The idea behind MBO is extremely simple: If you don’t know where you’re going, you will not get there. Or, as an old saying puts it « You don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. »
A successful MBO system needs only to answer two questions
1-Where do I want to go? ( The answer provides the objective )
2-how will I pace myself to see if I’m getting there? (The answer provide milestones or key results)
An MBO system should set objectives for a relatively short period. For example, if we plan on a yearly basis, the corresponding MBO system’s time frame should be at least as often as quarterly or perhaps even monthly.
The one thing an MBO system should provide par excellence is focus. This can only happen if we keep the number of objectives small. In practice, this is rare, we fall victim to our inability to say “no”- in this case, to too many objectives. We must realize that if we try to focus on everything, we focus on nothing. A few extremely well-chosen objectives impart a clear message about what we say “yes” to and what we say “no” to – Which is what we must have if an MBO system is to work.
Objectives and Key results (OKR)
OKR are by far my preferred MBO method.