Management by Planning Should Replace Management by Objectives

Management by Objectives, SMART
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Daniel Strongin
Business Consultant, United States

Management by Planning Should Replace Management by Objectives

2 of the most respected men in management theory, Drucker and Deming, disagreed over MBO. Deming proposed that MBO did not take into account the scientific difference in variation of results caused by assignable causes, and those natural to the system: confusing them makes things worse.
Most variation can only be changed by changing the system, and the fear generated by goals that are not attainable, leads to negative side effects. In fact, Dr. Drucker, later in life, said that that the failure of MBO to achieve its promise was due to "implementation."
Why implement a flawed hypothesis? "MBP", Management By Planning, being pro-active, is based on understanding and reducing variation, and not specific outcomes. It takes into account all stakeholders. Consider Colgate and Ford under Mullaly: accounting for the system works.
SMARTmay make managers feel smart, smarter would be systemic planning.

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