Should Sub-Committees present a unanimous face?

A Sub Committee at work.

1 A seven-person Committee spent many hours on a problem. They laboured to agree on the solution. After a while, Alan put forward an idea. Eventually five of the Committee agreed to a modified version of his idea.

2 However Charlie and Dorothy did not agree. Thus, the Committee spent more time discussing the problem.

3 Eventually Dorothy said: “We cannot go on discussing this matter forever. I have some doubts about the decision but, having listened to all your views, I do not feel sufficiently strongly to oppose the decision.

4 Thus six people agreed.  However, Charlie maintained his strong opposition.

5 Frank (the Chairman of the Sub-Committee) said – “I doubt if the Committee can come to a unanimous agreement no matter how much time we spend.”

6 Charlie agreed with this viewpoint.

7 Bertha then said – “Charlie, will you agree so we can present a unanimous recommendation to the General Committee?”

8 Charlie enjoyed working with the group and wanted to continue to have good relationships with its Members. Further, he hoped that if he agreed, some of the Committee might agree to support a point he wanted to put forward.

9 In addition he did not want to offend the Chairman of the Sub-Committee.

10 Thus, after some further discussion, he allowed the rest of the group to persuade him to present a united front to the General Committee.

11 The Sub-Committee reported to the General Committee. The Chairman announced the Group’s recommendation and said – “We make this recommendation unanimously.”

Some Implications

12 Readers should consider how often larger groups ask a smaller group to recommend on an issue and the smaller group report a unanimous decision. If it occurs – does that approach help, hinder, or prove of little importance to the overall group to which the smaller group belongs?

How often does a Group only appear Unanimous?

13 The very nature of the approach described above tends to hide whether real unanimity exists. Some Members of the larger group will not worry about the situation. If they have little or no interest in the matter on which the Sub-Group has worked, they will not care. If they want to maintain a good relationship with one or more of the Sub Group, they will not even ask, or want to consider, if all the Sub Group really agreed.

14 Some or all Members of the Sub-Group will believe that they should not disclose the process to their overall (larger) group. If a Member of the larger Group hints at a lack of unanimity or asks whether all Sub-Group Members agreed, the Sub-Group Members will tend to deny the possibility.

15 Further, some Members of the larger (overall) Group will frown on anyone who challenges the system or states disagreement with the Sub Group’s recommendation. Others call that person disloyal.

16 One might ask disloyal to whom – the (larger) overall Group, the small Group, or the person?

17 For all these reasons, people tend to hide the times when unanimous decisions do not exist. Therefore, it proves difficult to know how often it occurs.

What Effect does the Process have?

18 Readers should ask whether they accept the principle – the more accurate information people have, the better decisions they will make. If so, should the larger group make its decisions on inaccurate information; i.e. should they know that some Members of the Sub-Group do not agree with the recommendation.

19 The very fact of a unanimous Sub-Group tends to make it more difficult for others to oppose the recommendation of the Sub- Committee. If two or three Members of the larger Group do not feel happy with the recommendation of the Sub-Group, will they tend to do nothing if they face a unanimous Sub-Group? If they knew that one or two people have doubts or even opposed the recommendation would they do more? Would the fact that they voice their concern encourage others to examine the recommendation in more detail and/or voice some of their concerns?

20 Work done by Psychologists (e.g. Asche) suggests that people experience quite a lot of pressure to conform to the views of the group.

21 Asche asked a group of (about) twelve people to select the longer of two lines. Although similar in length, Line A measured, and looked, longer than Line B. He asked each individual to select the longer line. By arrangement, each of the first eleven people chose Line B. The experiment aimed to measure the effect on the last person asked (the subject of the experiment). About seven out of every ten subjects will agree with the group in this situation. The experiment demonstrated the effect of group conformity.

22 However Asche found that, if just one other person chose the longer line before asking the last person (the subject) the number of seven subjects out of every ten who conformed to the group pressure decreased to three subjects out of every ten.

23 Probably these findings also apply in the situation described in the introduction. Thus, the pressure of group conformity encourages people to agree with the findings of the Sub-Group even if they disagree with them.

24 The same group conformity pressure would operate within the discussions of the Sub-Committee and affect some of the Sub- Committee Members.

25 Another pressure exists in some groups. People say that the larger Group should support the views of the Sub-Group’. This statement seems to apply irrespective of whether the larger Group agrees with the findings of the Sub-Group.*

26 However another view states: If we simply rubber-stamp a Sub Group’s viewpoint we should delegate the position authority to the Sub Group to make the decision.

27 Sometimes the larger group agrees with the Sub-Group so that in turn, it can report to an even larger group that unanimity exists.

     28 Examples  A Board of Directors or a Council of a nonprofit-making organisation offers a unanimous front to the larger group which it represents (share holders of the Public and/or the group) over which it aims to maintain control (e.g. Staff, Students, Clients, Users of the Institution)

29 Thus this whole approach tends to reduce the possibility that people with minority views will speak up and put them before the group. Sometimes these different viewpoints would have helped the larger group to make better decisions.

Implications for Actions

30 What should people do if they believe that the above situation occurs and they rate it as unhelpful to the wise operation of the Organisation within which it occurs? The following list shows some recommendations

Consider the System - How it Operates and How it should Operate.

31 Encourage other people to consider whether the system operates as described above.

32 Encourage discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches to decision making.

33 Gain acceptance from the Sub-Group and/or the total group that they do not wish to let their decision-making operate in that particular way.

Consider What Individuals Should Do.

34 Speak firmly when you have a minority view.

35 Encourage others to speak up and encourage others to listen to the views of the minority.

Consider the Sub-Group’s Activities and How to appoint Sub-Group Members.

36 Report a Sub-Group’s findings in more detail and in a way that exposes differences of opinion within the Sub-Group about the Sub-Group’s recommendation – particularly that one or more Members do not support, or have doubts about, the recommendation.

37 Consider carefully the people whom the Group intends to appoint to a Sub-Group and ensure that it includes people who will speak up and state a minority view – even if somewhat unpopular.

Consider what Position Authority to delegate to a Sub-Group.

38 Decide when delegating work to a Sub-Group whether the decision rates as so important that the Sub-Group must make a recommendation to the larger Group (compared with the Sub-Group making the decision)

39 Consider the possibility that the decision rates as unimportant and that the Sub-Group should have the position authority to make the decision (not just a recommendation)

Conclusion

40 The above notes suggest that many Organisations operate a system that encourages Sub-Groups to report a unanimous opinion when it does not exist. In turn, this system puts pressure on the larger group to accept the Sub-Group’s recommendations when the larger group should examine more closely the Sub-Group’s ideas.

41 A failure to distinguish between recommendations and decisions and their role in wise decision making also contributes to poor decision making.

42 These notes suggest ideas for reducing the problems discussed – by altering some of the systems under which Organisations operate.

 


* A similar approach states: “We must support the Manager or the managing group”.

Some Factors that encourage Managers to give their Subordinates more Opportunitiesto make Decisions and/or Do more higher-level Activities.

Introduction

1 These notes discuss some factors that will influence whether Managers provide opportunities for their to increase the range and/or difficulty of their activities and the decisions they make.

2 The phrase “” describes an approach which aims to: (a) provide people with more position authority to make decisions and/or (b) carry out various activities (either by themselves or with less supervision) which they did not do previously.

3 These notes use the phrase “job enrich” in the future to avoid using the long phrase “more opportunities to make decisions and/or do more higher–level activities.

4 The factors that contribute to discouraging Managers from enriching the job of their Subordinates will prove the reverse of the following lists of factors. o

 A Summary of the Factors discussed

5 The following list shows the factors discussed –

     (a) A Manager’s

           (i) , excluding some specific attitudes

          (ii) Age

          (iii) Attitudes to some specific aspects

          (iv) Experience

          (v)

          (vi) Knowledge of a Subordinate’s Job

           (vii) Interest in Training/Coaching Others

          (viii) Ability to Develop an with Subordinates.

         (ix) Power Base – and the power base of the Subordinate – in relation to the decision made.

     (b) The Type of Job Activity and the Type of Results which comes from a particular .

     (c) A Subordinate’s Calibre and Desire for an Job.

     (d) The of the Manager’s Manager.

     (e) The ’s

          (i) Attitude to Enriching

          (ii) Profitability

A Manager’s Personality

6 In general, the personality of Managers describes a series of tendencies (traits) to act in a certain way. (Examples: quiet, cooperative, self confident, calm, persistent.) However other factors in their environment (e.g. their Immediate Manager, the Organisation’s ) will affect how these tendencies operate – the likely level of providing opportunities for their Subordinates to “enrich” their jobs.

The General Maturity of the Manager

7 General maturity describes one aspect of a person’s personality in a broad and somewhat imprecise way. It aims to describe a person with some or all of the following characteristics: self confident, independent, less worried about making errors than the average person, more prepared to take the blame for things which they believe they have caused, able to identify and accept their own limitations. They will not feel as if the ground will shift from under them at any given moment and, therefore, they rate as “psychologically secure”.

A Longer-Term View-Point

8 Some Managers take a longer-term view of their activities: they believe in “sacrificing” some time now for a benefit several months or a year ahead. Thus Managers can spend some time now helping their Subordinates to learn new and more difficult activities and/or training them to take higher-level decisions. They do so because they believe that, in the long run, it will help both themselves and their Organisation.

9 This factor relates to the general maturity factor. A person who feels psychologically secure can afford to take a longer-term outlook.

  No Fear of Competition

10 Managers who (a) do not fear competition from their Subordinates and/or (b) do not worry that their Subordinates might do something better than themselves will have a high probability of enriching the jobs of Subordinates.

11 This factor also relates to the maturity of a Manager.

A “Lazy” Manager will delegate more

12 describes a trait of a person. However it has such a broad meaning that a person who appears lazy in one way will prove highly energetic in another way. Thus the concept of laziness represents a difficult descriptive term.

13 Sometimes Managers say they delegate because of their “laziness”. However probably they tend to make a joke of the situation and in reality do not really believe this statement.

14 However Managers who perceive a situation where they will have an easier/more-enjoyable life if their Subordinates do certain activities will certainly delegate such activities. Such activities may pp enrich a particular Subordinate’s job.

The Age of the Manager

15 Some Managers become more rigid as they get older and will take less risks. Presumably this state will encourage them to perceive enriching activities as taking more risk and therefore they will tend to avoid such an approach.

16 However as some people get older they will take more risks in their job because they have greater financial independence.

17 Others realise the need to find ways of increasing the productivity of human resources and will feel more prepared to try enriching as one possible method. Some accept the level they have reached and no longer see younger and more energetic people as threats to their promotion.

Age - in Relation to Retiring Age

18 Sometimes the closeness of Managers to their retirement will affect their approach to enriching activities.

19 Some Managers believe they can take more risks with situations and still retain their position. Others see the need to spend more time developing a replacement. Some will want to take a very conservative approach so they can retire “with a clean slate”.

20 In summary, age provides no sure way of predicting the chance that a particular Manager will aim to job enrich.

Attitudes to Specific Aspects

The Extent to which Managers can avoid interfering with the Manner that People use to achieve End Objectives

21 People try to achieve end objectives in different ways. Some Managers want to lay down in detail just what Subordinates should do. They want everything done in the way they would have done it, if they had tried to achieve the same objective. Those Managers who want to check closely their Subordinates functioning will tend to “de-rich” jobs.

     22 Example. Jane, a Manager, wants a letter written to achieve a particular objective. She should appreciate that people will write letters in different ways. Thus a Subordinate would write the letter differently from Jane. Provided Jane believes the letter will achieve its objectives she should accept the letter. If she feels the letter will not achieve its objective she will have to suggest alterations (at the very least)

23 Such situations as described in the example and in the previous paragraph usually prove a matter of opinion.

24 The Subordinate will not agree with the Manager that some action e.g. the letter) will not achieve the objective. Thus if the Manager interferes and instructs the Subordinate to change something the Subordinate probably will rate the change as unjustified.

25 Managers should learn the many ways which exist in which they can rake part in the way a person will try to achieve an end objective. Choosing the “right” way does not prove easy.

Experience

26 For some Managers the more experience they gain in managing Subordinates, the greater their ability to predict how Subordinates will feel about the various approaches they take in managing these Subordinates.

27 However this point depends on the sensitivity of the Managers to other people’s reactions to what they do plus what the Managers have learnt because of their experience. (Although sometimes ten years of experience means one year of experience repeated ten times.)

     1 The notes “Some Possibilities in Giving Sub Objectives to Others” provides further information on this topic.

28 A Manager’s experience may include some form of courses/training in management techniques. Such Managers will have had the chance of discussing their approaches and adding some management techniques to the way they manage their Subordinates.

29 Presumably, more techniques and additional experience helps them to see possibilities for trying enriching activities in a manner which will involve less risk. Further they will accept the desirability of taking some risks.

30 Example. Probably Managers who know such techniques as Completed Staff Work2 and/or who know a distinction between a decision and a recommendation will see and establish more enriching possibilities for their Subordinates. (See the Appendix at the end of these notes.)

 Job Security

31 If Managers believe they could lose their position, they will take fewer risks in enriching their Subordinate’s positions – in case it increases their chances of losing their job. Further, insecurity of their position will decrease the probability of a Manager taking a longer- term view point.

Amount of Knowledge of the Manager of the Subordinate’s Job

32 Managers who tend to manage in detail probably will do so more with jobs with which they have some familiarity. This situation occurs where a Manager has done the job (or something similar) which one of their Subordinates has done.

     33 Example. A Marketing Manager who gained promotion through Market Research will know many more questions to ask about Market Research as compared with (say) Sales Management. Probably this Manager will ask those questions to check some aspects of the Market Research Manager’s performance and plans. If the same Marketing Manager had gained promotion through Sales Management this Manager would not have the knowledge to ask the questions.

Interest in Training/Coaching Others

34 Some Managers will gain personal satisfaction by training one or more Subordinates to take over for them and/or help their Subordinates to perform better. This factor depends on a Manager’s own personal attitudes – just how much do Managers enjoy raining/developing other people to improve the performance of these other people.

2 Completed Staff Work involves an approach which asks a Subordinate and/or Staff Person to bring a recommended solution whenever they present a problem. See the Cullen Morton notes on Completed Staff Work for details.

35 Perhaps only about one in ten Managers have much interest in coaching their Subordinates.

36 In addition, disadvantages exist in developing Subordinates.

37 In setting themselves these objectives, Managers run the parallel risk that it will prove easier for an Organisation to promote them if they have a well-trained Second in Command. But it will also prove easier for the Organisation to get rid of them! The Organisation be– comes less dependent on such Managers.

38 Similarly Organisations can take away well-trained Subordinates from such Managers and move them to other sections of the Organisation. The Organisation may do so without rewarding these Managers, If Managers view the situation in this way, they will tend to do less enriching.

39 Most Organisations provide few rewards for Managers who develop their Subordinates.

40 Some Organisations pay lip-service to the importance of coaching Subordinates. Most put far greater emphasis on the achievement of the short-term objectives off the Manager’s position – usually connected with some type of profit gain and/or cost containment or reduction.

41 For some independent evidence on this point Readers should check just how many formal written appraisal plans include the factor of coaching/developing Subordinates.

Ability to develop an open Relationship between Manager and Subordinate

42 If Managers behave so that others believe they can criticise them (i.e. behave openly (, probably they rate as “secure”. Probably a link exists between the trait of secureness and communication actions.

43 Managers (who believe in openness) can discuss matters with their Subordinates in a way which will increase the probability that such Managers will realise their Subordinates want the chance to gain job enrichment. Thus if Managers promote better communication between themselves and their Subordinates (e.g. acting fairly, gaining the trust of their Subordinates) they give their Subordinates the chance to influence them. Hence Subordinates have more chance of influencing their Managers to take “enriching actions”.

Power Base of the Manager and/or Subordinate in relation to the Decision made

44 What will happen if Managers do not accept particular decisions of one of their Subordinates and/or if the Subordinate does not make any decision?

