Many authorities on business management identify five functions of management:
planning,
organizing,
directing,
controlling, and
coordinating.
The planning and controlling functions often get less attention from owner-managers of businesses than they should. One way to strengthen both of these functions is through effective goal setting.
Long range goals for sales, profits, competitive position, development of people, and industrial relations must be established. Then, goals are set for the current year which will lead towards the accomplishment of the long range goals.
This Guide presents Management by Objectives to the owner-manager of a company for use in this type of planning and goal setting. MBO includes goal setting by all managers down to the first level of supervision. Their goals are tied to those of the company.
Traditionally, people have worked according to job descriptions that list the activities of the job. The Management by Objectives (MBO) approach, on the other hand, stresses results.
Let's look at an example. Suppose that you have a credit manager and that his or her job description simply says that the credit manager supervises the credit operations of the company. The activities of the credit manager are then listed. Under MBO, the credit manager could have five or six goals covering important aspects of the work. One goal might be to increase credit sales enough to support a 15 percent increase in sales.
The traditional job description for a personnel specialist might include language about conducting the recruiting program for your company. Under MBO, the specialist's work might be covered in five or six goals - one which could be "recruit five new employees in specified categories by July 1."
Thus, MBO looks for results, not activities. With MBO, you view the job in terms of what it should achieve. Activity is never the essential element. It is merely an intermediate step leading to the desired result.

What Business Am I In?

In making long range plans, the first question you ought to think about is "what business am I in?" Is the definition you have of your business is right for today's market?
Are there emerging customer needs that will require a changed definition of your business next year?
For example, one owner-manager's business was making metal trash cans. When sales began to fall off, the owner was forced to reexamine the business. To regain lost sales and continue to grow the owner redefined the product as metal containers and developed a marketing plan for that product.
How you view your business will provide the framework for your planning with respect to markets, product development, buildings and equipment, financial needs, and staff size.
Your long range objectives for your business will be the cornerstone in the MBO program for your company. At a minimum, they must be clearly communicated to your managers; however, for a truly vital program your managers should have a part in formulating these long range goals. Your managers will base their short range goals on these objectives. If they have had a role in establishing the long range objectives, they will be more committed to achieving them.

The Complete MBO Program
Management by Objectives may be used in all kinds of organizations. But not everyone has had the same degree of success in using this concept. From examining those MBO programs that failed, it is clear that the programs were incomplete.
The minimum requirements for an MBO program are:
Each manager's job includes five to ten goals expressed in specific, measurable terms.
Each manager reporting to you proposes his or her goals to you in writing. When you both agree on each goal, a final written statement of the goal is prepared.
Each goal consists of the statement of the goal, how it will be measured, and the work steps necessary to complete it.
Results are systematically determine at regular intervals (at least quarterly) and compared with the goals.
When progress towards goals is not in accordance with your plans, problems are identified and corrective action is taken.
Goals at each level of management are related to the level above and the level below.

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