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Management by Objectives

It is not easy to manage people. People have different personalities. People differ from each other, so managing a group of people can be quite tricky, which is why looking for alternative management methods can be very helpful. Management by Objectives is a popular method used not only in offices but also in schools and homes. It is a goal-oriented method of directing the people towards one direction. As a team leader, it is your hope to have your people functioning as a cohesive unit. This management strategy will help you achieve what you desire for you and your people.

A Little Background on Management by Objectives

It was Peter Drucker who introduced Management by Objectives. It was during the 1950s, and this man published this method in his book entitled, “The Practice Management”. This, however, did not become a phenomenon until the 1990s, but when it became common practice, the term died a natural death among offices and companies worldwide.

Understanding How It Works

Management by objectives or MBO is not so complicated to understand. It the process of introducing the purpose or goal of a given task or company so that the people who are supposed to be part of the team will know what they are working for. In order for one to understand how important a particular goal is, you have to make them understand the bigger picture. By involving them, you give importance to their role and they will feel that they are instrumental to the fulfillment of these goals. It is based on the belief that passion is the most powerful fuel; and by allowing them to share the same passion you have, you are giving them the opportunity to genuinely care for the purpose, by which the company exists for.

This type of management follows a systematic process that involves:

  • A review of the organizational objectives: Before you could write down brand new goals as a group, it would be smart to revisit the existing and pre-established goals. Most companies will have a written mission and vision statement in their company handbook or website. Take this out and make sure that everyone who is participating in the goal setting activity understands the company’s mission and vision, because the new goals will have to correlate with the core that the company exists for.

  • A dissemination of these said goals to the subordinates: To strengthen your purpose and desire, it is going to be important for you to instill the same values on your people. Once the goals have been set, everyone should be able to hear it and have it explained to them. Every member of the team should understand what he or she is working for. To ensure this, goals should be written well and it should conform to the standards.

  • Encourage participation: You should encourage participation and not force it, because coercing people to take part in something will not bring out desirable results. You want people to be fueled by passion and not anger. You want to them to do it because they want to and not because they fear you. Following this, you should make sure to monitor how well they are doing so you can sufficiently evaluate the work that they have done.

The SMART Objective

In order for the objectives to be attainable, it should be SMART. This acronym stands for:

  • Specific: Do not beat around the bush. Know what you want. You cannot mean one thing and ask for another. Goals should be precise because it can be likened to a destination. Your plan will be your map and if you do not write the exact goal, you might find yourself somewhere else, somewhere you do not really want to be.

  • Measureable: The goal should be measureable so that your success could be quantified, as well. To be able to track your progress and see how well or how badly you are doing, you will need to establish goals that are measurable.
  • Agreed: At times this “a” can become agreeable which means that the goals must not be the goal of just one person in the team but the entire population of the team. There should be a consolidation of goals, so that it could be expected that the group will work as one unit. It should make sense to you just as it would make sense to the rest of the group.

  • Realistic: Goals ought to attainable. You cannot aspire for something that you are physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally incapable of accomplishing. To be able to establish realistic goals, you need to know your team’s overall capacity.

  • Time related: Time is of the essence. It is a sad truth but a lot of people do not value time, as they should. You have to realize that time is of the essence and when you write down your goals it should be measureable by time.

The Benefits of Using Management by Objectives

There are so many management strategies available for you to use. Each one of these strategies promise results that will improve not only the harmony that works in the office but also the productivity and performance of the people. You will choose to employ MBO for a specific purpose. Perhaps you will choose to employ it, to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Clarity of goals: No longer will one have to ask, “What are we doing this, anyway?” because they understand. Sometimes it is hard to function when you do not know what you are working towards, but by defining the objective and underlying its importance, everyone becomes one in attaining it. Where there is clarity there is preciseness, and everyone can work hand in hand, towards one destination.

  • Motivation: When people understand the bigger picture and they begin to embrace it as their own true purpose, it no longer feels like work. It is not easy to get someone moving at a speed you wish for them to perform in, and it is even more difficult to force people to be enthusiastic about something. By letting them in on the bigger picture, you allow them to share the same motivation you have; and if they understand and begin to feel it as their own, you do not have to force them to do anything. They will perform because they are motivated to do well.

  • Better communication: The technique also harnesses better communication and coordination between colleagues and also between the superiors and their subordinates. Communication is very important in a team because it will improve the way they work and function as a whole.

Why Should Matrix Management Be Used?

Although Matrix Management seem like it will just make matters more complicated, the matrices do help an organization greatly. For one, project teams have accessibility to needed resources. With no limits to resources, project teams are able to work better as they can maximize their skills and help one another. This encourages coordination among team members as well as more efficient communication between subordinates and managers. Furthermore, the matrix structure allows balance within the organization. Since there is more efficient communication and better coordination, the project teams will become more productive.

Matrix Management is quite complicated if you look at it closely. Even though it provides a structure that can be easily controlled due to hierarchy of command, there are still some gray areas to it. Some companies can continue with this gray area present while others may breakdown because of it. The right choice of organizational management to use isn’t decided upon overnight. Most often, organizations take years and years before they finally get the right mix of organizational management that they should be using. And yes, it’s not just one type. Managing a company needs the perfect mix of management techniques and methods.

If you have a company that is running several campaigns internally and externally, using this type of management will probably be best for you. If you are able to run the matrices correctly, project teams from different locations, skills and languages can be brought together easily. Thus, a unified coordination of ideas and efforts will be put into effect. Coordination doesn’t only happen vertically but in a linear manner, too.