45 Sometimes Subordinates have particular knowledge of the likely effect of making a particular decision. In these circumstances, they have a high probability of getting their Manager to make the decision in a way the Subordinate feels appropriate. Such Subordinates can evaluate the factors about which they have more knowledge than the Manager and perhaps even “frighten” their Manager into making a particular decision.

     46 Examples. An Industrial Relations Manager can tell the General Manager that, if the General Manager decides to punish a person in a particular way, almost certainly the Factory Employees will strike.

47 Managers can influence some Subordinates into accepting Decision “A” by telling the Subordinates that the Departmental- Head’s Boss favours Decision “A” and opposes Decision

48 Thus Managers with a particular power base can find grounds for not giving Subordinates the right to make a particular decision. Managers can point out that a Subordinate lacks appropriate information about the attitude of the Manager above the Subordinate’s Immediate Manager.

The Type of Job Activity and/or the Type of Result that comes from a Particular Decision

49 Managers take less risk in getting a Subordinate to do a job where:

     (a) an activity proves easy to interrupt and reverse to correct any errors,

     (b) the delegated activity involves a small amount of money if something goes wrong,

     (c) the implementation proceeds slowly and/or the Manager can easily observe the implementation and Managers can identify quickly the need to take some corrective action.

The Subordinate’s Calibre and Desire for Job Enrichment

50 Managers who have a high opinion of the calibre of particular Subordinates and/or believe that some Subordinates want more enrichment probably will offer such Subordinates greater enrichment.

 The Attitudes of the Manager’s Managers

51 Sometimes Managers receive instructions from a higher-level Manager that they have to do some specific things themselves. Sometimes they receive criticism for letting one of their Subordinates make a particular decision. The attitude of a Manager’s Manager plus other Senior Managers will tend to encourage, or discourage, a Manager to try enriching activities.

An Organisation’s Attitude to enriching Jobs

52 An Organisation’s attitude to coaching Subordinates to increase their knowledge and enrich their jobs will almost certainly influence what their individual Managers do in this area.

53 Some Organisations make statements about, and pay lip service to, the desirability of Managers developing their Subordinates. Few Organisations or Bosses of Managers actually try to measure what a Manager does in this area and reward or punish according to the results achieved.

54 I-low many formal appraisal plans include “Subordinate Development” as something to evaluate? If the appraisal does include this factor, how much weight does the evaluation put on this factor as compared with the weight given to other factors?

55 How many times do Managers receive a merit increase (as opposed to
a cost-of-living increase) for successful efforts in developing Subordinates?

56 Sometimes punishment occurs. The Organisation takes away Subordinates that Managers coach to a high standard and transfers/promotes them to another section. Thus Managers lose some important help in gaining their Section’s objectives. However, some will gain personal satisfaction from seeing the people they have “developed” gain promotion.

57 Few Managers will feel happy about having one of their good people taken from them and their section; it only makes their task harder. However if they get some compensating reward they will continue developing their Subordinates.

The Profitability of the Organisation

58 Managers who work in a profitable Organisation and/or Division will prove more likely to take risks in giving a Subordinate more enriching opportunities.

General

59 The desirability of enriching a Subordinate’s job will depend on the Subordinate’s existing attitude to the desirability of making various types of decisions and/or carrying out various additional (perhaps harder) activities.

60 A wise approach to enrichment involves offering the Subordinate the opportunity to make higher-level decisions and carry out “harder” activities. Generally, Managers should not force Subordinates to make the decisions and/or take on the harder activities.

61 At the same time Managers should realise that some Subordinates have spent years in situations where their Managers have not trusted them to carry out various activities. These Managers have not wanted to enrich their Subordinate’s position; some Managers will have actively discouraged their Subordinates from taking any initiatives in this area.

62 Thus anyone attempting to enrich a position must not expect favourable results. Managers should expect success only after some (?many) months of patient encouragement.

Appendix: Two Ideas to help Managers achieve Completed Staff Work

63 Too few Subordinates appreciate the distinction between a recommendation and a decision.

64 Some Subordinates believe that if they make a recommendation it will prove equivalent to a decision. Some feel worried about making a decision. However they should realise that making a recommendation does not involve anyone taking any action at all – except “thinking” –

65 A Manager can always reject a recommendation. However a person who makes the decision and starts to implement it reaches a situation where sometimes it may prove difficult to withdraw and/or some harm will already have occurred.

66 Sometimes Managers try to use Completed Staff Work (i.e. ask people to bring them recommended solutions as compared with just problems) and find difficulties in getting their Subordinates to provide Completed Staff Work.

67 A further suggestion: If a Subordinate does not respond well to the term “recommendation” Managers might care to try the following approach: “What would you do if you had to take some action and you could not get in touch with me or any other appropriate Executive?”

 

Some Methods for achieving greater Participation in Decision Making

Introduction

1 The idea that Members should participate more in decisions in their Organisations appears worth consideration. Some Organisations have tried to gain more participation – they want people to have a say, more say, or actually make decisions in areas where, previously, they did not do so.

2 However some Managers have found that some Subordinates have no (apparent) interest in making a decision and/or participating in one.

3 Thus some Managers have the problem of wanting to achieve greater participation but needing better methods to achieve this objective.

Why do People decline to make, and/or participate in making, Decisions

4 An analysis of why people reject the opportunity/right to participate should help find methods which will encourage people to participate more.

5 At least two broad reasons exist to explain why people do not participate (more). Subordinates can -

     (a) lack confidence that the Organisation/Manager really want them to participate (more), and/or

     (b) have no personal interest in using the chance to participate (more)

A Lack of Confidence

6 Sometimes Subordinates reject the chance to participate because they do not believe that the Organisation/Manager really wants them to participate (more). They do not want to risk trying something which may not exist.

7 They may class the whole approach as a trick. Thus, why should they accept it, get tricked, and run the risk of feeling hurt and frustrated.

8 If they do not perceive the participation offer as genuine they will not want to alter their previous behaviour.

9 Sometimes, they will have evidence that one or more Managers have made a similar offer in the past and it has not proved genuine.

10 Thus the lack of trust can result from:

     (a) a general lack of trust with the Organisation and/or specific Managers with respect to keeping its (their) words and matching actions with words and/or

     (b) a specific lack of trust – some Subordinates will know that specific Managers have failed to keep their promises in the past.

No Personal Interest

11 Some people have no interest in whether they make a decision because they do not perceive their job as very central to their life. They simply want to come to work and do the minimum amount to keep their job and keep themselves out of trouble. Thus they lack the minimum amount of interest in their job and/or their Organisations to want to participate (more).

12 Other people do not use the chance to participate because they lack confidence in themselves.Thus, consciously or unconsciously, they say to themselves: “Why should I take some part in the decision and risk experiencing the feeling of failure”. For these people, the offer and/or demand that they “participate” becomes a threat to their own personal well being.

13 A third class of people do not want to participate (more) because it offers them insufficient reward in comparison with the other rewards that they can gain.

14 Further, some will see a refusal to participate as a method of “punishing” one or more of theirManagers and/or the Organisation as a whole, These type of people can gain satisfaction by “beating the system” and/or acting “against the Government”

15 It will prove worth distinguishing between:

     (a) a general tendency for a particular person to take one or more of these approaches and

     (b) the tendency to take the approach for a particular situation – the tendency will alter depending upon which Manager approaches the Subordinate, about which particular decision, and the manner of approach.

16 Thus, to diagnose the problem for a particular person who has refused to increase participation, the Manager offering the participation should consider (a) the general attitude of the Subordinate to the participation as well as (b) the approach used on the particular occasion.

Some Specific Objectives to help gain greater Participation

17 The following sections provide some specific objectives related to achieving greater participation.

Obtain sufficient Trust for People to “try out” the Opportunities for gaining greater Participation.

18 Managers will need to gain sufficient trust from people so that they do not feel suspicious of an offer of more chance to participate in decision making. The Organisation/Manager will need to avoid losing trust. Thus Managers should aim to – never offer the chance to participate unless completely confident that all people concerned will honour any guarantees made.

Remember it takes a long time to build up Trust and/or Increase People’s Confidence in Them

19 Managers should remember that it takes a long time (perhaps six months to two years) to build up significant trust between people. The time period will depend on the amount of distrust (or trust) which exists between the two individuals/groups under consideration.

20 Probably it will take a lot longer to build up trust than it does to destroy it.

21 However, once two groups (people) do have a relatively high degree of trust, probably they will feel more tolerant towards the errors of the other party. At least they will prove receptive to the suggestion that they investigate a situation which will lessen trust if proved accurate. They will want to find out whether other reasons exist which would explain the person’s actions and show that one party has not really acted in an untrustworthy way.

     22 Example. Mary read something which Harry wrote and formed the conclusion that Harry had deliberately lied. Mary trusts Harry so she gives Harry the chance to explain the meaning of what Harry wrote. After hearing the explanation, Mary perceived what Harry had written in a different light. She perceives the written ideas have at least two different interpretations and the one Harry suggested shows that Harry did not lie.

23 Managers who try to increase participation by their Subordinates should not expect to gain success with some of their Subordinates in a short space of time. Sometimes it will take half a year for a change to occur. Often Managers stop trying too quickly.

24 They should try to look at the matter from a Subordinate’s viewpoint. A Subordinate might think – even unconsciously – I have never made any real decisions before; I need time and assistance to help me change. I trust your attempts and I would like to try, but I need help to gain appropriate skills.

Offer the Chance to Participate more; Do not demand it.

25 If people lack confidence in themselves and/or the Organisation Manager’s trustworthiness they will feel threatened by a demand to participate and/or view it with suspicion.

26 An offer of the chance to participate allows people to take whatever small-sized steps towards greater participation they want to take – in their own time. Such an approach should arouse fewer suspicions about the motives of the Organisation and/or the Manager.

Reward People who take steps towards greater Participation

27 This suggestion of a reward does not imply a monetary payment. In fact, a payment might cause suspicion. However, where a Subordinate does try to participate more, some praise from the people concerned should prove an appropriate amount of reward. At least it shows and reminds such people that they have taken the opportunity for greater participation

28 Where the participation proves successful (e.g. a correct decision) such praise should include congratulations for the result – as well as praise for taking the greater participation.

29 Where the participation leads to some type of failure, probably the Subordinate will need some re-assurance that not everyone makes the right decision. The initiator of the greater participation can point out that he/she does not necessarily blame the Subordinate in this situation. Such initiators can praise their Subordinate for taking the opportunity to participate – even though the results did not prove particularly successful.

Find Areas of the Organisation’s Activities which interest most of the People with low job Centrality

30 People who do not feel particularly interested in their job (in relation to the rest of their life) will have some parts of their job which prove more attractive than others. Probably these areas will prove the most likely to produce more attempts at participation by these people. However, this point assumes that they have sufficient trust in the Organisation and/or relevant Manager and/or have sufficient confidence in themselves as people to take the opportunity.

Conclusion

31 Managers should not expect to achieve more participation quickly. For some Subordinates it will take careful analysis of their reasons for not participating and patient care to give them sufficient trust and encouragement to make them want to try.

Various Meanings for Participative Management

Different Meanings exist

1 Many Writers and Executives use the phrase “Participative Management”. However, as with many management terms, (a) few people try to define clearly what they mean by this particular phrase and (b) it has a variety of meanings.

2 A look at the various factors in Participative Management (PM) gives one useful approach to identifying the various meanings of the term.

Participation must involve Communication between two or more People

3 Probably most people would agree that the word “participation” involves sharing. Thus if one person decides something without communicating with any other person on that particular decision, PM (Participative Management)) under almost# any meaning of the term) would not have occurred.

4 Thus, a minimum requirement for PM requires communication between at least two people about a decision.

Participation would rarely refer to Directing and Checking Activities

5 If managing involves the activity of setting objectives and trying to achieve them through the efforts of other people, PM probably relates to participation in (= communication about) the setting of objectives.

6 Participation has relatively little meaning if related to: (a) the directing of other people and (b) checking what they have done.

7 Few people would see much advantage in two or more people, at the same time, telling a Delegatee that he or she should try to achieve a particular objective. (Directing)

8 Similarly, what advantage would occur if two people together checked what a Delegatee has achieved.

9 Activities of two-person directing and two-person checking could occur, but probably few people would classify them as PM.

10 Thus the rest of these notes only consider meanings for participation in the planning (the finding of, and choosing between, objectives) part of managing.

Some major Dimensions that provide Participation of different Types

11 Meanings for PM will vary according to -

     (a) who participates?

     (b) how (i.e. in what way) and on,

     (c) what (the content of decisions available for participation)

Examples

12 Will everyone in an Organisation need to take part (participate) in the decision making or just those from the lower levels or those with “relevant information” or just the “interested parties”?

13 Will participation exist if people have a chance to influence others, but not vote on the issue? Will it exist if people can vote but Managers make people feel they cannot really say what they think and will get “punished” if they vote in a particular way?

14 Will participation exist if the people only vote on matters that a Manager considers unimportant?

15 The following paragraphs discuss in more detail, the who, how, and what factors which will give varying meanings of PM.

Who Participates

Participation involves more than one Person making a Decision

16 The first difficulty to obtaining agreement on a meaning for PM. lies in the area of “who” participates in the decision making.

17 People can make a decision by themselves if they choose an objective. If they get someone else to (help) achieve this objective, they carry out the activity of managing.

     18 Examples. Mary, a Branch Sales Manager, can decide to put on a new Sales Representative and decide which one of the Applicants she will appoint. She sets an objective and achieves it herself.

19 Harry, a Factory Manager, decides to investigate the suitability of the various machines for replacing one of his old units. He sets the objective: Investigate new machines. He asks his Production Planners, Bill and Dick to carry out the investigation and report to him on what they think they should buy. However, he could say – “You carry out your investigations and pick the one you think best suited to replace the existing machine”. In this latter case, Harry has made one decision himself (carry out an investigation) and delegated another (select a suitable machine). In neither case has participation in the decision making occurred.

20 PM would have more people involved in making decisions than in the above examples.

      21 Example. Mary, the Branch Sales Manager, might get agreement from her General Manager to (a) add a new Representative and (b) appoint a particular person. Harry might aim to get agreement from his Planners (Bill, Dick) about whether an investigation should occur.

 Participative Management must involve People from Lower and/or Equal Levels in an Organisation

22 Managers can always take over (participate in) the decision making of a Subordinate.

23 In the hierarchical structure of most Organisations, PM has no meaning from the viewpoint of getting people at higher levels to participate in decision making. They can always do so if they wish.

     24 Example. If Mary (the Sales Manager) usually has the position authority to decide who she will select as a new Sales Representative her Manager can demand to (a) take the decision away from Mary and make it himself, (b) influence the decision that Mary makes, or (c) at least make sure that Mary talks to him about it.

25 Thus (greater) PM in an Organisation, logically, would have to refer to bringing in more people from lower and/or equal levels to make a decision – as compared with the level that can make the decision now.

26 Thus, an Organisation could increase the amount of PM which took place if it arranged its position authorities so that (a) fewer individual people have the right to make decisions and (b) more decisions have to come from a group of two or more people.

     27 Example. An Organisation could set up a Committee of its Branch Manager, Sales Manager, and Sales Supervisor and give them the right to decide who to appoint as a new Sales Representative.

28 A Manager who had the right to make a decision on a particular topic (alone) and who consulted Subordinates at the next level and/or Subordinates at an even lower level on various decisions would increase the amount of PM that took place.

29 At least this statement would prove true for some meanings of the phrase “Participative Management”.

Must Participative Management involve People at the Lowest Level Line in an Organisation?

30 To some people, PM must involve people at the lowest level of an Organisation (Workers, Operators, Sales Representatives, etc.); i.e. these people must have the chance to influence the decisions that take place – either by communicating about them and/or by having the right to vote on particular issues.

31 With this approach, higher-level Managers would not necessarily have to confer with Subordinates at the next immediate level in the Organisation, but they might have to confer with people who worked at the lowest level in the Organisation.

     32 Example. Factory Operatives have the right to elect one or more Members to the Company’s Board of Directors and/or Management Committee.

Participative Management would include “All Interested Parties” and all those “With Relevant Information”

33 The phrase “all interested parties” sometimes occurs when people discuss PM. Thus, “who” gets to participate depends on the criteria of who has an interest in the decision.

