Does everyone know what the firm’s (or even their own department’s) goals are? If not, could they find them, read them and digest them within 60 seconds?
Has everyone clearly articulated the 5 or 6 objectives that, if achieved, would help the firm achieve its goals? Are these objectives focused on what really matters, aligned to the firm’s Business Plans & Client Plans?
Are people staying on top of progress, accountable for delivering objectives and sharing their progress throughout the firm, to help identify common goals and opportunities?
Is the year-end appraisal process challenging, contrived and a source of irritation for all, at the most important time of the year?
Designed specifically for Law Firms, ObjectiveManager is a software application which helps organisations improve business performance. It does this by helping people to develop growth focused (and SMART) objectives which are aligned to the firm’s corporate goals. Users are able to document, simply and quickly, their top 5 or 6 key business objectives, categorising them according to the firm’s key strategic objectives and providing context as to why they are important. All descriptions are character limited, encouraging people to be clear and unambiguous about what they will achieve. This helps them focus on what really matters.
Once objectives have been agreed (using a simple approval process), users can use the ‘Task Planner’ to plan out the activities required to achieve their objectives. All this information can be kept private or it can be shared with other people in the organisation. The benefit of sharing objectives is that it helps to identify opportunities for colleagues to work together on common goals. This is useful in multi-layered organisations where there is cross-over between offices, departments, sectors and clients. Greater transparency around business objectives helps identify the greatest opportunities that exist within the business. ObjectiveManager helps facilitate this knowledge sharing. For example, if a Partner wants to quickly know who else is focused on a particular topic (e.g. aerospace opportunities in the Middle East), then the search function enables them to find out that information at the click of a button.
Objectives can also be cascaded and linked to help share ideas and to avoid duplication. Large organisations often find that there are multiple people focused on the same things (clients, sectors etc). With ObjectiveManager it is easier to identify this to bring people together to yield greater results. The system also helps identify areas where there is a lack of focus. For example, if the firm has a key strategic objective to develop a diversity programme it is essential that people in the business have objectives related to this.
During the year, instead of objectives ‘disappearing into the drawer’, everyone can keep on top of progress and share updates with other interested parties in the firm. Objectives can also be marked as 'Achieved' at any point during the year. To help facilitate team-working, the system allows people to follow the progress of others and receive automatic progress updates. The system also allows people to give and receive feedback at any point during the year, rather than waiting until the year-end to seek feedback on their performance or to give useful advice to others.
Finally, at the end of the year, the system takes a ‘snapshot’ of the objectives, progress and feedback, then automatically generates an online performance review form for the individual, their manager and any nominated feedback providers to complete. The firm’s competencies and KPIs can also be incorporated into this review form. This makes the year-end appraisal process very simple, easy to manage and much more effective in identifying the greatest levels of performance within the organisation. It also makes the people’s life easier at what is usually a very busy time. Following the review process, the objectives are simply refreshed (or archived) for the forthcoming period and the process can be quickly started again. The firm is able to monitor completion rates and move the process along quickly and simply.