Managing Through Goal Setting

Management by Goal Setting

Unless you know what you want to achieve, there’s no way to measure how close you are to achieving that objective. Goals give you a standard against which to measure your progress.

The goals you set for accomplishing the company’s/department’s mission must be in line with the vision and what your company wants you to do. If what you plan to achieve for your job, department, or team isn’t coordinated with the goals of your organization, you’ll waste your time and energy.

Goals are the foundation of motivational programs. By reaching toward your goals, you become motivated, and by knowing the goals of your team members and helping them reach those goals, you help to motivate them. The process of setting goals takes time, energy, and effort.

Goals aren’t something you scribble on a napkin during a coffee break-you must plan what you truly want to accomplish, establish timetables, determine who will do each action step, brainstorm all the possible obstacles, create a solution for the obstacles, review all of the rewards and consequences of achieving or not achieving the goal, and implement the goal.

Criteria for setting goals.

To ensure that goals can be accomplished, follow these guidelines for setting your goals. Your goals must be


S – Specific

M- Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Realistically High

T – Target Date or Time Bound

Example: Your goal is to save money. This is a hazy goal. You could put one dollar in a jar and that hazy goal would have been accomplished. It does not conform to the above criteria.

Instead your goal could be – Save $100 per month for the next 12 months starting (today’s date) to be complete by(target date). This goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistically high, and has a target date.

Happy Goal Setting!

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.

Adapted from Executive Leadership, RAC, SA, all rights reserved.

Clear the Clutter – Open Your Mind!

Is your desk a disaster area? Desk clutter creates stress, confusion, and cuts down on your productivity. It is estimated that people waste and average of 30 minutes per day searching for papers – that translates into 10 hours per month or a whole 3 weeks per year of unproductive time!

  1. Take everything off your desk and out of your drawers. This is very satisfying as you have a quick win by being able to see your desk in two minutes!
  2. Give your desk a good clean. Make sure you remove all the dirt that has been lurking in those darkened corners.
  3. Get a large, strong bag and start dumping! Put all your papers in one big pile, and start to “divide and conquer.” Remove large items such as catalogues and manuals. Are they out of date? Do you really need them? If the answer is YES, they should go in a filing cabinet. Over 80% of your paper pile can probably be thrown out. The only papers you should keep on your desk are the ones that you are actively working on, so make a file for each topic and keep all the papers together. Anything else should be thrown out or filed for future reference / audit purposes.
  4. Start putting the equipment back on your desk. PC, Printer, telephone, fresh pad of paper and a holder with your pens, pencils, stapler, paperclips etc. Keep only what you use every day – the rest can be put in a drawer or filing cabinet within easy reach. Get rid of everything that doesn’t work, is broken or that you never use. How many pens and pencils do you have on your desk? How many can you use at any one time? If you aren’t sure whether or not something belongs on your desk, ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Do I like this item?
    2. Is this item useful?
    3. Does it belong on my desk?
    4. If the answer is NO, then remove it from your desk.
  5. How many calendars & address books do you have? If possible, you should have just ONE place where you keep your contacts and appointments. It could be on your PC (Outlook, ACT, Goldmine, etc.), personal organizer or a paper-based system. Just use whatever works for you.
  6. Personal items. How many photos, toys, and awards do you have on your desk? Keep them to a minimum as they can be distractions – one or two at most.
  7. The surface of your desk is NOT a storage area. Keep it clear apart from the few things that you use daily.
  8. Always have a waste paper basket by your desk. When printed matter arrives on your desk, ask yourself the following questions: Do I need / want this? Is it too late to action this? Could someone else use this information? Would it change my life if I threw it away? 80% of papers that you file will never be looked at again. Why not throw things away instead of filing them?
  9. A simple filing system:
    1. ACTION – ongoing work should be categorized into topics, with one file per topic to keep papers together.
    2. TODAY – things to work on today
    3. TO FILE – this can be kept under your desk and out of the way. Set aside time to file each week, and only file papers that you really need to keep. Bin the rest.
    4. TO READ – magazines, articles, etc., that you want to read. Set aside time each week to read. If the pile just keeps on getting bigger, set a time limit for keeping these items, and then bin them. If it is important information, you will find the time to read it. (Stop re-cluttering areas that you have already cleared, and you will soon limit the spaces where clutter gathers.)
    5. BIN – before throwing junk mail away, get yourself removed from the mailing list if you no longer need the information.
  10. By now, your desk should be looking pretty empty – good work! That was the easy bit. At the end of every day, give yourself 10 – 15 minutes to tidy your desk. When you come to your clean desk each morning, you will no longer waste time looking for things or rearranging the mess.
Congratulations on clearing your desk!
Don’t forget to give yourself a reward.


Submitted by Chrissie Slade, who can be reached at, or visited on the web at Copyright 1997, 98, 99, by Coach U, all rights reserved.

Improving Project Success

Projects are widely different in nature as they could be anything from R&D, FEED study theoretical projects, to huge international oil and gas projects involving engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning. I take it from the introduction to this topic that we are indeed talking about the latter.

In my humble opinion I do think it is vital that the management of these projects are a good mix of hands on engineers, more academic design engineers and a few “drivers” as well as integrators.

It is further important to build a good personal relationship early (before the official project kick-off). As these projects usually lasts from one to several years it is well worth it. All experience indicates that personal face to face relationship within the different disciplines involved increase the willingness and trust needed for the project members to discuss multidisciplinary problems. Later on in the construction and commissioning phase we can see that most problems arise in the interfaces between the different disciplines (drawings and registers/indexes are not fully correlated) of the project (i.e. electrical and mechanical, piping and rotating machinery, instrument and process are typical such interfaces).

A proper document control including a master document register, document coding and numbering system, a proper document database with revision control, and a good document flow procedure with interdisciplinary checks are all IMPERATIVE to the success of the project progress tracking and quality control.

Further the transitions of the project (From Engineering to Procurement, Procurement to Construction and Construction to Commissioning) are all important to spend a lot of time preparing and executing. This often involves change of people in charge of the various disciplines and this is where you will get a lot of help from those in your project team who have hands on field experience as well as being good practical design engineers. There must always be an overlap so the site team can get all the support they need from the engineering team. This will go on until commissioning is done. These days we often do not get time to finish commissioning at the shipyards, and have to spend some months completing offshore with bad infrastructure for parts logistics and communications like Internet might be very low bandwidth. It is therefore important to have a switched on support team onshore who can receive problems from the commissioning team offshore and provide them with answers.

There are plenty of project theory and fancy models more or less reliable, and I am no expert in this field, but I know the above to be a fact. I see these same problems happen over and over again, so this is what I feel I would like to share with the group, which might not have been mentioned all too often elsewhere. There are of course plenty more elements to juggle and all to keep the project on time, within budget and with the right quality.

Posted by Erik Strand