34 This guideline for deciding who should participate provides only a vague one. Just how much “interest” should people have before they earn the right to participate?

    35 Examples. If a decision will affect all Factory Operatives, do all Factory Operatives (a) attend a meeting and vote and/or (b) elect some Representatives to attend a meeting. If the Organisation wants to develop a new product, will this change affect almost everyone in the Organisation? Do they all deserve the term “interested parties”?

36 The same criticism applies to a similar guideline that states – all people who have relevant information regarding a particular decision should have a say, i.e. participate in the decision.

37 This factor raises the problem: how much information should a particular person have and what degree of relevance to possible decisions should the information have – before he or she deserves the right to participate? No clear-cut answer exists.


Reluctant Participants

38 One problem with PM occurs when someone invites people to “participate” yet the people have no real desire to participate. Flow- ever they feel obliged to attend and do not feel they can state their lack of desire to their Manager.

Summary for the “Who” Factors

39 The “who” will participate provides a factor for which many approaches exist. One person will state one minimum requirement for PM; another person will suggest a different one.

The How Factor: how much influence should people have before Participative Management exists?

40 The following two broad possibilities exist with respect to the amount of influence Participants can have:

     (a) A right to try to influence the people who make the decision and/or

     (b) An actual vote in the decision making.

      41 Example. Peter, a Manager, could invite several of his immediate Subordinates to discuss what they should do about a particular subject (e.g. should we buy a new item of plant) He could: (a) listen to their ideas and then make his own decision. (b) make the decision during, or after, the meeting. (c) say if the majority believe we should buy the new plant then we will do so

Opportunity for Communication does Not necessarily allow Opportunity for Persuasion/Influence

42 Just because a person (Betty) puts herself into a situation where another person (Don) can communicate with her the other person (Betty) on a particular topic, it does not mean that this second person (Don) has a real opportunity to influence the first person (Betty) on the decision. One person (Betty), the decision maker, may have already made up her mind and barely listen to what the other person (Don) says.

     43 Example. A Senior Manager (Jack) calls a meeting, goes through the motions of listening to his Subordinates, but has already decided in his own mind what he will do and simply goes ahead and does it. Sometimes he will use such words as “Well Ladies and Gentlemen, I feel glad we have all agreed to do. The Participants know they have not really had a chance to influence their Senior Manager. They know they have not all “agreed”.

44 This type of pseudo participation reduces the trust the Subordinates give to Managers who behave in this manner. Probably Managers will have a better relationship with their people and gain more respect from them if they simply announce their decision. They should avoid going through the “motions” of an artificial PM approach where no real participation exists.

The Length of Time Available for the Persuasion

45 Sometimes a chance for persuasion genuinely exists, but the real amount of PM depends on the length of time people have to persuade their Manager.

46 Sometimes a Manager cuts off the discussion at a time which leaves Participants feeling dissatisfied with the opportunity they have had to influence the situation.

47 This case raises the point: does PM exist if –

     (a) The Subordinates have actually influenced what the Manager will do, hut do not believe they have.

     (b) The Subordinates believe they have influenced the decision of their Manager, but, in fact, they have not.

48 In other words, does the existence of PM depend upon the beliefs of the “potential” Participants?

49 If so, a clear definition for PM would depend on knowing the attitude to a specific situation of the relevant people.

Does Opportunity for Persuasion equal Participative Managing?

50 Some people say that, unless people have the opportunity to vote on a topic, PM does not really exist. Other people say that if Managers provide a situation where the Subordinates (a) can try to influence them, (b) believe they have influenced them in the past in such situations, and (c) believe they can do so again; PM has occurred

The Right to Vote on a Decision.

51 Once a Group has a right to vote on a decision, they need rules as to how the group makes the decision.

52 Variations in Voting Approaches. Variations exist with respect to possible voting rights. Sometimes a simple majority can make a decision. Sometimes everyone must agree. Sometimes some decisions require a two- thirds majority.

53 Other factors add further variations. Different people might have votes that counted more than the votes of other people.

      54 Example. A Manager might have a veto vote on some things. The Manager can stop the making of certain decisions but not force a decision without the support of other votes.

55 Even where people have the right to vote on a particular issue, sometimes the way a Chairman conducts the meeting tends to spoil the opportunity for some people. Sometimes, Meeting Participants feel that they have no real chance to influence the situation and/or people have already decided how they will vote before coming to the meeting. Sometimes they might feel that some Participants vote the way their Manager votes.

56 If Participants believe that they have not had an influence on the way other people vote and/or their vote has no real effectiveness, this situation reduces the probability that PM has occurred.

The Content of the Decision

57 Sometimes Managers will give the right to Subordinates to vote on a matter and gain a real feeling of participation i.e. they actually influence decisions.

58 However, some Managers tend to do so on matters when they do not care which way the decision goes. If Participants believe they only get voting rights or the chance to influence a Manager where the Manager does not have any strong feelings about the matter, that situation tends to take away from them the feeling that PM exists on any important matters.

Does Delegation provide a form of Participative Management?

59 In considering PM, Managers should contrast the action of delegation.

60 Consider situations where Managers have the option of asking their Subordinates to take part in a decision. However, they also can give their Subordinates the right to make the whole decision by himself.

61 Will Employees get more benefit out of making the decision completely on their own or participating in the decision making in conjunction with their Manager?

62 In addition, some Executives have defined PM as simply meaning an approach that delegates position authority “well down the line”. (Usually the people speaking do not have a clear meaning for the latter phrase)

Risk Taking in Participation

63 Some people worry about the risk involved in giving some Subordinates the chance to participate in making a particular decision. Managers should realise that, in any case, they take a risk whenever they delegate some work and decisions to one of their Subordinates. The question becomes – On which decisions will I (a Manager)

     (a) take the risk of giving Subordinates the chance to make decisions on their own or

     (b) participate with one or more other Subordinates.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Participative Management

64 These notes do not aim to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of PM in any detail.

65 One theory behind PM involves the belief that if people participate in a decision, they will feel more committed to the particular decision. However, this point does not apply for some decisions.

     66 Example. A group of people can participate in the discussion of whether they themselves should get retrenched. If they then get retrenched (and do not believe it justified) they will not feel happy about the decision or committed to it.

67 However it seems highly likely that people do appreciate the opportunity to influence their Managers on matters that affect them and on matters that they feel they should have the opportunity to contribute. To this extent, participation should prove worthwhile.

68 One further point: Managers should compare the advantages and disadvantages of (a) participation as compared with (b) a situation where the Participant makes the whole decision.

A Meaning for: Worker Participation

69 The phrase “worker participation” sometimes occurs in connection with PM. It probably implies that people at the lowest level of an Organisation have an opportunity to influence and/or vote on the decisions made by middle and senior level management.

70 Usually this type of arrangement calls for some representation by the “workers” because of the difficulties involved in allowing (say) 500 workers to participate in the decision making with four-five Senior Managers.

71 Sometimes Worker Councils exist which provide for consultation with relevant selected Senior Managers. This particular approach has the advantage of “forcing” Managers at senior levels to communicate with those at lower levels and to obtain opinions, reactions, etc. to their proposed plans. At the same time, the Workers have a safety valve: they do not have to rely on upward communications through various levels of Management to get their ideas to Senior Managers.

Conclusion

72 These notes have shown that PM can have many different meanings.

73 They have identified many of the major dimensions that provide the variations. Few people probably realise that so many variations exist.

74 Knowledge of these dimensions should help Readers to frame specific questions to help them understand just what particular Speakers/Writers mean when they use the term, PM.

75 However, these questions will show – probably – that the Speakers/Writers do not clearly know what they mean by the term either!  

 


# Paragraph 62 gives one example where this point does not apply.

Various Possibilites for whom to involve in Decision Making

Introduction

1 All Managers make decisions and all have various options open to them as to whom they will use in making decisions.

2 These notes aim to identify and discuss some of the various possibilities open to a Manager. Knowledge of these possibilities should help people make wiser choices in this area of managing.

Possibilities Available

Make the Decisions Without Talking to Anyone

3 Managers (or Non-Managers) can decide on a matter without obtaining any advice from anyone else.

Seek Advice From One or More People

4 Managers may seek advice from one or more of the following:

       (a) People above their level in the Organisation (e.g. their immediate Manager)

      (b) People on the same level of the Organisation (e.g. a Production Manager seeks some information from the Sales Manager)

     (c) One or more people below their level of the Organisation (e.g. a Factory Manager seeks advice from one or more Foremen and/or one or more Operatives)

5 When Managers seek advice from one or more other people the degree of influence these people exercise depends on:

     (a) the person seeking the advice and

     (b) the person or persons giving the advice.

Let People outvote Them on the Decision

6 Managers can open themselves to even more influence by agreeing that one or more of the people (above, below, or on the same level as them) will have a chance to give more than just advice. In this case, they can give them a vote on the matter – provided the people can actually out-vote them in a group situation.

     7 Example. Tom, a Factory Manager, calls in three Foremen and, either openly or in his own mind, “states” that the majority opinion of the group will determine the decision made. Thus if the three Foremen want to do something which opposes the idea of the Factory Manager their view will prevail.

Let Someone Else Make the Decision

8 The last option open to Managers consist of getting someone else to make the decision – usually one of their Subordinates i.e. delegate the right to decide.

9 Alternately they could delegate the power to make the decision to a group which did not include themselves.

Let Someone Else Make the Decision but Give Advice as Well

10 A variation exists in the above situation where Managers delegate the position authority to decide on a particular matter but also gives the Subordinate advice.

11 This situation deserves classification in two ways. It depends on -

     (a) the perception of Subordinates of the communication of their Managers and

     (b) the Subordinate’s independence.

12 If the Subordinates rate the communication from their Managers as an instruction (whether the Manager has mentioned the word advice or not) the Managers have not really delegated the decision. In this case the Subordinates believe they have received an order (= an instruction)

13 Where the Subordinates perceive the communication as advice then the Managers have delegated effectively the decision making to the Subordinates. However, do the Subordinates have sufficient independence to reject the advice of their Managers on – at least – some occasions?

Which approach rates as best?

14 A number of variables exist which make one or more of the possibilities above more-or-less correct and/or more-or-less likely to help someone implement the decision.

Need for Acceptance of the Decision

15 Sometimes better managing will occur if the persons who have to implement a decision accept it as a wise (or at least not an unwise) decision. Sometimes a Manager should balance the quality of a likely decision with the degree of acceptance.

16 One element that usually helps a Manager to gain acceptance involves giving the Implementers the right to make the decision – or, at least, the opportunity to influence the decision.

Class of Objective - from Tangible to Intangible

17 As a general rule, objectives that rate as intangible, unstructured. and/or unclear need a greater level of acceptance from the Implementers to have a reasonably high probability of them carrying them out.

18 This situation occurs because people can ‘passively resist” the achievement of such objectives more easily. They can “get away” with their passive resistance for the intangible objectives as compared with objectives that rate as tangible, structured and concrete.

     19 Example. A Manager wishes Sally to influence a group of people to believe something. Sally does not believe in what she has to get these people to believe. Sally can meet with the group and discuss ideas with them but not really try to persuade the group. At the worst, she will put off trying to achieve the objective and not even meet with the group. However even if she calls the meeting, it will prove difficult for the Manager to establish that Sally has really tried to change the group’s beliefs if Sally says she has.

Desirability of Subordinates/Managers knowing the type of decision-making Situation in which they operate

20 Any Manager-Subordinate relationship should improve if both parties understand the conditions under which they operate for any one decision-making situation.

21 Thus if both Manager and Subordinate clearly distinguish between the types of situations which can exist (as described above) a better relation ship should ensue. At the very least, less communication errors should occur,

     22 Examples. Mary, a Manager, wants a Subordinate (Stan) to make a decision but Stan does not appreciate that Mary has really given him the position authority to make the decision.

23 Tom, a Subordinate makes a decision when his Manager did no want Tom to make the decision. The Manager only wanted Tom to consider the situation and let the Manager know what Tom recommends should happen.

24 A group of people meets together and believes they have the right to make a decision when the Organisation does NOT want them to have that right. Alternately they meet together and have the right to make a decision but do NOT realise they have the right.

25 The need to know the type of decision-making situation in which they operate becomes even more important when Managers use a variety of approaches to decision making and Subordinates do not know when the Managers have moved from one type of situation to another.

26 Both Managers and Subordinates should make a clear distinction between the various types of decision-making situations. Managers should communicate clearly on the way the Managers want their Subordinates to operate. Managers who do so will reduce the possibility of communication errors about who will make a particular decision.

Principles to help ensure that Subordinates know which decision-making Conditions will operate for any given situation

27 Introduce each interview/communication/meeting with the type of situation desired.

     28 Examples. (a) The person in charge should announce that the meeting can decide by a majority vote. (b) I have asked you to meet together to give me your thoughts as to what we should do about Problem X. (c) Tom, I want you to take this problem away and think about it, make your decision, and then carry out (=implement) your decision. (d) Joan, I want you to take this problem away and let me have your ideas on what you suggest I might do to fix it.

29 Train Subordinates in the various possibilities for whom to involve in decision making by talking about them and the difficulties that can arise in the various approaches.

30 Coach Subordinates on the distinction when such difficulties do arise soon after (say within 24 hours) they arise.

31 Encourage Subordinates to help both themselves and yourself by telling you (the Manager) when they (the Subordinates) do not understand under which conditions decision making will operate.

32 Obtain feedback from the Subordinates about the conditions under which you want them to operate.

33 Encourage Subordinates to communicate to their Managers when the Managers do not communicate very clearly on the decision-making rights of individuals and/or groups in given situations. Watch carefully the distinction between an order and a piece of advice.*  Try to establish a relationship of trust and openness about the above type of problems.

Conclusion

34 Success in these matters will probably increase as Managers and Subordinates accumulate knowledge and understanding of each other’s habits, including their methods of communication.

 


* For further information, see the notes on “Managers Should Distinguish between Orders and Advice”.

Manaagement by Objectives – Threee Definitions

Management By Objectives - Three Definitions

1 Definition One – John Humble has defined MBO. as: A dynamic system of management which integrates the company’s need to clarify and achieve its profit and growth goals with the manager’s need to contribute and develop himself. It is a demanding and rewarding style of management.

2. Note – this definition has limitations in relation to non-profit organisations. The following definition overcomes this limitation.

2. Definition Two: MBO. is a style of managing which entails a total approach to improving the results achieved by an organisation through a clarification of its aims; the determination of, and the agreement of objectives within, those key areas where the Organisation must achieve results; and the integration of these with the agreed objectives, job results, and motivational needs of the individuals within the organisation.

3 Definition Three – Management by Objectives involves carrying out the activity of Management in a way which emphasises:

     (a) the careful setting of specific objectives for each position in the organisation – within the context of the position’s broad (continuous#) objectives;

     (b) objective setting – by the holder of the position initially and later on by both the position holder and immediate Superior; and

     (c) regular review discussions between these two people on the evaluation of progress towards, and final achievement of, previously-agreed-upon objectives.

4 Management Writings use other names to describe the general approach of Management by Objectives.

     5. Examples. Goal-Oriented Supervision, Work Performance and Review, Performance Management, and Accountability Management.

5 No-one can state the exact meaning of Management by Objectives: different Writers describe it in different terms and include different elements in it. Some people will say the terms above describe the same thing while others will insist that differences exist.

 

 

 


# A “continuous” objective refers to an activity involving a classification scale. No end point exists for the objective, i.e. it goes on continuously e.g. Market the Company’s Products. A “Specific” objective provides a clear aiming point which does not rely on personal opinion as to its meaning or place on a scale. For further information, see the notes: Planning - Setting Objectives for Next Year

Parts of the Management Process – without diagrams

Introduction

1 These notes aim to help Managers manage better by breaking the process of managing into parts so that Managers can (a) study what these notes say happens in each part and (b) compare what they actually do. They define each part, discuss the sub-parts of Planning and Checking, and identify some of the major techniques of Directing. All three parts occur in the managing cycle. They tend to become confused because people deal with, or think about, more than one objective at a time and they find that various objectives have reached different parts at the same time.

