The elements of management are those functions performed by Managers in organizations in achieving the organizational goals. These functions are:
Planning is the process of establishing objectives and suitable courses of action before taking action. Planning is the basic process we use to select our goals and determine how to achieve them. Planning is deciding in advance: What to do, How to do it, When to do it, and Who should do it.
Types Of Planning
There are three main types of planning: These are:
1. Short-term Planning: Plan is usually for six months to one year and not exceeding 12 months. This type of plan may just be to maintain the current operations level e.g. To increase the level of business.
2. Medium Term Planning This type of plan runs for five or less years. This plan enables the business organization to remain and continue in business while projecting into the future.
3. Strategic/Long Term Planning: This plane ranges from 10 to 15 years. The planning is for business growth, expansion and development.
The Four Basic Steps In Planning
1. Establish a clear cut goal/set of goals.
2. Define the present situation.
3. Identify Aids and Barriers
4. Develop a course of Action: Develop various alternative courses of action. Evaluate these alternatives, and choose the most suitable (or the most satisfactory) alternative.
Why Planning System Fail
1. Lack of commitment
2. Other personal deficiencies e.g. Resistance to change, relutance to delegate, a failure to recognize the total scope and all-encompassing nature of the planning function and system.
3. Operational defieciencies e.g. A failure to establish meaningful objectives and policies; confusion between the preliminary study stages of planning and operational plans, over-reliance on past experience or hunch, insufficient qualification, poor and inflexible control techniques.
4. A Hostile Environment e.g refers a period of raid change requiring constant planning adjustments without it ever being possible to achieve identifiable results.
Supervising is an element of control. Supervision is overseeing of work according to set standards and allowable variances. The amount of supervision depends upon the subordinates, the supervisor, and the work environment.
The skill of the manager is also important. The amount of supervision can be reduced if the manager knows his job well and can give clear and precise instructions to subordinates.
Supervision requires face to face contact and personal observation and must also include “human relations”. The manager must be tactful and employ supervisory approach that is conducive to a positive response from his subordinates.
Characteristics Of Effective Supervision
1. Achieving Cooperation
3. Making decisions
6. Understanding others
Coordination involves the harnessing of efforts of all the elements concerned in achieving an objective. It might be termed “organization in time” because proper timing is the essence of effective coordination. It is generally agreed that, coordination is “the orderly arrangement of group efforts to provide unity of action in the pursuit of common purpose”.
The Starting Point Of Coordination is at the planning stage of any project.
Requirements For Effective Coordination
Coordination requires the full co-operation of all those who are participating in the pursuit of the given objectives.
It requires good commuication at all levels, both vertically and horizontally.
It requires the installation of control of mechanisms to indicate where failure is likely to occur.
Mechanism For Co-ordination There are four main techniques for co-ordinating the activities of an organization:
1. The Managerial Hierarchy: Coordination at this level involves policy formulation by higher authority. It is a traditional way of solving conflict by the use of the organization’s chain of command, as matters are referred to the next higher officer in charge to take disposal action.
2. Inter-departmental Commission: Communication between managers in different departments is an integral part of the organization’s life. When the communication is horizontal i.e. between managers on the same level rather than vertically as part of the chain of command, it can be effective aid to coordination e.g. Sale Department coordinating sales objectives wih the production department.
3. Committees: Inter-department coordination may be carried out on a more orderly basis through formal and informal meetings of committees.
4. Liaison individuals: Liaison persons help managers achieve more effective coordination of their organization’s activities. They provide the means of communication between departments and help clarify the specific roles each must play in meeting organizational goal.
Control involves identifying and assessing progress toward the achievement of results and planned objectives.
The Essence of Control is:
1. The setting of performance targets
2. The measurement of actual performance
3. The correction of any deviations from the targets.
The implication is that control is not an end in itself; rather it is a means of ensuring that the end (the organization’s objectives) is attained.
Steps In Control
1. Setting or agreeing on objectives.
2. Translating those objectives into plans (At organization-wide basis, At Departmental group, At individual basis).
3. Communicating these plans to all concerned.
4. Measuring performance.
5. Comparing actual performance with planned performance.
6. Notifying any deviation.
7. Identifying the reasons for the deviation.
8. Taking corrective action.
1. Use of work study to establish best practices and eliminate westage.
2. Organization and method (O+M) to standardize procedures.
3. Internal audit and internal random checking.
4. Inspection department or quality control units to maintain quality.
5. Set targets e.g. Sales target.
The Areas Of Managerial Control
3. Physical Resources
4. Overall Activity
5. Research And Development
6. Organizational Structure
The Following Are Signs Of Ineffective Control
1. Problems or unfavourable shortfalls are discovered too late to be corrected.
2. Subordinates direct their energy toward circumventing control measures.
3. General indiscipline.
4. Frequent absenteeism from work.
5. Results are not achieved on time.
Consequently, an effective control should:
1. Be related directly to the important objectives or goals to be achieved.
2. React to factors that need to be changed.
3. Be timely
4. Be efficient
5. Lead to correct actions.
Directing is the stimulation and motivation or organization personnel to undertake prescribed action according to pre-determined objectives or plans.
It is concerned with issuing orders and also creating a climate in which these orders are readily accepted and executed by the personnel.
Motivation is anchored on the backdrop that “All persons in an organization are potential sources of innovation and talent.” Motivation is a process of creating organizational conditions that will cause employees to strive for superior performance toward the achievement of the set objective.
In order to motivate people, managers must understand what people’s needs are. That is, what makes them thick. Managers can motivate workers by:
1. Pursuing sensible personnel policies, staff welfare, company car, good salary, holidays etc.
2. Giving a measure of personal control over work, mutual trust and respect between staff and management.
3. Allowing a measure of initiative to be used i.e. praise and encouragement should be given where justified.
4. Encouraging staff to identify themselves positively with the organization i.e. by their participation in informal talks or by setting up a formal joint consultative committees or management and staff representatives.
5. Establishing working practices that seek to provide job satisfaction by increasing job content or by extending the range of operations that a worker performs i.e. by job enlargement.