Objectives: Are You Doin’ It Right?

March 10, 2009

A great conversation at Julien Dionne’s Leapcomp  regarding performance measurement via objectives.

The post is discussing Management by Objectives, or MBO.

One commenter asked if these type of objectives can truly be used in all roles in your organization, or just sales.

The answer is that if you have true, measurable corporate goals, all roles in your organization can use these objectives.

Where too many organizations fail, (not just SME’s) is lack of;

 …define SMART objectives; objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-related

An organizational goal of be the best or other vague platitudes won’t do it.

A Perfect Example

Pop on over to Bill Flagg of RegOnline  for an example of clear and explicit corporate goals.

 Some examples:

Marketing: #1 on Google for 3 new keywords

Support: 100 unsolicited “WOW” remarks from clients about our level of service

Sales: increase our conversion rate off of live demos by 20%

Development: reduce the number of reported bugs by 30%

Accounting: reduce the number of billing-related support calls by 20%

HR: produce a recruitment video

Visit the post to see the background background of these goals

Regardless of your industry, goals like Bill developed at RegOnline can very easily drive measurable performance for everyone in the Organization.

Think about it in the context of myself being in IT – Both strategically and operationally

As a Business technology manager, strategically, I can look at those goals and immediately recommend which projects on the IT ‘Wish List’ that would assist in any one of those areas. If a project does not fit – Good Bye.

And even operationally, I can ensure that my IT staff support them. For example, there are always competing demands for time and resources – but when HR needs help with video, or streaming to support that video – guess what – I know explicitly what the priority is.

The SMB Takeaway

Yes, you need long term visions of where you want your business to be.

But don’t neglect execution, the near and medium term directly measurable activities that are the building blocks that will get you there.

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