2 These notes discuss standards and just where they fit into the ideas of setting objectives and checking results. They define Controlling and show its relationship to Managing. They also define Coordination and suggest that Managers should use the word to describe a quality resulting from the way Managers carry out the parts of the managing process.

Understanding a Process by studying its Parts

3 These notes define Managing as a continuous process of determining objectives and trying to achieve them through the efforts of other people. Managers should learn to manage better if they examine and understand the process in more detail.

4 One type of analysis involves picking out elements or factors in the activity of Managing; another involves breaking down Managing into different stages i.e. parts that follow one another in sequence.

5 Any process can consist of (almost) any number of parts/stages depending upon the detail used. These notes distinguish three major stages in the Managing Process.

(a) Planning- Decide what to do.

(b) Directing- Influence someone to do it.

(c) Checking – Find out the results achieved and compares the results with what someone planned to do.

6 The diagram near the end of these notes shows the relationship of these three parts of Managing to the definition of Managing and the communication channel that people probably will use in these three stages
A continuous Process does not necessarily exist for each specific Objective

7 The three parts of Managing (Planning, Directing, and Checking) form a cycle with respect to each particular objective or sub-objective. The Managing Process virtually occurs continuously provided one accepts that many objectives need attention in any one short period. However, with respect to any one particular objective, a period can exist between various parts of the process.

 

8 Examples. With respect to one objective, planning and directing can have a time interval between them, as can directing and checking, or checking and planning.

9 Probably these periods will occur more often with “larger’ objectives.

10 Example. In building a factory, the planning will occur many weeks before someone actually starts building it.

11 Some Managers do one or two parts well but neglect, or carry out badly, one of the other parts.

12 Examples. Some Managers give orders well (directing) but do very little checking; others plan well but direct poorly. Some check carefully but have planned poorly.

13 The following sections explain each part of Managing in more detail

Planning

A Definition of Planning

14 The term Planning must assume the existence of an (end) objectives and planning aims to find a way to achieve this end objective. A group of (sub) objectives will set down “the way”.

15 Further, someone (A) could take one such sub objective (X) and ask another person (B) to class the sub objective as theirend objective and try to achieve it. The other person (B) then plans how to achieve X by finding sub objectives that they believe will (help to) achieve objective X.

16 These ideas lead to a definition of planning:

Planning: a conscious thinking activity aimed at determining objectives that the thinker believes will help to achieve an end objective.

17 The above definition classes planning as a mental activity (thinking) and a conscious one. Unconscious planning would occur before the brain instructs a person to contract their hand muscles so they can grasp some object. However, often the person has consciously planned to pick up the object.

18 These notes define an objective as under:

Objective: a Result in the future that someone believes someone should try to achieve.

Parts of Planning

19 Two major parts exist in Planning:

(a) Find possible objectives 2 (which the Planner believes will achieve the end objective) and

(b) Evaluate the possible objectives to select one or more.

20 In briefer terms the parts equal: (a) Find objectives and (b) Choose between objectives.

Common Possible Objectives and (Decisions)¨

21 In any activity a number of aspects exist on which people must make decisions and/or set objectives. Someone must:

(a) Decide (or Identify) the result, or the end objective of an action.

(b) Decide (Identify) the stages in progressing towards the end result and the methods used in each stage.

22 One way of looking at planning states that people find and select objectives (called sub objectives) which, if achieved, will help to achieve an end objective. Thus, a stage of a plan could equal sub objectives and the methods used to achieve each stage could equal sub, sub objectives.

23 Other common possible objectives exist. For example, someone must decide the timing for objectives – their start, finish, duration; who should try to achieve each Objective; and where to do it. Other factors include equipment required, money needed, and the likely environment in which the action will occur. A person can also plan what checking to carry out.

24 Once someone makes these types of decisions, they can make other decisions (lower-level objectives) based on the first-made decisions (higher-level decisions (objectives)

25 Someone may even decide on objectives that provide guidance on what to do if certain things go wrong and/or fail to happen. People call this activity – contingency planning.

26 Readers should note that some of the important elements of planning (objectives, programs, schedules, procedures, policies, and rules) describe specific types of decisions that people make.

Does Planning equal Decision Making

27 The above discussion suggests that decision making must play an important part in planning. If a plan involves a number of objectives that someone believes all contribute to the achievement of an end objective, someone has to decide the objectives to include in the plan.

28 However planning involves more than just decision making between objectives.

A Definition of Decision Making

29 Decision making: a conscious thinking process aimed at choosing between one or more things.

30 In the case of planning, the “thing” involves objectives. Hence planning involves a particular class of decision making, namely:

Objective setting: a conscious thinking Process aimed at choosing between one or more Objectives.

31 Some Writers define decision making as a process that covers not only the actual selection of objectives but also, the preparation for the wise selection of objectives – including defining the problem and searching for various solutions (objectives). Some Writers include implementing the decision. These notes do not recommend such a broad approach. The first approach virtually makes the stages of decision making identical with the stages of planning. The second approach appears to include all parts of Managing.


Directing

32 After someone decides what they want to do and how to do it (a plan) they have to try to do it i.e. achieve the objectives in the plan.*

33 Directing: the process of trying: to communicate with a person (or persons), to influence him/her (them) to achieve, or help to achieve, objective(s)

34 Directing, in essence, involves influencing others.

35 The word “trying” emphasises that some directing will fail to influence the Receivers of the communication i.e. a direction will not occur. Note the word ‘trying’ refers to both “communicate’ and “influence”.

36 An Unnecessary Part of the Definition Some Readers will rate the phrase “trying to communicate with others” as an unnecessary phrase. For anyone who accepts the proposition that no one can influence other people without communicating with them the phrase about communicating becomes unnecessary and Directing equals “Trying to Influence Others”. However, these notes leave in the phrase concerning communication to emphasise that directing does involve communicating with others.

37 Managing involves both thinking and doing: in planning, Managers “think”; in directing, they ‘do”. However in Managing the doing involve communicating, rather than physical or manual work.

38 Often not only what Managers say but how they say it (their manner) will determine the success of their Directing.

 

Techniques of Directing

39 Four main techniques exist to direct (influence) others:

40 The direct order provides a common method of trying to get people to take some action. In this culture, most people accept the hierarchy of Managers in an organisation. Thus, provided people class the order as reasonable as seen from the viewpoint of the Employee), they will accept it and try to carry it out.

41 Examples. Pass me that file (please). Come and see me. Tell Bill to come and see me. Finish the Balance Sheet by next Friday. Manufacture Part X on Machine Y.

42 However, other methods exist to influence the behaviour of people. Managers can influence people’s behaviour and persuade them to take certain actions by giving them a piece of advice. A comment from a Manager that “If I were you I would do …….. “will often influence the Subordinate so that a direct order becomes unnecessary. (However, some Receivers of these words give them the status of an order.)

43 The Information-Giving Approachprovides another indirect method. This approach may help Subordinates think about their problems.

44 Example. The Manager says – “I saw this type of procedure organised some years ago and it failed”.

45 Questioning (Information Seeking) gives another approach that may help Subordinates to think about the matter under discussion.

46 Example. A Supervisor says – “Have you looked at the effect your idea would have on the Sales Department?” or “Won’t this change make it very difficult for you to do ……? “

47 Requests often fall into the category of a question.

48 Example. I wonder if you can spare me a minute?” or “Could you come and see me at ten tomorrow?”

49 However most people accept these types of questions as having the status of an order.

Which directing technique should a person use?

50 Direct orders have a higher chance of achieving their objectives provided people who receive them accept them. The Receivers have less room for doubt as to what a Manager wants. Usually they provide a clearer communication signal than indirect methods of Directing.

51 Example. Mary says to her Subordinate (Sam) “You must finish job ‘X’ by 4 pm”. Thus, Mary gives Sam a direct order. However, compare the advice: “It would prove wise if you finished giving ‘X’ by 4 pm.” Sam may treat this advice as information and not realise the importance of finishing job ‘X’ by 4 pm.

52 If a Subordinate would not accept a particular order, an indirect approach (advice, information giving, information seeking) often achieves more than a direct order.

53 Indirect methods have one advantage – they have more chance of finding out a Subordinates true attitude to an objective. A Manager who knows the attitude a Subordinate will have to a particular objective will have useful information to help decide what type of directing approach to try next.

54 Example. Jack says to his Subordinate (Mary): “You have to work back tonight Mary”. Mary says – “I have a wedding anniversary dinner tonight and cannot.” Does Jack accept a direct refusal of an order? However, compare the situation where Jack asks a question: “How would you feel about working back tonight?” When Jack finds out about the anniversary, he can avoid giving an order and having a Subordinate reject it.

55 Directing involves the whole problem of communications between people. Managers should take care that a Subordinate has (a) received and understood their communications (a successful communication) and (b) that the communication has a high probability of encouraging (motivating) the person to do what the Manager wants to achieve (an effective communication).#

Checking

56 After someone decides what they want to do (planning) and influences others to try to do it (directing), usually they need to find out what the others have done (measurement of performance) in relation to what they wanted done (a standard)

57 These notes define checking as under -

Checking: the Measurement and Evaluation of Something, 

58. The definition of checking used in these notes probably equals what most people mean by checking. However Readers will not necessarily believe this statement initially because when they check something (Do we have enough petrol in the car to get us there?) they often do not recognise the two stages of measurement and evaluation. Thus checking (as defined above) would involve the following steps. Look at gauge and translate the position of the pointer into petrol (or so many kilometres). Compare the petrol (or kilometres) with the standard i.e. the petrol or kilometres needed to reach the destination. However sometimes people use the verb “check” when they only mean “measure” (without evaluation) e.g. Check how much petrol we have in the tank.
Readers should accept that Management terms do not have just one meaning that has universal acceptance. If Managers had access to a set of terms about Managing that had only one meaning probably they would find it easier to communicate successfully. The notes on Definitions expand on this problem and the need for, and advantages of, a widely-accepted set of terms.

59 To check anything, someone must (a) find out (measure) its present status AND (b) compare the result (or measurement) against a standard to interpret any difference. The comparison equals the evaluation.

 

60 Example A asks B – “Does that globe work (light up)?” B turns on the switch that opens the circuit to the globe and “measures” the brightness of the globe. B then compares the brightness shown against his known standard of lighted globes. If it reaches B’s standard, B says – “It works”.

61 In practice the measurement and evaluation of an activity often happens almost simultaneously. Observers measure the performance fairly roughly and, quickly, compare it (in their mind) with a standard based on their past experience.

62 Examples. An experienced observer watched a football player and stated – “She has a good style” or “He moves well”. An Applicant for a job enters the room and the Interviewer forms an impression in the first few seconds - a well-dressed person with a confident approach to the interview situation.

63 Without a clear distinction between measurement and evaluation, people often find it difficult to realise the two processes have both occurred. Thus they lose the chance to analyse some situations and (a) locate the source of errors (and successes) (diagnosis) and/or (b) plan to do well both measuring and evaluating.

64 Many Managers do not consciously think about checking and/or spend too little time doing it. However, Managers can make decisions onwhen to check, how often to check, who should do the checking, where should checking take place, whom they should check, and what to check. Sometimes these “decisions” occur by no one “making” them – nothing gets checked because no one even thinks of checking ¨

65 Each of the questions in the previous paragraph covers a number of checking possibilities that Managers should consider closely. Without some measure of performance and a standard to evaluate what this measurement means, Managers cannot find out what people have achieved and whether it proves satisfactory (e.g. they have reached a relevant objective.) 9
Standards

66 Standards describe a point or band on a scale. {Example. Ten invoices processed per hour (point) or 10-12 invoices processed per hour (band).} Every objective becomes a standard for anyone trying to achieve a particular objective. These people either (a) reach the standard (achieve the objective) or (b) fail to do so (do achieve the objective). However, standards do not rate as objectives unless someone tries to reach the standard. In summary, a standard plus the intention to achieve that standard equals an objective

67 In many cases, people do not set standards for the stages (sub objectives) along the way to achieving an objective. Sometimes people set standards after a measurement of performance has taken place.

68 Examples. (a) Harry, a Manager gives a Subordinate (Sam) some work (dig that ditch). After two hours, Harry finds the Subordinate has dug six feet. He then says to himself – how many feet should Sam have dug in two hours (a standard) (b) Harry might evaluate the work (six feet of ditch dug) and say – “You have not done much”. Sam, the Subordinate, may say – “You have forgotten we have to dig this ditch much deeper than our normal ditches”. This statement equals -“You have the wrong standard and therefore have made a wrong evaluation”.

69 Many different problems exist in setting standards. However, the following point would probably gain general acceptance: a standard should reflect, accurately, progress towards an objective. Then the person measuring the performance can evaluate whether the measured activity contributes towards the overall objective – and how efficiently it contributes.

70 Example. Mary produces ten units in her first hour of work. She compares this result with a standard of nine units per hour to finish the Customer’s order on time. Later she may find out that to finish the Customer’s order on time she would have had to produce twelve units per hour. Thus, the standard she used did not allow her to assess accurately her progress toward the end objective; i.e. her chance of achieving the end objective.


Application of the Parts of the Managing Process

71 A correct proportion of planning, directing, and checking will exist for any one Manager for a particular end-objective, given the resources (including people) needed to achieve the objective. With our present knowledge, no one has much chance of selecting the correct proportion. However, Managers should review regularly the proportion they tend to use, and have used, for particular objectives. Probably, for some of their actions, they will find that the review will suggest that a different proportion would have increased their chance of achieving particular objectives – and with a higher degree of efficiency.

The Management Cycle

72 These notes refer to the process of Managing as a continuous process because the term objective can refer to smaller and smaller parts of a larger objective.

73 Managers set out to achieve an objective: they go through the various stages of planning to achieve this objective, by planning to achieve various sub-objectives. Thus, they direct other people towards the achievement of these sub-objectives.

74 In practice, the planning of some objectives takes place while other people try to achieve a different set of objectives. At the same time the measurement and evaluation (i.e. checking) of some other activities takes place. Sometimes the results of this checking cause a delay in proposed plans or an alteration so that someone alters the directions (orders) given and further checking of altered objectives should take place.

75 A consideration of each objective by itself will allow people to identify easily the process of planning, directing, and checking. However, because of the complexity of achieving any particular sizeable objective the processes become mixed up. With respect to each sub- objective, a different stage of the process may occur at any one time.

 A Difference between Managing and Controlling

76 Many Managers and Management Writers use the term ‘controlling’ yet so far these notes have not discussed controlling.

77 Too many people the verb “to control” probably implies keeping something: “on the track, within certain limits, up to the mark”.

78 Example. The Driver controlled the train speed so it would take the curve safely. Janet carefully controlled the rod so she put it through the narrow hole without touching the sides of the hole. Tom controlled his temper. Louisa controlled the steam pressure to avoid an explosion.

79 The above examples suggest that controlling involves doing something to achieve a particular objective.

80 For someone (or something) to control any activity, they (it) must:

(a) Find out the present state of the activity

Measure Performance

Checking

(b) Compare the present state with the objective i.e. a standard. Compare Performance with Standard
(c ) Decide what they want to do (i) continue the existing activity or (ii) start something new; so that whatever they do it will help to achieve the end objective, (Re)  Planning
(d) Influence others to (i) continue with the existing plan or (ii) try to achieve the revised objectivesOrTry to achieve the original/revised objectives themselves (Re)  DirectingSelf Directing

81 Thus, checking, (re)planning, and (re)directing must occur to control an activity already started. However where checking indicates the activity has proceeded according to plan the (re) plan and the (re) direction may simply involve – Continue with the same plan.

82 Readers should note that – checking alone will not control anything. A check that shows something as “off course” achieves little without re-planning and re-directing

83 The above points lead to the following definition:

Controlling – a Process of trying to ensure progress toward an Objective.

84 Controlling would apply where (a) Managers control what they do themselves, (b) Managers control the activities of other people, (c) some non-personal device (e.g. a thermostat) controls some activity (the temperature in a refrigerator).

85 Although Managing and Controlling use the same parts (Planning, Directing, and checking’°) the difference between them lies in the consideration of the end objective.

