Modern Machine Shop

SEP 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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COMPETING IDEAS MMS SEPTEMBER 2018 28 Manufacturing Management Developing Objectives for Your Operation WAYNE S. CHANESKI | COLUMNIST Be SMART, and use these five characteristics to improve your company. In this rapidly changing world, the only way for companies to remain competitive is for man- agers and team leaders to look for ways to improve their oper- ations. If others are getting better and you are staying the same, you are actually falling behind. A tried-and-true method for improvement is establishing meaningful objectives to foster ownership and accountability on all levels of a company. So, how should these meaningful objectives be developed? It starts with an understanding of the fundamentals of an objective. In simple terms, an objective narrowly focuses on achieving a desired outcome. To be meaning- ful, this outcome must include five characteris- tics that can be remembered using the acronym "SMART." A SMART objective is Specific, Measur- able, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. Let's explore these SMART characteristics further. • Specific. The desired outcome must be clear. There should be no ambiguous descriptors, and numbers should be included wherever possi- ble. The following table shows three examples of objectives with varying levels of specificity. Example 3 is the best because it clarifies which lines to target for improvement and the percent- age to improve. Example 1 Example 2 Example 3 Increase Output Increase output on lines 1, 2 & 3 Increase output on lines 1, 2 & 3 by 5% Vague Better Best • Measurable. This provides a means of com- paring results over a period of time. Measures enable us to see if we are on track to achieving a desired outcome. The measures should be easy to obtain (avoiding paralysis by analysis) and accu- rately ref lect actual performance. In last month's column, I discussed two types of measures: lead and lag measures. Ideally, both should be employed for an objective. In this way, you know how you are doing and what you should do in the future to achieve your goals. • Achievable. An objective should be challeng- ing, as this can motivate people, but it must also be within a person's power to achieve. Neither an objective that is too easy nor one that is too hard will lead to significant improvement. If it is too hard, it may actually demotivate some employ- ees. A lack of power to control or influence the outcome leads to a lack of commitment to the objective. • Relevant. An objective must be useful and appropriate to the operation. Achieving relevant

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