The planning function. Planning process is the process of determining in advance what should be accomplished and how it should be done. Planning begins with the understanding of organizational mission. From the mission statement specific objectives can be established, then plans can be developed to accomplish those objectives. The first thing is to establish goals or objectives. The more clearly a manger articulates what he is trying to accomplish, the more likely he will achieve his objectives. There are four basic types of short-term objectives:
maintenance objectives. Maintenance objectives are those which must be accomplished
regularly. For example, a manger may have to forecast his/her next 12 monthís financial expenditures every quarter.
problem solving objectives. This type of objectives often becomes obvious during a
strategic planning phase. After listing major responsibilities and one or more standards of performance for each, itís normally to compare these standards to what is being achieved. If the actual achievements are not meeting the standards, a manger usually has a problem.
innovative objectives. They are the improvement ideas for areas in which acceptable
performance is being achieved. These are the cost-cutting ideas in areas in which costs are already low. And of course, these are the new product or service ideas. For example, to fully implement the new field-service strategy and organization during the next four months. These innovative objectives are ideas for improvements, such as higher productivity, more efficiency, lower costs, or higher sales.
special-assignment(ďboss-imposedĒ) objectives. Many good ideas and objectives
come from superiors. Also prevalent are special needs from peers or peer groups. The characteristics of special-assignment objectives are: they usually are single occurrences; involve interaction with other work groups; result in further action.
Short-term objectives should be clear, concise and quantifiable, have time reference. They must be difficult to achieve but achievable with present resources; must be realistic and also achievable in the next 12 months and measurable at least in time.
The organizing function. Organizing to achieve fundamental tasks is logical and efficient. Organizing around individual talents leads to replacement problems and confusion about responsibilities.
work loading. What and how much should a manger assign to each individual and
group? It depends on tactical planning, resource availability, expectations, skills, abilities, and priorities. A tactical plan is an interpretation of a mangerís part in this yearís business strategy: certain tasks will be added and others deleted. The availability of resources or lack thereof will provide a primary constraint to allocating work. A manager should be sure that overloaded resources Ė people or equipment Ė do not remain so excessively. Itís better to inform the superiors early that part of a plan canít be achieved due to resource limitations. Each employee should be given slightly more than they are thought to be capable of achieving. Expectations should be realistically high. As for skills and abilities the employees canít be expected to perform a task for they have not been trained. Priorities may be set by a manger, a boss or a situation. This implies that one task should be completed before another. Informal or formal feedback can be very motivating. Timetables, whether they be strategic, tactical or interim, provide some of the best feedback possible. Proper feedback shows that a manger is well-organized and in control.
scheduling. A schedule is a blueprint or guideline; a tool or an aid. It should also make
clear who is responsible as well as when. Thus most good schedules show the name of individual or work group who has agreed to meet the deadline. They provide various perspectives of a task.
delegation. There are two specific purposes: efficiency and employee development.
Efficient managers perform necessary activities. They should delegate frequent routine, minor decisions. When delegating, a manger should consider who the best person is to do the job, given a time constraint. He/she canít delegate those activities which only he/she can handle due to time pressure.
feedback. It also must be planned. It requires time and energy. It is essential for
The controlling function. The controlling function includes activities undertaken by managers to ensure that actual results conform to planned results. The controlling function logically follows the planning and organizing functions.
The three necessary requirements for effective control are predetermined standards, information, and corrective action.
Three types of control can be identified that are based on the focus of corrective action. Preliminary control focuses on inputs; concurrent control focuses on inputs and ongoing operations.
The controlling function is highly developed in management practice. A great number of methods and systems allow managers to attain high levels of performance in the controlling function. Preliminary control methods require standards of acceptable quality and quantity of inputs, such as material, financial, capital, and human resources. Information permitting managers to determine whether resources meet standards allows for corrective action.
Concurrent control methods require standards of acceptable behavior, activity, and
execution of ongoing operations. The primary source of information for concurrent control is supervisorsí observations; the corrective action is directed toward improving the quality and quantity of resources and improving the operations.
Feedback control methods require standards of acceptable quality and quantity of
outputs. The information must reflect the desired characteristics of the output. But unlike preliminary and concurrent control, the focus of corrective action is not that for which the standard is set Ė output. Rather, managers take corrective action to improve inputs and operations.