86 Controlling takes the end objective as set and fixed; Managing considers the possibility of changing the end objective as well as controlling toward the end objective.
Operating uses planning, self-directing, and checking, since directing in these notes refers to influencing other people.

87 All Controlling activities lie within the class “Managing” but all activities of Managing do not necessarily belong to Controlling.

88 Example. The fire extinguisher device attached to the ceiling of a room provides a classic example of a “Controller”. It measures the temperature around itself and compares the surrounding temperature to some previously- decided standard. When the surrounding temperature reaches a certain point the Designer has pre-planned the system to direct a mechanism to open a valve to let water spray into the room.

89 However, if someone puts a candle under the device the whole system starts to operate – the “Controller” device blindly continues to achieve its end objective even though the circumstances now makes the original end objective (spray water into the room) no longer appropriate.

The Difference between Managing and Controlling shown by a Diagram

90 Readers who believe they understand the difference between Managing and Controlling need not read this section.

91 The following diagrams show the difference between Managing and Controlling in diagrammatic form.

92 The first diagram shows the Managing Process and its three parts:

93 This diagram shows a continuous process, broken into three different and separate stages, which occur in a set sequence.

94 The second diagram(below) expands the process line into a band to help show the area that distinguishes Managing from Controlling.

95 It shows Managing and Controlling as identical except that in Managing someone considers the possibility of changing the end-objective. Then the same person makes a conscious decision to either (a) continue to try to achieve it or (b) abandon it.

96 The unshaded part of the band below shows Controlling; the total oval band shows Managing. The shaded area shows where Managing exceeds Controlling. It represents the area where a person can decide whether to change their end objective. In this area, the Manager can decide whether to change by answering the question – “Should I still try to achieve the end objective?”

 

Managing and Controlling in relation to an end Objective and various Sub-Objectives.

97 Where Managers give Subordinates an end objective to achieve, the Subordinates usually “control” with respect to that particular end objective. Subordinates manage with respect to the “sub-objectives” they choose to achieve the end objective” i.e. sometimes, they have to alter the sub-objective.

98 Example. A Manager says- “Make me a cup of tea”. (End Objective). A Subordinate instructs an Assistant to make the tea and asks the Assistant to use the electric kettle. The Assistant reports back that the electric kettle will not work. The Subordinate changes the (sub) objective of – “Boil water in kettle” to a different objective: Boil water in pot over gas stove. The Subordinate has controlled toward the objective: “Make a cup of tea” but managed the sub-objectives concerned.  This points assumes the Subordinate gets help to achieve the end objective. People who achieve the end objective themselves would “operate” with respect to the sub-objectives. The Managing Process uses identical parts as the Operating Process except that – in Managing – planning, directing, and checking refers to other people. If a person operates then the distinction between (a) Operating and (b) Controlling oneself equals the same as between Managing and Controlling others. Operators who only control themselves sometimes forget they may change their end objectives.

 

Application of the Difference between Managing and Controlling

99 Managers who appreciate the above difference between Managing and Controlling have a framework that should encourage them to review more frequently the current desirability of their end objectives. They should ask themselves -

(a) Should I still try to achieve Objective “X”?

(b) What relevant circumstances have changed since I – (i) made the decision to achieve or (ii) last reviewed the desirability of Objective “X”?

(c) Do changed circumstances make Objectives “X” less important?

100 Wise Managers realise that they and their organisation operate in a changing environment – a wise objective yesterday may have become an unwise one today.

 

 

Coordination - a Quality resulting from Planning, Directing, and Checking

101 So far, these notes have not mentioned the activity of coordinating yet many Managers and Management Writers use the term ‘to coordinate”. However, people will find it difficult to separate the activity of coordinating from that of directing (and planning and checking) in that good directing (and good planning and good checking) aim to achieve high-quality co-ordination.2

102 Thus these notes suggest using the idea of coordination to describe a quality that results from various activities such as planning, directing, and checking. The idea means that someone may achieve varying degrees of coordination – not a state of (a) coordination or (b) no coordination.

103 The quality of coordination refers to the integration of various elements involved in achieving an objective and how well each element works in relation to other elements.

104 The following provides a definition:

Coordination: the extent to which various parts of something achieve their objectives where each parts need to act in conjunction with one or more other parts to achieve (a) an end objective and/or (b) sub objectives which will help to achieve the end objective

105 Coordination does not refer to whether someone (something) has achieved an end objective (the effectiveness of an activity). It refers to efficiency – the speed and/or cost of achieving something. Thus, the actions of some group of parts may achieve an end objective but with poor coordination, i.e. the activity would have a low efficiency. (See the Appendix at the end of these notes for a discussion of this point.)

106 All parts (e.g. activities) may achieve their objectives “perfectly’ (in a narrow sense) but someone may arrange for their achievement in a sequence which gives poor coordination.

107 The word ‘parts” aims to describe anything involved in a given end objective: people, parts of people (e.g. arms, legs, and fingers), machines, parts of machines, and how they act in relation to one another.

108 Examples. (a) A Mixing device in a bowl will achieve its end objective of “thorough” mixing depending on the distance between the wall of the mixing bowl and the sweep path of the mixing paddle. (b) Golfers must hit the ball with the correct angle of the club face at a time when their movements (wrists, arms, and waist) give them maximum speed of the movement of the club head. (Golfers have other parts to think about beside the ones mentioned above – unfortunately!)

109 Coordination has no real meaning unless considered in relation to some objective. In essence, the degree of coordination achieved depends on the time of achievement of each correct sub-objective in relation to the time of achieving other related correct sub-objectives.

110 In a narrow sense, the quality of coordination does not appear very important or obvious where a Manager gives an order to one person to carry out one specific task. However, for larger objectives (such as building a factory or launching a new product) the end objective requires so many people performing so many activities that the factor of coordination becomes obvious in thinking about planning how to achieve the objective (the construction or launch), directing other people with respect to the objective, and checking on progress.

111 However a Person consists of a number of parts and the quality of coordination does include parts of people e.g. the coordination achieved will affect the skill achieved in playing most sport – all parts need to work together to achieve the objective and/or, at least, to achieve it with high efficiency.

Footnotes for the Diagram on the Next Page

 
112 The letters below relate to the letters shown in the diagram following.
(a) Objectives arise from previous objectives and the result with respect to them.
(b) The symbols; X1, X2, X3 etc. describe sub-objectives of Objective “X”. The symbol Xn refers to the last of a number of sub-objectives: “n’ does not mean any particular number – merely the number of sub objectives identified for the particular Objective “X” (e.g. obtain cup of hot coffee)  Then the sub- objective would become: Obtain hot water (X1), Obtain coffee (X2), Get out cup and saucer (X3) , and so on.

(c) This part can also include who should do it and when, where, and how.

(d) In checking, the Performance Measured must relate to specific objectives. Unless the checking occurs at the (alleged) end of the job, it will only relate to a sub-objective. If a Manager instructs a Typist to type 6 pages of notes and he/she checks at a time when the Typist has done two pages of notes, the Manager should compare this performance measurement with the objective of typing two pages of these notes in a specified (often vague) time. The Manager will find the Typist has met the standard, fallen below it, or achieved more than expected. The Manager will then choose the next objective from: (a) Get Typist to type four pages by a certain time, (b) give the work to someone else, or (c) give part of the work to someone else.

(e) The Symbol indicates someone has found X2 unsound as an objective after checking on X1 (the first sub-objective) and has chosen a different sub-objective. For example, boil water on gas may provide a sub-objective (X2) for make a cup of tea (X) but the Tea maker may find the gas cut off. He/she decides to use the electric jug (X2a). However, the tea maker, when he/she finds no gas, can decide to abandon objective “X” and try objective “Y” – Pour a glass of milk.

Summary

112 An understanding of the parts of the managing process should help Managers to manage better.  These notes distinguish the following three major parts: Planning, Directing, and Checking – which follow each other in sequence and form a cycle.

113 Managing involves a continuous process if one accepts that many objectives need attention at any one time. However, for any one objective the parts may have some time between them.

114 Some Managers do some parts better than others.

115 These notes define planning as a conscious thinking activity aimed at determining objectives. They define an objective as a result in the future which someone believes someone should try to achieve.

116 Planning consists of two major parts: Find objectives and Choose between objectives.

117 Any plan must have an end objective and eventually someone must decide on the stages (sub objectives) and methods (sub sub objectives) to achieve the end objective. Other aspects of a plan include – the start, finish, and the duration for sub objectives; who should try to achieve them; the equipment, money, and other resources required; where to try to achieve each sub objective; and what checking to do. Someone has to make decisions on all of these matters eventually. Hence, decision making plays a major part in planning.

118 These notes define decision making as a conscious thinking process aimed at choosing between one or more things. In the case of planning the ‘things mean objectives.

119 After planning comes directing – the process of trying: to communicate with a person (or persons) to influence him/her (them) to achieve, or help to achieve, objective(s)

120 Not only what Managers say but also how they say it will determine the success of directing.

121 Four major techniques exist: Orders (= Instructions), Advice, Information Giving (other than Advice), and Information Seeking. The first one involves a direct method: the other three, indirect methods. Requests often use the question form but people treat them a indicating an order (e.g. could you spare me a minute?)

122 Direct orders have a higher chance of achieving their objective than Indirect Methods, (provided the Person receiving them accepts them) since they usually provide a clearer communication signal.

123 Indirect Directions may achieve more if a Person will not accept an Order. They can help to find out a Person’s attitude to an objective and help a Manager decide what type of directing approach to try next

124 In directing others, Managers should aim to achieve both success full and effective communications.

125 Checking (the measurement and evaluation of something) occurs after directing. The Measurement and Evaluation often occur almost together. Many Managers think too little about checking. Some do not think about checking at all. Thus, they fail to make decisions on such matters as – when, how often, who, where, and what to check.

126 A standard must exist for checking to occur. All objectives provide a standard although a standard does not become an objective until someone tries, or believes someone should try, to achieve it.

127 Often people do not consciously set standards for stages, or methods, of achieving an end objective. Sometimes people set standards after a performance measurement has taken place.

128 A standard should reflect, accurately, progress towards an objective so that anyone measuring the performance can evaluate whether the measured activity contributes towards the end objective – and how efficiently it contributes.

129 Although no one can state the correct proportion of Planning, Directing, and Checking for any particular objective, Managers should review the proportions they use, in general and for particular objectives, to check if they should use a different proportion.

130 For any job, Managers have a number of objectives to consider. At any one time, different parts of the Managing Process will relate to different objectives. This situation makes it difficult to identify the cycle of planning, directing, and checking unless one considers each objective in isolation.

131 Controlling (the process of trying to ensure progress toward an objective) differs from Managing in that Managing includes a review of the end objective and a decision to either: continue to try to achieve it or abandon it

132 Controlling uses the same parts as Managing i.e. checking, planning, and directing: Checking alone will not control anything. People who “control” towards an end objective usually “manage” the sub-objectives involved i.e. they will alter the sub-objectives but not the end objective.

133 An appreciation of the difference between Managing and Controlling should help Managers realise they should review the current desirability of an end objective, especially in a changing environment. A suitable objective yesterday can become an unsuitable one today.

134 These notes suggest using the term coordination to describe a quality resulting from various activities (such as planning, directing, and checking). Activities have varying degrees of coordination rather than belonging to the state of (a) coordinated or (b) not coordinated.

135 The notes define coordination as - Coordination: The extent to which various parts of something achieve their objectives where each part need to act in conjunction with one or more other parts to achieve (a) an end objective and/or (b) Sub Objectives which will help to achieve the end objective.

136 Coordination refers to the efficiency of activities (i.e. the cost or speed of achieving something) not the achievement of an end objective. Coordination will depend on the time of achievement of each sub-objective in relation to the time of achieving other related sub objectives. Managers will notice the coordination aspects more easily in large activities (e.g. constructing a building) but it also relates to coordination of the ‘parts of a person (e.g. hitting a golf ball – straight)

 

Appendix

The Reason behind defining Coordination as a quality and not an activity Coordination: a quality resulting from planning, directing, and checking

137 Many Management books use the term “coordination” and/or the verb ‘to coordinate” to describe an activity and a part of the Managing Process.

138 To the general public the word “coordination” probably refers to some activity involving two or more parts. The activity could refer to (a) an individual person (e.g. a well-coordinated golf shot, the lack of coordination of a spastic) or (b) a group of people and/or other things (e.g. each person’s moves in the football team lead to a well-coordinated attack; the coordination between those people and their machines produced an efficient operation; no-one seems to know what to do – the place showed no coordination at all).

139 These notes aim to use terms that have separate and distinct meanings; each word should stand for one set of ideas and only one. However, difficulties arise in considering the relationship of the activities of directing and coordinating.

140 Does directing mean the same as coordinating or do they describe completely separate and different activities? Or does directing describe some part of coordinating or vice versa?

141 What activity would a Manager have to perform to direct someone which would not aim “to coordinate” something as well? When a Manager asks a Subordinate to “coordinate” these people to achieve ‘X’, most Managers would probably expect their Subordinates to instruct (or influence the activities of) “those people” to do ‘X’. They would also expect their Subordinate to do some thinking about how to achieve ‘X’ (planning) and find out what the people have done in relation to objective ‘X’ (checking) to ensure the final achievement of ‘X’

142 The above example suggests that the idea of coordination involves not only directing activities but also planning and checking as well.

143 Further thought should convince Readers that they will have difficulty in “drawing a line” to distinguish clearly between directing and coordinating.

144 Readers may believe that both terms refer to the same, or a similar, activity. In this case, the proposition that people should use one word to mean one idea suggests that they should abandon one word or give ft a different meaning.

145 Since coordination (from one viewpoint) seems to depend on the activities of planning, directing, and checking, the term could usefully refer to a quality resulting from these three activities.

146 If people do use coordination to describe a quality belonging to Managing (or Operating or Controlling) they would not rate something as either coordinated or not coordinated; they probably refer to varying degrees of coordination. In other words, coordination represents a scale with many different points on it – from perfect coordination to extremely poor co-ordination.*

147 People who adopt the above ideas would not use the verb “to coordinate” to describe a particular activity. They should always use “coordination” as a noun to describe the degree of coordination achieved – resulting from various other activities.

Example of how each part of the Managing Process might affect the coordination achieved.

148 Suppose Melvin, a Manager, aims to produce 100 Widgets and Widgets consist of a body, four legs, and a head. He has to manufacture bodies and buy in legs and heads.

149 Melvin might plan so that he achieves varying degrees of co-ordination. He might plan to buy legs and heads thirty days after he starts manufacturing the bodies. Yet he finds that he manufactures bodies in fifteen days so he cannot assemble the Widgets until the purchased legs and heads arrive. His plan must rate as a relatively poor one with respect to gaining good coordination with respect to the arrival of all the parts together at the one time for assembly.

150 For each day below thirty (up to fifteen) he had chosen to buy legs and heads, his degree of coordination (from his planning) would have improved.

151 However even if he had chosen fifteen (i.e. had a perfect plan in this one aspect) he may have given unclear directions to his Purchasing Department. The Purchasing Officer may have misunderstood his writing or his speech. The Manager may have forgotten to tell the Purchasing Department altogether. Thus, Melvin’s poor direction will have produced low-quality coordination.

152 Even with a perfect plan and perfect directing, the Manager may not check on the arrival of the parts or the progress of his manufacturing of bodies. If the body manufacture fell behind and took twenty days then Melvin would have a lower degree of coordination. Checking on manufacturing progress may have allowed him to take action to put on more people or buy some bodies to achieve a higher quality of co-ordination.*

Leadership may also represent a quality resulting from Activities

153 The approach used to solve the problem of distinguishing between coordination and direction may also help with respect to distinguishing between (a) leading and (b) directing (and planning and checking) Thus the way the manager goes about planning, directing, and checking will produce varying degrees of leadership from very low quality to very high quality.

154 People who accept this idea would stop using the verb “to lead; and leadership would become a quality (although a different quality to that of “coordination”)

155 However leadership to the general public probably refers to the effect of one person or another. People would not talk about achieving varying qualities of leadership with machines whereas they would use coordination with respect to machines.

