Management by objectives (MBO) is a systematic and organized approach that allows management to focus on achievable goals and to attain the best possible results from available resources. It aims to increase organizational performance by aligning goals and subordinate objectives throughout the organization. Ideally, employees get strong input to identify their objectives, time lines for completion, etc. MBO includes ongoing tracking and feedback in the process to reach objectives.Management by Objectives (MBO) was first outlined by Peter Drucker in 1954 in his book ‘The Practice of Management’. In the 90s, Peter Drucker himself decreased the significance of this organization management method, when he said: “It’s just another tool. It is not the great cure for management inefficiency… Management by Objectives works if you know the objectives, 90% of the time you don’t.” Core ConceptsAccording to Drucker managers should “avoid the activity trap”, getting so involved in their day to day activities that they forget their main purpose or objective.
Instead of just a few top managers, all managers should: * participate in the strategic planning process, in order to improve the implementability of the plan, and * implement a range of performance systems, designed to help the organization stay on the right track.Managerial FocusMBO managers focus on the result, not the activity. They delegate tasks by “negotiating a contract of goals” with their subordinates without dictating a detailed roadmap for implementation. Management by Objectives (MBO) is about setting yourself objectives and then breaking these down into more specific goals or key results. Main PrincipleThe principle behind Management by Objectives (MBO) is to make sure that everybody within the organization has a clear understanding of the aims, or objectives, of that organization, as well as awareness of their own roles and responsibilities in achieving those aims. The complete MBO system is to get managers and empowered employees acting to implement and achieve their plans, which automatically achieve those of the organization.
Where to Use MBOThe MBO style is appropriate for knowledge-based enterprises when your staff is competent. It is appropriate in situations where you wish to build employees’ management and self-leadership skills and tap their creativity, tacit knowledge and initiative. Inspiring CultureManagement by Objectives (MBO) is also used by chief executives of multinational corporations (MNCs) for their country managers abroad. Case in Point MBO in Action at IntelA Manager’s Guide at Intel provides the following directions. 1. Start with a few well-chosen overriding objectives. 2. Set your subordinates objectives that fit in with your overriding objectives. 3. Allow your subordinates to set their own key results to enable them to meet their objectives.Innovation Management Policies for Large CorporationsBy: Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft * Prevent competing missions or objectives… MoreThe Jazz of Innovation: 11 Practice TipsSetting ObjectivesIn Management by Objectives (MBO) systems, objectives are written down for each level of the organization, and individuals are given specific aims and targets. “The principle behind this is to ensure that people know what the organization is trying to achieve, what their part of the organization must do to meet those aims, and how, as individuals, they are expected to help. This presupposes that organization’s programs and methods have been fully considered. If they have not, start by constructing team objectives and ask team members to share in the process.
“6”The one thing an MBO system should provide is focus”, says Andy Grove who ardently practiced MBO at Intel. So, have your objectives precise and keep their number small. Most people disobey this rule, try to focus on everything, and end up with no focus at all.For Management by Objectives (MBO) to be effective, individual managers must understand the specific objectives of their job and how those objectives fit in with the overall company objectives set by the board of directors. “A manager’s job should be based on a task to be performed in order to attain the company’s objectives… the manager should be directed and controlled by the objectives of performance rather than by his boss.”1The managers of the various units or sub-units, or sections of an organization should know not only the objectives of their unit but should also actively participate in setting these objectives and make responsibility for them.The review mechanism enables leaders to measure the performance of their managers, especially in the key result areas: marketing; innovation; human organization; financial resources; physical resources; productivity; social responsibility; and profit requirements.
However, in recent years opinion has moved away from the idea of placing managers into a formal, rigid system of objectives. Today, when maximum flexibility is essential, achieving the objective rightly is more important.Balance between Management and Employee EmpowermentThe balance between management and employee empowerment has to be struck, not by thinkers, but by practicing managers. Turning their aims into successful actions, forces managers to master five basic operations: * setting objectives, * organizing the group, * motivating and communicating, * measuring performance, and * developing people, including yourself.These Management by Objectives (MBO) operations are all compatible with empowerment, if you follow the main principle of decentralization: telling people what is to be done, but letting them achieve it their own way.
To make the principle work well, people need to be able to develop personally. Further, different people have different hierarchy of needs and, thus, need to be managed differently if they are to perform well and achieve their potential.Empowerment recognizes “the demise” of the command-and-control system, but remains a term of power and rank. A manager should view members of his or her team much as a conductor regards the players in the orchestra, as individuals whose particular skills contribute to the success of the enterprise. While people are still subordinates, the superior is increasingly dependent on the subordinates for getting results in their area of responsibility, where they have the requisite knowledge. In turn, these subordinates depend on their superior for direction and “above all, to define what the ‘score’ if for the entire organization, that is, what are standards and values, performance and results.”Leadership-Management SynergyTo maximize your long-term success you should strive to be both a manager and a leader and to synergize their functions.
Merely possessing management skills is no longer sufficient for success as an executive in today’s business world. You need to understand the differences between managing and leading and know how to integrate the two roles to achieve organizational success… More29 Obstacles To Innovation * Micromanagement | * Ensure that highly qualified people do mundane work for long periods… MoreIndividual ResponsibilityManagement by Objectives (MBO) creates a link between top manager’s strategic thinking and the strategy’s implementation lower down. Responsibility for objectives is passed from the organization to its individual members. It is especially important for knowledge-based organizations where all members have to be able to control their own work by feeding back from their results to their objectives.Management by objectives is achieved through self-control, the tool of effectiveness. Today the worker is a self-manager, whose decisions are of decisive importance for results.In such an organization, management has to ask each employee three questions: 1. What should we hold you accountable for? 2. What information do you need?
3. What information do you owe the rest of us?Deming’s 14 Point’s Plan for Total Quality ManagementPoint 12: Remove the barriers that rob hourly workers, and people in management, of their right to pride of workmanship. This implies, abolition of the annual merit rating (appraisal of performance) and of management by objectives… More Case in Point Canon Production System (CPS)The Canon Production System (CPS) includes: * Management by objectives at all levels of the hierarchy… MoreManaging for ResultsThe only place where meaningful management results can be won is the outside world. Managing for results is expansion of Management by Objectives (MBO) into the marketplace. It is the theory and practice of how to produce results on the outside, in the market and economy.To achieve results, you should develop a solid, sound, customer-focused, and entrepreneurial strategy, aimed at market leadership, based on innovation, and tightly focused on decisive opportunities…
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