The most effective use of time comes from managers’ abilities to establish and detail appropriate and concise objectives. Making things happen that might otherwise go unattained, objectives allow managers to focus on obtaining results.
Many managers waste time by setting and following objectives that are unclear, imprecise or too broad. Objectives are reliable measurement tools for monitoring progress and directional courses of action.
Time is used unproductively when managers’ objectives are incompatible with organizational purposes and direction. Taking charge and authority over time comes from establishing appropriate departmental objectives.
Exerting a direct influence on attitudes and motivation, appropriate objectives direct managers’ efforts toward achieving concrete goals. Appropriate and effective objectives act as factors of success and become sustained positive attitude builders. They generate a consistency of action—which feeds continuous ongoing success—and prevent managers and employees from performing random activities and making ineffective decisions.
Detailed objectives keep managers on track and alert to potential interferences that can be addressed early before they create serious problems. This maintains workplace momentum and keeps productivity at peak levels. Additionally, effective objectives allow managers to concentrate on future opportunities and establish new goals as future needs occur.
Determining sound daily, weekly and monthly objectives and following them takes work and discipline on the part of the manager. In order to advance personal performance and departmental efficiency, managers must continually revisit all short- and long-term objectives.
Managing by objectives carries a positive impact in terms of saving time and increasing results. Managers should establish prioritized objectives to save work and reduce redundancies and frustrations. Objectives should be detailed carefully to assure essential assignments are met on a continual basis in all major areas.
Techniques to help establish time-saving departmental objectives include:
Establish Compatible Objectives
Managers must make certain that all objectives reflect how their own particular departments interrelate with others. Determining interrelated objectives will prevent departments from becoming independent operating units focused on meeting their own particular time schedules, quality standards and procedures. Valuable time and energy can be wasted because of segmented functions and disjointed compatibility.
When departmental incompatibility exists, time and attention is not devoted to organizational problem solving. Managers spend excessive amounts of time dealing with immediate crises and resulting conflict or chaos. Major issues tend to go unresolved and need more time and energy to remedy at a later time. As the need to produce results becomes pressured and forced, departmental cooperation and unity of effort is hindered.
Lay a Solid Groundwork for Defining Departmental Objectives
Objectives need to address departmental functions and purposes within the organization. Before determining departmental objectives managers need to ask themselves, “Why does my department exist?” Next, managers need to ask, “What should this department accomplish from an organizational standpoint?”
To answer these questions, managers must define departmental expectations, agendas, functions, methods and procedures. Managers must make certain that they contribute in a positive way to the effective use of human resources and profitability. To be effective and more time-sensitive, objectives must detail all necessary activities that contribute to overall organizational goals, as well as specific departmental ones.
Define Areas of Responsibility
Managers need to detail areas of departmental responsibility and identify particular key areas both where unnecessary overlaps occur and where overlaps should occur and do not. Within the analysis process, managers must concentrate on identifying areas of activity that play a significant role in achieving results.
Valuable amounts of time can be saved and transformed into bottom-line profit. Objectives must detail necessary lead time for obtaining such things as raw materials, essential components, additional equipment and human resources.
Define Specific Departmental Functions
Managers need to assess departmental functions that are necessary for attaining determined goals and results before formalizing objectives. While addressing specific functions that are necessary for accomplishing their individual departmental missions, they concentrate on planning, organizing, directing and controlling these functions. Departmental objectives should address how each particular function will be performed and why, as well as major areas of performance accountability.
Excerpt: Time & Personal Management (Majorium Business Press, Stevens Point, WI 2011) $ 18.95 USD