156 These notes define coordination in the way discussed above. They do not attempt to define leadership. However, the above ideas on considering leadership as a quality will help Readers to understand why no activity called “leading” occurs in the notes: Parts of the Managing Process.

157 Managers with a high quality of “leadership: (whatever the word means (would have chosen objectives and have carried out the activities of directing and checking in a way which encouraged their Subordinates to “follow” their Managers {i.e. the Subordinates want the Managers to manage (=? lead them).

158 However the Managers may not have chosen wise objectives. They may only have chosen objectives that they have convinced their Subordinates to follow. Hence, some Leaders will choose unwise objectives and get their Subordinates to help them achieve them. Thus, they will rate as having a high quality of leadership but they will manage poorly.


¨ The notes on “Objectives” provide further information on objectives (and planning).

 A Planner could consider a number of objectives. In order for a Planner
to consider an objective, the Planner must have found the objective. These objectives would deserve the term “possible”. However a Planner could reject some (or all) of these objectives.
The verb “identify” aims to describe a situation where someone receives an objective (decision) from someone else.

* If a person tries to achieve the objectives in a plan by themselves, they carry out the activity of operating, as defined in these notes. (Operating - Any activity where someone tries to achieve objectives through their own effort only. Alternatively, the process of determining (accepting and/or setting) objectives and trying to achieve them). If person ‘A’ uses other people to achieve objectives, ‘A’ carries out the activity of Managing. Managers will often try to achieve a particular (end) objective by using both Managing and Operating. Sometimes the mere presence or absence of their Manager will give information to Subordinates.

# The notes on “Parts of the Communication Process” provide further information on “successful” and “effective” communication.

¨ The notes on “Checking” provides many more details on the topic. Checking on what other people have done occurs in Managing. Operating also includes checking: people can check their own activities.

*  I find it difficult to imagine such a point on the coordination scale as “nil” coordination. What do Readers think?

Parts of the Management Process 1

Parts of the Managing Process

Introduction

1 These notes aim to help Managers manage better by breaking the process of managing into parts so that Managers can (a) study what these notes say happens in each part and (b) compare what they actually do. They define each part, discuss the sub-parts of Planning and Checking, and identify some of the major techniques of Directing. All three parts occur in the managing cycle. They tend to become confused because people deal with, or think about, more than one objective at a time and they find that various objectives have reached different parts at the same time.

2 These notes discuss standards and just where they fit into the ideas of setting objectives and checking results. They define Controlling and show its relationship to Managing. They also define Coordination and suggest that Managers should use the word to describe a quality resulting from the way Managers carry out the parts of the managing process.

Understanding a Process by studying its Parts

3 These notes define Managing as a continuous process of determining objectives and trying to achieve them through the efforts of other people. Managers should learn to manage better if they examine and understand the process in more detail.

4 One type of analysis involves picking out elements or factors in the activity of Managing; another involves breaking down Managing into different stages i.e. parts that follow one another in sequence.

5 Any process can consist of (almost) any number of parts/stages depending upon the detail used. These notes distinguish three major stages in the Managing Process.

(a) Planning- Decide what to do.

(b) Directing- Influence someone to do it.

(c) Checking – Find out the results achieved and compares the results with what someone planned to do.

6 The diagram near the end of these notes shows the relationship of these three parts of Managing to the definition of Managing and the communication channel that people

7 The three parts of Managing (Planning, Directing, and Checking) form a cycle with respect to each particular objective or sub-objective. The Managing Process virtually occurs continuously provided one accepts that many objectives need attention in any one short period. However, with respect to any one particular objective, a period can exist between various parts of the process.

 8 Examples. With respect to one objective, planning and directing can have a time interval between them, as can directing and checking, or checking and planning.

9 Probably these periods will occur more often with “larger’ objectives.

10 Example. In building a factory, the planning will occur many weeks before someone actually starts building it.

11 Some Managers do one or two parts well but neglect, or carry out badly, one of the other parts.

12 Examples. Some Managers give orders well (directing) but do very little checking; others plan well but direct poorly. Some check carefully but have planned poorly.

13 The following sections explain each part of Managing in more detail

Planning

A Definition of Planning

14 The term Planning must assume the existence of an (end) objectives and planning

15 Further, someone (A) could take one such sub objective (X) and ask another person (B) to class the sub objective as theirend objective and try to achieve it. The other person (B) then plans how to achieve X by finding sub objectives that they believe will (help to) achieve objective X.

16 These ideas lead to a definition of planning:

Planning: a conscious thinking activity aimed at determining objectives that the thinker believes will help to achieve an end objective.

17 The above definition classes planning as a mental activity (thinking) and a conscious one. Unconscious planning would occur before the brain instructs a person to contract their hand muscles so they can grasp some object. However, often the person has consciously planned to pick up the object.

18 These notes define an objective as under:

Objective: a Result in the future that someone believes someone should try to achieve.

Parts of Planning

19 Two major parts exist in Planning:

(a) Find possible objectives 2 (which the Planner believes will achieve the end objective) and

(b) Evaluate the possible objectives to select one or more.

20 In briefer terms the parts equal: (a) Find objectives and (b) Choose between objectives.

Common Possible Objectives and (Decisions)¨

21 In any activity a number of aspects exist on which people must make decisions and/or set objectives. Someone must:

(a) Decide (or Identify) the result, or the end objective of an action.

(b) Decide (Identify) the stages in progressing towards the end result and the methods used in each stage.

22 One way of looking at planning states that people find and select objectives (called sub objectives) which, if achieved, will help to achieve an end objective. Thus, a stage of a plan could equal sub objectives and the methods used to achieve each stage could equal sub, sub objectives.

23 Other common possible objectives exist. For example, someone must decide the timing for objectives – their start, finish, duration; who should try to achieve each Objective; and where to do it. Other factors include equipment required, money needed, and the likely environment in which the action will occur. A person can also plan what checking to carry out.

24 Once someone makes these types of decisions, they can make other decisions (lower-level objectives) based on the first-made decisions (higher-level decisions (objectives)

25 Someone may even decide on objectives that provide guidance on what to do if certain things go wrong and/or fail to happen. People call this activity – contingency planning.

26 Readers should note that some of the important elements of planning (objectives, programs, schedules, procedures, policies, and rules) describe specific types of decisions that people make.

Does Planning equal Decision Making

27 The above discussion suggests that decision making must play an important part in

23 Other common possible objectives exist. For example, someone must decide the timing for objectives – their start, finish, duration; who should try to achieve each Objective; and where to do it. Other factors include equipment required, money needed, and the likely environment in which the action will occur. A person can also plan what checking to carry out.

24 Once someone makes these types of decisions, they can make other decisions (lower-level objectives) based on the first-made decisions (higher-level decisions (objectives)

25 Someone may even decide on objectives that provide guidance on what to do if certain things go wrong and/or fail to happen. People call this activity – contingency planning.

26 Readers should note that some of the important elements of planning (objectives, programs, schedules, procedures, policies, and rules) describe specific types of decisions that people make.

Does Planning equal Decision Making

27 The above discussion suggests that decision making must play an important part in planning. If a plan involves a number of objectives that someone believes all contribute to the achievement of an end objective, someone has to decide the objectives to include in the plan.

28 However planning involves more than just decision making between objectives.

A Definition of Decision Making

29 Decision making: a conscious thinking process aimed at choosing between one or more things.

30 In the case of planning, the “thing” involves objectives. Hence planning involves a particular class of decision making, namely:

Objective setting: a conscious thinking Process aimed at choosing between one or more Objectives.

31 Some Writers define decision making as a process that covers not only the actual selection of objectives but also, the preparation for the wise selection of objectives – including defining the problem and searching for various solutions (objectives). Some Writers include implementing the decision. These notes do not recommend such a broad approach. The first approach virtually makes the stages of decision making identical with the stages of planning. The second approach appears to include all parts of Managing.


Parts of the Managing Process

Introduction

1 These notes aim to help Managers manage better by breaking the process of managing into parts so that Managers can (a) study what these notes say happens in each part and (b) compare what they actually do. They define each part, discuss the sub-parts of Planning and Checking, and identify some of the major techniques of Directing. All three parts occur in the managing cycle. They tend to become confused because people deal with, or think about, more than one objective at a time and they find that various objectives have reached different parts at the same time.

2 These notes discuss standards and just where they fit into the ideas of setting objectives and checking results. They define Controlling and show its relationship to Managing. They also define Coordination and suggest that Managers should use the word to describe a quality resulting from the way Managers carry out the parts of the managing process.

Understanding a Process by studying its Parts

3 These notes define Managing as a continuous process of determining objectives and trying to achieve them through the efforts of other people. Managers should learn to manage better if they examine and understand the process in more detail.

4 One type of analysis involves picking out elements or factors in the activity of Managing; another involves breaking down Managing into different stages i.e. parts that follow one another in sequence.

5 Any process can consist of (almost) any number of parts/stages depending upon the detail used. These notes distinguish three major stages in the Managing Process.

(a) Planning- Decide what to do.

(b) Directing- Influence someone to do it.

(c) Checking – Find out the results achieved and compares the results with what someone planned to do.

6 The diagram near the end of these notes shows the relationship of these three parts of Managing to the definition of Managing and the communication channel that people probably will use in these three stages
A continuous Process does not necessarily exist for each specific Objective

7 The three parts of Managing (Planning, Directing, and Checking) form a cycle with respect to each particular objective or sub-objective. The Managing Process virtually occurs continuously provided one accepts that many objectives need attention in any one short period. However, with respect to any one particular objective, a period can exist between various parts of the process.

 

8 Examples. With respect to one objective, planning and directing can have a time interval between them, as can directing and checking, or checking and planning.

9 Probably these periods will occur more often with “larger’ objectives.

10 Example. In building a factory, the planning will occur many weeks before someone actually starts building it.

11 Some Managers do one or two parts well but neglect, or carry out badly, one of the other parts.

12 Examples. Some Managers give orders well (directing) but do very little checking; others plan well but direct poorly. Some check carefully but have planned poorly.

13 The following sections explain each part of Managing in more detail

Planning

A Definition of Planning

14 The term Planning must assume the existence of an (end) objectives and planning aims to find a way to achieve this end objective. A group of (sub) objectives will set down “the way”.

15 Further, someone (A) could take one such sub objective (X) and ask another person (B) to class the sub objective as theirend objective and try to achieve it. The other person (B) then plans how to achieve X by finding sub objectives that they believe will (help to) achieve objective X.

16 These ideas lead to a definition of planning:

Planning: a conscious thinking activity aimed at determining objectives that the thinker believes will help to achieve an end objective.

17 The above definition classes planning as a mental activity (thinking) and a conscious one. Unconscious planning would occur before the brain instructs a person to contract their hand muscles so they can grasp some object. However, often the person has consciously planned to pick up the object.

18 These notes define an objective as under:

Objective: a Result in the future that someone believes someone should try to achieve.

Parts of Planning

19 Two major parts exist in Planning:

(a) Find possible objectives 2 (which the Planner believes will achieve the end objective) and

(b) Evaluate the possible objectives to select one or more.

20 In briefer terms the parts equal: (a) Find objectives and (b) Choose between objectives.

Common Possible Objectives and (Decisions)¨

21 In any activity a number of aspects exist on which people must make decisions and/or set objectives. Someone must:

(a) Decide (or Identify) the result, or the end objective of an action.

(b) Decide (Identify) the stages in progressing towards the end result and the methods used in each stage.

22 One way of looking at planning states that people find and select objectives (called sub objectives) which, if achieved, will help to achieve an end objective. Thus, a stage of a plan could equal sub objectives and the methods used to achieve each stage could equal sub, sub objectives.

23 Other common possible objectives exist. For example, someone must decide the timing for objectives – their start, finish, duration; who should try to achieve each Objective; and where to do it. Other factors include equipment required, money needed, and the likely environment in which the action will occur. A person can also plan what checking to carry out.

24 Once someone makes these types of decisions, they can make other decisions (lower-level objectives) based on the first-made decisions (higher-level decisions (objectives)

25 Someone may even decide on objectives that provide guidance on what to do if certain things go wrong and/or fail to happen. People call this activity – contingency planning.

26 Readers should note that some of the important elements of planning (objectives, programs, schedules, procedures, policies, and rules) describe specific types of decisions that people make.

Does Planning equal Decision Making

27 The above discussion suggests that decision making must play an important part in planning. If a plan involves a number of objectives that someone believes all contribute to the achievement of an end objective, someone has to decide the objectives to include in the plan.

28 However planning involves more than just decision making between objectives.

A Definition of Decision Making

29 Decision making: a conscious thinking process aimed at choosing between one or more things.

30 In the case of planning, the “thing” involves objectives. Hence planning involves a particular class of decision making, namely:

Objective setting: a conscious thinking Process aimed at choosing between one or more Objectives.

31 Some Writers define decision making as a process that covers not only the actual selection of objectives but also, the preparation for the wise selection of objectives – including defining the problem and searching for various solutions (objectives). Some Writers include implementing the decision. These notes do not recommend such a broad approach. The first approach virtually makes the stages of decision making identical with the stages of planning. The second approach appears to include all parts of Managing.


Directing

32 After someone decides what they want to do and how to do it (a plan) they have to try to do it i.e. achieve the objectives in the plan.*

33 Directing: the process of trying: to communicate with a person (or persons), to influence him/her (them) to achieve, or help to achieve, objective(s)

34 Directing, in essence, involves influencing others.

35 The word “trying” emphasises that some directing will fail to influence the Receivers of the communication i.e. a direction will not occur. Note the word ‘trying’ refers to both “communicate’ and “influence”.

36 An Unnecessary Part of the Definition Some Readers will rate the phrase “trying to communicate with others” as an unnecessary phrase. For anyone who accepts the proposition that no one can influence other people without communicating with them the phrase about communicating becomes unnecessary and Directing equals “Trying to Influence Others”. However, these notes leave in the phrase concerning communication to emphasise that directing does involve communicating with others.

37 Managing involves both thinking and doing: in planning, Managers “think”; in directing, they ‘do”. However in Managing the doing involve communicating, rather than physical or manual work.

38 Often not only what Managers say but how they say it (their manner) will determine the success of their Directing.

 

Techniques of Directing

39 Four main techniques exist to direct (influence) others -

40 The direct order provides a common method of trying to get people to take some action. In this culture, most people accept the hierarchy of Managers in an organisation. Thus, provided people class the order as reasonable as seen from the viewpoint of the Employee), they will accept it and try to carry it out.

41 Examples. Pass me that file (please). Come and see me. Tell Bill to come and see me. Finish the Balance Sheet by next Friday. Manufacture Part X on Machine Y.

42 However, other methods exist to influence the behaviour of people. Managers can influence people’s behaviour and persuade them to take certain actions by giving them a piece of advice. A comment from a Manager that “If I were you I would do …….. “will often influence the Subordinate so that a direct order becomes unnecessary. (However, some Receivers of these words give them the status of an order.)

43 The Information-Giving Approachprovides another indirect method. This approach may help Subordinates think about their problems.

44 Example. The Manager says – “I saw this type of procedure organised some years ago and it failed”.

45 Questioning (Information Seeking) gives another approach that may help Subordinates to think about the matter under discussion.

46 Example. A Supervisor says – “Have you looked at the effect your idea would have on the Sales Department?” or “Won’t this change make it very difficult for you to do ……? “

47 Requests often fall into the category of a question.

48 Example. I wonder if you can spare me a minute?” or “Could you come and see me at ten tomorrow?”

49 However most people accept these types of questions as having the status of an order.

Which directing technique should a person use?

50 Direct orders have a higher chance of achieving their objectives provided people who receive them accept them. The Receivers have less room for doubt as to what a Manager wants. Usually they provide a clearer communication signal than indirect methods of Directing.

51 Example. Mary says to her Subordinate (Sam) “You must finish job ‘X’ by 4 pm”. Thus, Mary gives Sam a direct order. However, compare the advice: “It would prove wise if you finished giving ‘X’ by 4 pm.” Sam may treat this advice as information and not realise the importance of finishing job ‘X’ by 4 pm.

