Goals in my organisational context

The organisation I currently work with has clearly articulated superordinate goals that are set at organisational level, and also at department level. These are clearly articulated to employees via internal marketing channels such as the company intranet, and other promotional mechanisms such as branded leaflets, mouse mats, stress-balls, etc. which are themed with the superordinate goal currently being promoted.

Organisational-level superordinate goals are decided by the board and general management team, who then cascade them down to departmental heads who set their own department-level superordinate goals that are in line with the organisational-level ones.

These superordinate goals are then translated into SMART goals by managers within departments who are responsible for ensuring their SMART goals are aligned with the department’s superordinate goal, and also the superordinate goals of the organisation. SMART goals are set using project plans, budgets, and targets.

The SMART goals that motivate me are programme-level project plans, milestones, and budgets that I must meet during my day-to-day project management work. These are all highly specific, measurable, relevant, and have a time-frame. However, they are not always achievable! Unachievable goals are often set, and these almost certainly affect morale and motivation.

The aims I seek to realise through my involvement in the organisation are to build my reputation and further my career as a freelance interim manager who is reliable, dependable, and effective in delivering project on-time and within budget.

My aims are probably quite different from other parts of the organisation because they are heavily project-oriented. Compared with a call centre manager for instance, whose goals may be very much daily, weekly, or monthly target oriented, based on the number of calls answered, number of calls resolved, number abandoned, number unanswered, etc.

There is almost certainly a link between the management of aims and the organisation’s success, although the way some goals are managed could be contributing to difficulties and problem areas within the organisation.

At the moment, I can’t think of any other factors that are more important than effectively setting and managing goals. However, I am aware that goal setting can be problematic.

Professional Certificate in Management vs. other OU courses

I feel the need to say a few words about my transition from the Professional Certificate in Management (which comprised of B628, B629 and B690, my first ever OU modules) to other courses.

The most striking difference is the degree of structure and organisation. B628 and B629 were highly structured courses, with clear weekly instructions on exactly what you need read, what activities you need to complete. As such, they were very easy courses to follow, and I personally never felt lost or confused.

My current courses, B121 and B325 are totally different. Much less structured, less organised. There is still a weekly roadmap that covers course material and activities, but the course readers provided (such as Organisational Collaboration and Managing to Collaborate from B325), are very much stand-alone texts that are provided for background material and additional reading where required.

It strikes me that what to read and the depth of study beyond the basic course material is very much left to the student’s discretion.

I need to get to grips with this new way of studying!

B690 exam day

It seems a long time since I received the case study for my B690 exam, even though it was only two weeks ago. I feel as if I’ve been preparing for so long.

Finally the day came around! Today was the exam day for B690.

I didn’t find the exam too difficult. In fact, the hardest part was writing by hand non-stop for almost three hours.

Also, my lucky pen ran out half way through! I couldn’t believe it after all the warnings I’d received about this happening. Fortunately I had a couple of spares to fall back on. 🙂

So that’s it. The end of the Professional Certificate in Management. Now it’s the long wait for the results.

B325 Learning log

Reading through the Getting Started guide for B625 (Managing across organisational and cultural boundaries), I’ve discovered an interesting requirement for the course: the need to maintain a ‘learning log’.

According to the guide, it doesn’t matter what format the log takes, as long as it is accessible throughout the duration of the course.

This sounds like an excellent opportunity to stick with my online learning diary!

B629 EMA Done

Last night I completed my EMA for B629, which means the course is now over. I just submitted it through the eTMA system, and now have the long wait to endure while it’s marked.

This is something of a milestone, because it means there is now no more coursework to be done in my quest to obtain the Professional Certificate in Management. There is only the exam left now, for which I have the next six weeks to revise and prepare.

Revision isn’t really the correct term, because it’s not like a history exam where you have to remember dates or names. Prior to the exam the exam case study is made available to us so we have plenty of time to work out the problem, and analyse it in terms of course concepts.

However, I am going to ‘revise’ because I think the Professional Certificate in Management contains some truly great material that has helped me enormously as a manager. I’ve probably forgotten lots of it – particular from B628 which seems a long time ago now – so now is my change to get freshened up on everything again.

I’m planning to use this blog to help me make notes for revision, and also help me recognise which of the key course concepts have been most useful to me over the last year.