52 If a Subordinate would not accept a particular order, an indirect approach (advice, information giving, information seeking) often achieves more than a direct order.

53 Indirect methods have one advantage – they have more chance of finding out a Subordinates true attitude to an objective. A Manager who knows the attitude a Subordinate will have to a particular objective will have useful information to help decide what type of directing approach to try next.

54 Example. Jack says to his Subordinate (Mary): “You have to work back tonight Mary”. Mary says – “I have a wedding anniversary dinner tonight and cannot.” Does Jack accept a direct refusal of an order? However, compare the situation where Jack asks a question: “How would you feel about working back tonight?” When Jack finds out about the anniversary, he can avoid giving an order and having a Subordinate reject it.

55 Directing involves the whole problem of communications between people. Managers should take care that a Subordinate has (a) received and understood their communications (a successful communication) and (b) that the communication has a high probability of encouraging (motivating) the person to do what the Manager wants to achieve (an effective communication).#

Checking

56 After someone decides what they want to do (planning) and influences others to try to do it (directing), usually they need to find out what the others have done (measurement of performance) in relation to what they wanted done (a standard)

57 These notes define checking as under -

Checking: the Measurement and Evaluation of Something,  

58. The definition of checking used in these notes probably equals what most people mean by checking. However Readers will not necessarily believe this statement initially because when they check something (Do we have enough petrol in the car to get us there?) they often do not recognise the two stages of measurement and evaluation. Thus checking (as defined above) would involve the following steps. Look at gauge and translate the position of the pointer into petrol (or so many kilometres). Compare the petrol (or kilometres) with the standard i.e. the petrol or kilometres needed to reach the destination. However sometimes people use the verb “check” when they only mean “measure” (without evaluation) e.g. Check how much petrol we have in the tank.
Readers should accept that Management terms do not have just one meaning that has universal acceptance. If Managers had access to a set of terms about Managing that had only one meaning probably they would find it easier to communicate successfully. The notes on Definitions expand on this problem and the need for, and advantages of, a widely-accepted set of terms.

59 To check anything, someone must (a) find out (measure) its present status AND (b) compare the result (or measurement) against a standard to interpret any difference. The comparison equals the evaluation.

 

60 Example A asks B – “Does that globe work (light up)?” B turns on the switch that opens the circuit to the globe and “measures” the brightness of the globe. B then compares the brightness shown against his known standard of lighted globes. If it reaches B’s standard, B says – “It works”.

61 In practice the measurement and evaluation of an activity often happens almost simultaneously. Observers measure the performance fairly roughly and, quickly, compare it (in their mind) with a standard based on their past experience.

62 Examples. An experienced observer watched a football player and stated – “She has a good style” or “He moves well”. An Applicant for a job enters the room and the Interviewer forms an impression in the first few seconds - a well-dressed person with a confident approach to the interview situation.

63 Without a clear distinction between measurement and evaluation, people often find it difficult to realise the two processes have both occurred. Thus they lose the chance to analyse some situations and (a) locate the source of errors (and successes) (diagnosis) and/or (b) plan to do well both measuring and evaluating.

64 Many Managers do not consciously think about checking and/or spend too little time doing it. However, Managers can make decisions onwhen to check, how often to check, who should do the checking, where should checking take place, whom they should check, and what to check. Sometimes these “decisions” occur by no one “making” them – nothing gets checked because no one even thinks of checking ¨

65 Each of the questions in the previous paragraph covers a number of checking possibilities that Managers should consider closely. Without some measure of performance and a standard to evaluate what this measurement means, Managers cannot find out what people have achieved and whether it proves satisfactory (e.g. they have reached a relevant objective.) 9
Standards

66 Standards describe a point or band on a scale. {Example. Ten invoices processed per hour (point) or 10-12 invoices processed per hour (band).} Every objective becomes a standard for anyone trying to achieve a particular objective. These people either (a) reach the standard (achieve the objective) or (b) fail to do so (do achieve the objective). However, standards do not rate as objectives unless someone tries to reach the standard. In summary, a standard plus the intention to achieve that standard equals an objective

67 In many cases, people do not set standards for the stages (sub objectives) along the way to achieving an objective. Sometimes people set standards after a measurement of performance has taken place.

68 Examples. (a) Harry, a Manager gives a Subordinate (Sam) some work (dig that ditch). After two hours, Harry finds the Subordinate has dug six feet. He then says to himself – how many feet should Sam have dug in two hours (a standard) (b) Harry might evaluate the work (six feet of ditch dug) and say – “You have not done much”. Sam, the Subordinate, may say – “You have forgotten we have to dig this ditch much deeper than our normal ditches”. This statement equals -“You have the wrong standard and therefore have made a wrong evaluation”.

69 Many different problems exist in setting standards. However, the following point would probably gain general acceptance: a standard should reflect, accurately, progress towards an objective. Then the person measuring the performance can evaluate whether the measured activity contributes towards the overall objective – and how efficiently it contributes.

70 Example. Mary produces ten units in her first hour of work. She compares this result with a standard of nine units per hour to finish the Customer’s order on time. Later she may find out that to finish the Customer’s order on time she would have had to produce twelve units per hour. Thus, the standard she used did not allow her to assess accurately her progress toward the end objective; i.e. her chance of achieving the end objective.


Application of the Parts of the Managing Process

71 A correct proportion of planning, directing, and checking will exist for any one Manager for a particular end-objective, given the resources (including people) needed to achieve the objective. With our present knowledge, no one has much chance of selecting the correct proportion. However, Managers should review regularly the proportion they tend to use, and have used, for particular objectives. Probably, for some of their actions, they will find that the review will suggest that a different proportion would have increased their chance of achieving particular objectives – and with a higher degree of efficiency.

The Management Cycle

72 These notes refer to the process of Managing as a continuous process because the term objective can refer to smaller and smaller parts of a larger objective.

73 Managers set out to achieve an objective: they go through the various stages of planning to achieve this objective, by planning to achieve various sub-objectives. Thus, they direct other people towards the achievement of these sub-objectives.

74 In practice, the planning of some objectives takes place while other people try to achieve a different set of objectives. At the same time the measurement and evaluation (i.e. checking) of some other activities takes place. Sometimes the results of this checking cause a delay in proposed plans or an alteration so that someone alters the directions (orders) given and further checking of altered objectives should take place.

75 A consideration of each objective by itself will allow people to identify easily the process of planning, directing, and checking. However, because of the complexity of achieving any particular sizeable objective the processes become mixed up. With respect to each sub- objective, a different stage of the process may occur at any one time.

 A Difference between Managing and Controlling

76 Many Managers and Management Writers use the term ‘controlling’ yet so far these notes have not discussed controlling.

77 Too many people the verb “to control” probably implies keeping something: “on the track, within certain limits, up to the mark”.

78 Example. The Driver controlled the train speed so it would take the curve safely. Janet carefully controlled the rod so she put it through the narrow hole without touching the sides of the hole. Tom controlled his temper. Louisa controlled the steam pressure to avoid an explosion.

79 The above examples suggest that controlling involves doing something to achieve a particular objective.

80 For someone (or something) to control any activity, they (it) must:

(a) Find out the present state of the activity

Measure Performance

Checking

(b) Compare the present state with the objective i.e. a standard. Compare Performance with Standard
(c ) Decide what they want to do (i) continue the existing activity or (ii) start something new; so that whatever they do it will help to achieve the end objective, (Re)  Planning
(d) Influence others to (i) continue with the existing plan or (ii) try to achieve the revised objectivesOr

Try to achieve the original/revised objectives themselves(Re)  DirectingSelf Directing

81 Thus, checking, (re)planning, and (re)directing must occur to control an activity already started. However where checking indicates the activity has proceeded according to plan the (re) plan and the (re) direction may simply involve – Continue with the same plan.

82 Readers should note that – checking alone will not control anything. A check that shows something as “off course” achieves little without re-planning and re-directing

83 The above points lead to the following definition:

Controlling – a Process of trying to ensure progress toward an Objective.

84 Controlling would apply where (a) Managers control what they do themselves, (b) Managers control the activities of other people, (c) some non-personal device (e.g. a thermostat) controls some activity (the temperature in a refrigerator).

85 Although Managing and Controlling use the same parts (Planning, Directing, and checking’°) the difference between them lies in the consideration of the end objective.

86 Controlling takes the end objective as set and fixed; Managing considers the possibility of changing the end objective as well as controlling toward the end objective.
Operating uses planning, self-directing, and checking, since directing in these notes refers to influencing other people.

87 All Controlling activities lie within the class “Managing” but all activities of Managing do not necessarily belong to Controlling.

88 Example. The fire extinguisher device attached to the ceiling of a room provides a classic example of a “Controller”. It measures the temperature around itself and compares the surrounding temperature to some previously- decided standard. When the surrounding temperature reaches a certain point the Designer has pre-planned the system to direct a mechanism to open a valve to let water spray into the room.

89 However, if someone puts a candle under the device the whole system starts to operate – the “Controller” device blindly continues to achieve its end objective even though the circumstances now makes the original end objective (spray water into the room) no longer appropriate.

The Difference between Managing and Controlling shown by a Diagram

90 Readers who believe they understand the difference between Managing and Controlling need not read this section.

91 The following diagrams show the difference between Managing and Controlling in diagrammatic form.

92 The first diagram shows the Managing Process and its three parts:

93 This diagram shows a continuous process, broken into three different and separate stages, which occur in a set sequence.

94 The second diagram(below) expands the process line into a band to help show the area that distinguishes Managing from Controlling.

95 It shows Managing and Controlling as identical except that in Managing someone considers the possibility of changing the end-objective. Then the same person makes a conscious decision to either (a) continue to try to achieve it or (b) abandon it.

96 The unshaded part of the band below shows Controlling; the total oval band shows Managing. The shaded area shows where Managing exceeds Controlling. It represents the area where a person can decide whether to change their end objective. In this area, the Manager can decide whether to change by answering the question – “Should I still try to achieve the end objective?”

Managing and Controlling in relation to an end Objective and various Sub-Objectives.

97 Where Managers give Subordinates an end objective to achieve, the Subordinates usually “control” with respect to that particular end objective. Subordinates manage with respect to the “sub-objectives” they choose to achieve the end objective” i.e. sometimes, they have to alter the sub-objective.

98 Example. A Manager says- “Make me a cup of tea”. (End Objective). A Subordinate instructs an Assistant to make the tea and asks the Assistant to use the electric kettle. The Assistant reports back that the electric kettle will not work. The Subordinate changes the (sub) objective of – “Boil water in kettle” to a different objective: Boil water in pot over gas stove. The Subordinate has controlled toward the objective: “Make a cup of tea” but managed the sub-objectives concerned.  This points assumes the Subordinate gets help to achieve the end objective. People who achieve the end objective themselves would “operate” with respect to the sub-objectives. The Managing Process uses identical parts as the Operating Process except that – in Managing – planning, directing, and checking refers to other people. If a person operates then the distinction between (a) Operating and (b) Controlling oneself equals the same as between Managing and Controlling others. Operators who only control themselves sometimes forget they may change their end objectives.

 

Application of the Difference between Managing and Controlling

99 Managers who appreciate the above difference between Managing and Controlling have a framework that should encourage them to review more frequently the current desirability of their end objectives. They should ask themselves -

(a) Should I still try to achieve Objective “X”?

(b) What relevant circumstances have changed since I – (i) made the decision to achieve or (ii) last reviewed the desirability of Objective “X”?

(c) Do changed circumstances make Objectives “X” less important?

100 Wise Managers realise that they and their organisation operate in a changing environment – a wise objective yesterday may have become an unwise one today.

 

 

Coordination - a Quality resulting from Planning, Directing, and Checking

101 So far, these notes have not mentioned the activity of coordinating yet many Managers and Management Writers use the term ‘to coordinate”. However, people will find it difficult to separate the activity of coordinating from that of directing (and planning and checking) in that good directing (and good planning and good checking) aim to achieve high-quality co-ordination.2

102 Thus these notes suggest using the idea of coordination to describe a quality that results from various activities such as planning, directing, and checking. The idea means that someone may achieve varying degrees of coordination – not a state of (a) coordination or (b) no coordination.

103 The quality of coordination refers to the integration of various elements involved in achieving an objective and how well each element works in relation to other elements.

104 The following provides a definition:

Coordination: the extent to which various parts of something achieve their objectives where each parts need to act in conjunction with one or more other parts to achieve (a) an end objective and/or (b) sub objectives which will help to achieve the end objective

105 Coordination does not refer to whether someone (something) has achieved an end objective (the effectiveness of an activity). It refers to efficiency – the speed and/or cost of achieving something. Thus, the actions of some group of parts may achieve an end objective but with poor coordination, i.e. the activity would have a low efficiency. (See the Appendix at the end of these notes for a discussion of this point.)

106 All parts (e.g. activities) may achieve their objectives “perfectly’ (in a narrow sense) but someone may arrange for their achievement in a sequence which gives poor coordination.

107 The word ‘parts” aims to describe anything involved in a given end objective: people, parts of people (e.g. arms, legs, and fingers), machines, parts of machines, and how they act in relation to one another.

108 Examples. (a) A Mixing device in a bowl will achieve its end objective of “thorough” mixing depending on the distance between the wall of the mixing bowl and the sweep path of the mixing paddle. (b) Golfers must hit the ball with the correct angle of the club face at a time when their movements (wrists, arms, and waist) give them maximum speed of the movement of the club head. (Golfers have other parts to think about beside the ones mentioned above – unfortunately!)

109 Coordination has no real meaning unless considered in relation to some objective. In essence, the degree of coordination achieved depends on the time of achievement of each correct sub-objective in relation to the time of achieving other related correct sub-objectives.

110 In a narrow sense, the quality of coordination does not appear very important or obvious where a Manager gives an order to one person to carry out one specific task. However, for larger objectives (such as building a factory or launching a new product) the end objective requires so many people performing so many activities that the factor of coordination becomes obvious in thinking about planning how to achieve the objective (the construction or launch), directing other people with respect to the objective, and checking on progress.

111 However a Person consists of a number of parts and the quality of coordination does include parts of people e.g. the coordination achieved will affect the skill achieved in playing most sport – all parts need to work together to achieve the objective and/or, at least, to achieve it with high efficiency.

Footnotes for the Diagram on the Next Page

 
112 The letters below relate to the letters shown in the diagram following.
(a) Objectives arise from previous objectives and the result with respect to them.
(b) The symbols; X1, X2, X3 etc. describe sub-objectives of Objective “X”. The symbol Xn refers to the last of a number of sub-objectives: “n’ does not mean any particular number – merely the number of sub objectives identified for the particular Objective “X” (e.g. obtain cup of hot coffee)  Then the sub- objective would become: Obtain hot water (X1), Obtain coffee (X2), Get out cup and saucer (X3) , and so on.

(c) This part can also include who should do it and when, where, and how.

(d) In checking, the Performance Measured must relate to specific objectives. Unless the checking occurs at the (alleged) end of the job, it will only relate to a sub-objective. If a Manager instructs a Typist to type 6 pages of notes and he/she checks at a time when the Typist has done two pages of notes, the Manager should compare this performance measurement with the objective of typing two pages of these notes in a specified (often vague) time. The Manager will find the Typist has met the standard, fallen below it, or achieved more than expected. The Manager will then choose the next objective from: (a) Get Typist to type four pages by a certain time, (b) give the work to someone else, or (c) give part of the work to someone else.

(e) The Symbol indicates someone has found X2 unsound as an objective after checking on X1 (the first sub-objective) and has chosen a different sub-objective. For example, boil water on gas may provide a sub-objective (X2) for make a cup of tea (X) but the Tea maker may find the gas cut off. He/she decides to use the electric jug (X2a). However, the tea maker, when he/she finds no gas, can decide to abandon objective “X” and try objective “Y” – Pour a glass of milk.

Summary

112 An understanding of the parts of the managing process should help Managers to manage better.  These notes distinguish the following three major parts: Planning, Directing, and Checking – which follow each other in sequence and form a cycle.

113 Managing involves a continuous process if one accepts that many objectives need attention at any one time. However, for any one objective the parts may have some time between them.

114 Some Managers do some parts better than others.

115 These notes define planning as a conscious thinking activity aimed at determining objectives. They define an objective as a result in the future which someone believes someone should try to achieve.

116 Planning consists of two major parts: Find objectives and Choose between objectives.

117 Any plan must have an end objective and eventually someone must decide on the stages (sub objectives) and methods (sub sub objectives) to achieve the end objective. Other aspects of a plan include – the start, finish, and the duration for sub objectives; who should try to achieve them; the equipment, money, and other resources required; where to try to achieve each sub objective; and what checking to do. Someone has to make decisions on all of these matters eventually. Hence, decision making plays a major part in planning.

118 These notes define decision making as a conscious thinking process aimed at choosing between one or more things. In the case of planning the ‘things mean objectives.

119 After planning comes directing – the process of trying: to communicate with a person (or persons) to influence him/her (them) to achieve, or help to achieve, objective(s)

120 Not only what Managers say but also how they say it will determine the success of directing.

121 Four major techniques exist: Orders (= Instructions), Advice, Information Giving (other than Advice), and Information Seeking. The first one involves a direct method: the other three, indirect methods. Requests often use the question form but people treat them a indicating an order (e.g. could you spare me a minute?)

122 Direct orders have a higher chance of achieving their objective than Indirect Methods, (provided the Person receiving them accepts them) since they usually provide a clearer communication signal.

123 Indirect Directions may achieve more if a Person will not accept an Order. They can help to find out a Person’s attitude to an objective and help a Manager decide what type of directing approach to try next

124 In directing others, Managers should aim to achieve both success full and effective communications.

125 Checking (the measurement and evaluation of something) occurs after directing. The Measurement and Evaluation often occur almost together. Many Managers think too little about checking. Some do not think about checking at all. Thus, they fail to make decisions on such matters as – when, how often, who, where, and what to check.

126 A standard must exist for checking to occur. All objectives provide a standard although a standard does not become an objective until someone tries, or believes someone should try, to achieve it.

127 Often people do not consciously set standards for stages, or methods, of achieving an end objective. Sometimes people set standards after a performance measurement has taken place.

128 A standard should reflect, accurately, progress towards an objective so that anyone measuring the performance can evaluate whether the measured activity contributes towards the end objective – and how efficiently it contributes.

129 Although no one can state the correct proportion of Planning, Directing, and Checking for any particular objective, Managers should review the proportions they use, in general and for particular objectives, to check if they should use a different proportion.

130 For any job, Managers have a number of objectives to consider. At any one time, different parts of the Managing Process will relate to different objectives. This situation makes it difficult to identify the cycle of planning, directing, and checking unless one considers each objective in isolation.

131 Controlling (the process of trying to ensure progress toward an objective) differs from Managing in that Managing includes a review of the end objective and a decision to either: continue to try to achieve it or abandon it

132 Controlling uses the same parts as Managing i.e. checking, planning, and directing: Checking alone will not control anything. People who “control” towards an end objective usually “manage” the sub-objectives involved i.e. they will alter the sub-objectives but not the end objective.

133 An appreciation of the difference between Managing and Controlling should help Managers realise they should review the current desirability of an end objective, especially in a changing environment. A suitable objective yesterday can become an unsuitable one today.

134 These notes suggest using the term coordination to describe a quality resulting from various activities (such as planning, directing, and checking). Activities have varying degrees of coordination rather than belonging to the state of (a) coordinated or (b) not coordinated.

135 The notes define coordination as - Coordination: The extent to which various parts of something achieve their objectives where each part need to act in conjunction with one or more other parts to achieve (a) an end objective and/or (b) Sub Objectives which will help to achieve the end objective.

136 Coordination refers to the efficiency of activities (i.e. the cost or speed of achieving something) not the achievement of an end objective. Coordination will depend on the time of achievement of each sub-objective in relation to the time of achieving other related sub objectives. Managers will notice the coordination aspects more easily in large activities (e.g. constructing a building) but it also relates to coordination of the ‘parts of a person (e.g. hitting a golf ball – straight)

 

Appendix

The Reason behind defining Coordination as a quality and not an activity Coordination: a quality resulting from planning, directing, and checking

137 Many Management books use the term “coordination” and/or the verb ‘to coordinate” to describe an activity and a part of the Managing Process.

138 To the general public the word “coordination” probably refers to some activity involving two or more parts. The activity could refer to (a) an individual person (e.g. a well-coordinated golf shot, the lack of coordination of a spastic) or (b) a group of people and/or other things (e.g. each person’s moves in the football team lead to a well-coordinated attack; the coordination between those people and their machines produced an efficient operation; no-one seems to know what to do – the place showed no coordination at all).

139 These notes aim to use terms that have separate and distinct meanings; each word should stand for one set of ideas and only one. However, difficulties arise in considering the relationship of the activities of directing and coordinating.

140 Does directing mean the same as coordinating or do they describe completely separate and different activities? Or does directing describe some part of coordinating or vice versa?

141 What activity would a Manager have to perform to direct someone which would not aim “to coordinate” something as well? When a Manager asks a Subordinate to “coordinate” these people to achieve ‘X’, most Managers would probably expect their Subordinates to instruct (or influence the activities of) “those people” to do ‘X’. They would also expect their Subordinate to do some thinking about how to achieve ‘X’ (planning) and find out what the people have done in relation to objective ‘X’ (checking) to ensure the final achievement of ‘X’

142 The above example suggests that the idea of coordination involves not only directing activities but also planning and checking as well.

143 Further thought should convince Readers that they will have difficulty in “drawing a line” to distinguish clearly between directing and coordinating.

144 Readers may believe that both terms refer to the same, or a similar, activity. In this case, the proposition that people should use one word to mean one idea suggests that they should abandon one word or give ft a different meaning.

145 Since coordination (from one viewpoint) seems to depend on the activities of planning, directing, and checking, the term could usefully refer to a quality resulting from these three activities.

146 If people do use coordination to describe a quality belonging to Managing (or Operating or Controlling) they would not rate something as either coordinated or not coordinated; they probably refer to varying degrees of coordination. In other words, coordination represents a scale with many different points on it – from perfect coordination to extremely poor co-ordination.*

147 People who adopt the above ideas would not use the verb “to coordinate” to describe a particular activity. They should always use “coordination” as a noun to describe the degree of coordination achieved – resulting from various other activities.

Example of how each part of the Managing Process might affect the coordination achieved.

148 Suppose Melvin, a Manager, aims to produce 100 Widgets and Widgets consist of a body, four legs, and a head. He has to manufacture bodies and buy in legs and heads.

149 Melvin might plan so that he achieves varying degrees of co-ordination. He might plan to buy legs and heads thirty days after he starts manufacturing the bodies. Yet he finds that he manufactures bodies in fifteen days so he cannot assemble the Widgets until the purchased legs and heads arrive. His plan must rate as a relatively poor one with respect to gaining good coordination with respect to the arrival of all the parts together at the one time for assembly.

150 For each day below thirty (up to fifteen) he had chosen to buy legs and heads, his degree of coordination (from his planning) would have improved.

151 However even if he had chosen fifteen (i.e. had a perfect plan in this one aspect) he may have given unclear directions to his Purchasing Department. The Purchasing Officer may have misunderstood his writing or his speech. The Manager may have forgotten to tell the Purchasing Department altogether. Thus, Melvin’s poor direction will have produced low-quality coordination.

152 Even with a perfect plan and perfect directing, the Manager may not check on the arrival of the parts or the progress of his manufacturing of bodies. If the body manufacture fell behind and took twenty days then Melvin would have a lower degree of coordination. Checking on manufacturing progress may have allowed him to take action to put on more people or buy some bodies to achieve a higher quality of co-ordination.*

Leadership may also represent a quality resulting from Activities

153 The approach used to solve the problem of distinguishing between coordination and direction may also help with respect to distinguishing between (a) leading and (b) directing (and planning and checking) Thus the way the manager goes about planning, directing, and checking will produce varying degrees of leadership from very low quality to very high quality.

154 People who accept this idea would stop using the verb “to lead; and leadership would become a quality (although a different quality to that of “coordination”)

155 However leadership to the general public probably refers to the effect of one person or another. People would not talk about achieving varying qualities of leadership with machines whereas they would use coordination with respect to machines.

156 These notes define coordination in the way discussed above. They do not attempt to define leadership. However, the above ideas on considering leadership as a quality will help Readers to understand why no activity called “leading” occurs in the notes: Parts of the Managing Process.

157 Managers with a high quality of “leadership: (whatever the word means (would have chosen objectives and have carried out the activities of directing and checking in a way which encouraged their Subordinates to “follow” their Managers {i.e. the Subordinates want the Managers to manage (=? lead them).

158 However the Managers may not have chosen wise objectives. They may only have chosen objectives that they have convinced their Subordinates to follow. Hence, some Leaders will choose unwise objectives and get their Subordinates to help them achieve them. Thus, they will rate as having a high quality of leadership but they will manage poorly.


¨ The notes on “Objectives” provide further information on objectives (and planning).

 A Planner could consider a number of objectives. In order for a Planner
to consider an objective, the Planner must have found the objective. These objectives would deserve the term “possible”. However a Planner could reject some (or all) of these objectives.
The verb “identify” aims to describe a situation where someone receives an objective (decision) from someone else.

* If a person tries to achieve the objectives in a plan by themselves, they carry out the activity of operating, as defined in these notes. (Operating - Any activity where someone tries to achieve objectives through their own effort only. Alternatively, the process of determining (accepting and/or setting) objectives and trying to achieve them). If person ‘A’ uses other people to achieve objectives, ‘A’ carries out the activity of Managing. Managers will often try to achieve a particular (end) objective by using both Managing and Operating. Sometimes the mere presence or absence of their Manager will give information to Subordinates.

# The notes on “Parts of the Communication Process” provide further information on “successful” and “effective” communication.

¨ The notes on “Checking” provides many more details on the topic. Checking on what other people have done occurs in Managing. Operating also includes checking: people can check their own activities.

*  I find it difficult to imagine such a point on the coordination scale as “nil” coordination. What do Readers think?

The Dfference between Operating and Managing

The Difficulty of becoming an effective Manager

1 People who move from doing a job by themselves (Operating) to a job where they have charge of a group of people (Managing) face a very important change. Usually few people give enough thought to the change. Further, (Senior) Managers usually provide insufficient training (often none at all) to help people move from operating to a job which involves managing.

2 Examples An Operator or a Craftsman becomes a Supervisor. An Advisor (a Staff Person) who gives advice on a particular topic to someone else becomes a person who now gives orders to other people.                                                                                        

 

New Supervisors usually need help to learn to supervise

3 People just promoted to a supervisory position, often find that they need a new set of values and a different approach to their work problems. Often new Supervisors fail simply because they receive no help to understand that they face an entirely-different work situation.

4 Some people can analyse the change themselves and do so – sometimes after many years have elapsed. Others remain ignorant of the changes that they should make in their work attitudes and the way they deal with their problems. Some newly-promoted Supervisors or Managers fail in their new job whereas some appropriate training/coaching would have helped them do a much better job of managing.

Managers should concern themselves with the work of other People

5 Operators do not give orders to anybody. They have to try to achieve objectives by themselves. They set objectives for themselves. Usually these objectives lie within the broad objectives provided by their Managers. Operators only have to do their own job. Other measure the job success of Operators by the quantity and quality of the work produced.

6 However the first duty of Managers involves ensuring that the people they manage have appropriate work to do – and do it. Thus, Managers should concern themselves with the work of each individual Subordinate. Managers should also ensure that they arrange each Subordinates’ efforts to achieve a high quality of coordination between the activities of the Subordinates. Managers should also aim to avoid duplication of effort and ensure that each Subordinate’s work contributes towards a total whole.

7 All too often Supervisors give most importance to working hard themselves without realising that first, they should ensure that their Subordinates do useful work.

8 Example. Martin, a Supervisor, has six Subordinates in his Section and the Section can only achieve its objectives if six people do a fair day’s work. Thus, Martin can never achieve the Section’s objectives if only he works - no matter how hard he works. If his Subordinates work towards the wrong objectives or work in an ineffective way, his section cannot succeed — no matter how hard he works himself. Managers often forget this last point.

9 In summary, Managers should realise that they should:

(a) see that others know what to do and do it

(b) realise that they cannot possibly achieve their Section’s objective unless they ensure that other people work and

(c) concern themselves with other people’s efforts and how they can influence them best to work towards particular objectives.

Supervisors must plan for Others

10 Usually Supervisors will have to take some part in planning the work of their Subordinates as well as their own work.

11 Their plans should ensure that sufficient work exists for Subordinates to keep working and that each person’s work contributes to the sections overall objectives. They should plan who does what work to avoid overlapping of work and ensure that all work gets allocated to someone.

12 Planning the work of others will include setting objectives and approving objectives others suggest. In addition, Supervisors must decide who should do particular jobs i.e. who will they use to (help) achieve particular objectives.

 

Controlling Others

13 People who work as Operators have no-one to control but themselves; but people who manage should control other people, ensure they do the right things, and check on the speed at which the work proceeds.

14 If work proceeds at a slower or faster rate than the Supervisors planned, they should take action to achieve better results.

15 They will not manage well if they just ensure that people work and have sufficient work in front of them – they must also control the situation so they know what their Subordinates achieve and can adjust the work of their section to what it has achieved as compared with the objectives etc.

16 Operators automatically evaluate or judge their own work – to some extent. Probably they will not do it in any consistent manner. Managers must evaluate how others do their job in order to better direct them and plan to achieve objectives. They must concern themselves with what other people do; how well they do it; and which work they can, and cannot, do.

 

 

 

 

The Problem of many Problems

17 Operators have a limited number of problems with which they have to deal and these usually relate to their own job. Supervisors need to deal with problems of all the people under them. If they allow their Subordinates to seek them out with all their minor problems, they will get many interruptions to their work.

18 Supervisors can encourage people to: (a) bring minor problems to them or (b) solve a number of their problems on their own and make recommended solutions.¨ Then they can judge whether their recommended solution will contribute to the overall needs of their Section. Better Managers will take the latter approach – at least on some occasions. (Sometimes the approach will NOT prove suitable.)

The Problem of People

19 One of the most difficult problems for Managers involves dealing with people. They have not only to give work to different people but they have to find ways of encouraging (motivating) them to work towards particular organisational objectives. Thus, they should learn to influence others.

20 People have more complexities than any machine. This aspect of Managing will provide a real test for most Managers, both newly appointed and quite experienced.

Practical Application

21 All Managers will divide their activities between Operating and Managing. For each Manager an optimum division between Managing and Operating exists – for his/her particular job at one particular time (with the particular Subordinates and other resources available to achieve the position’s objectives)

22 Supervisors should regularly ask themselves for each job they have to do: “Should I do thisparticular piece of work?” Continuous use of this question should help Managers to examine whether they use an optimum division between Operating and Managing.

23 Many Managers tend to do too much operating and the above question will help to show this point. However, Readers should NOT interpret the above approach as stating that Supervisors should arrange their job so that they do no operating at all.

Summary

24 Anyone who gains promotion so that they have to carry out the activity of Managing will find many different aspects in their new job.

25 Managers should look at the job of Managing with a different attitude from a job of “Operating”.

26 Training and guidance will often help new Supervisors/Managers make the change successfully. Too few Organisations arrange for such guidance. 27 Operators plan for themselves, judge their own work, and check what they do. However, Managers must plan for others, evaluate other people, and check the work of others. Managers must motivate appropriately other people, allocate work to others, and should ensure that the work of all the people under their care all contribute to the total objective, without leaving work undone altogether or duplicating it. In other words, what Operators did in the past for themselves only, they now have to do for other people as well.

28 Operators have contact with people but generally they can do their job well without (much) help from others. Managers can only achieve their objectives if they can successfully deal with PEOPLE – and a person has more complexities than any machine in existence.

29 Managers should review the amount of time they spend between Managing and Operating in their job by regularly asking themselves: “Should I do this particular piece of work?” (after checking the necessity to do the work at all)


¨ This approach describes a technique called Completed Staff Work. Notes exist on this topic.