Important Management Precepts
Photo at Pixabay / CC BY CCO
This is such a basic precept of successful management that it is often over-looked, glossed over or taken for granted. I have always defined successful management as “getting important work done by managing the activities of a group of people.” For our purposes, we refer to this group of employees under the managers charge, as the “business unit.” Managing the work of the business uni,t in order to get the work done and deliver the objectives, is the reason the manager exists. Seems simple enough, right?
What are the essential skills and abilities needed to manage work successfully?
The first is knowing the details and inner-workings of the business unit’s functions and responsibilities. The manager may have come up through the ranks and performed some or all of the jobs associated with the work group. In other cases, the manager may have little of know hands on experience with the business unit’s job functions. Either way, the manager needs to dig in and learn the over-all basics of these key functions. This knowledge supports the managers ability to direct the work of the business unit.
Another core function to managing work is planning the work. This can include aligning the work with the objectives of the unit. It can include building action plans and work assignment processes. Knowing enough about the skills and abilities of individuals in the unit to make new assignments and delegate tasks is key to this function is also a part of planning work activities.
Importance of Scheduling Work Activities
Scheduling work activities in order to meet time tables or deadlines is another “managing work” responsibility. This can involve scheduling employees, working around vacations and time-off or covering for an open position. It can include scheduling for resources and equipment maintenance. In concept, this is the process of setting the schedule for all related activities and then keeping your finger on the status and progress of all the activities in order to meet expected results.
Managing work and supervising the activities of a business unit will always include problem solving. Any issues or obstacles that occur that could have a negative impact on the business of the unit must be resolved under the manager. Any factor that could delay work completion or interrupt the work schedule must be resolved quickly under the direction of the manager. This is an area where employees pay particular attention to how the manager responds. They want to see direct action, a decisive hand and calm demeanor.
Powerful management by walking around!
Management by “walking around” is of particular importance. It is the process of being present and connected with what is going on with the unit. People like to see the manager interacting. while walking around, the manager can pick up information, provide on the spot coaching and direction and keep their pulse on what’s happening.
Many times managers and executives are so over=whelmed by schedules, projects, meetings and priorities, like the “head in the sand vision”, they miss the important things going on around them. Just making their presence known by walking through the department, dropping in on teams and employees will uncover important ad hoc information.
In the end, these fundamentals remain a key to management success; knowing the business, planning the work, scheduling actions and activities, solving problems and staying connected are core management skills. Might be wise to take a quick check of these areas for any manager.
(c) Copyright 2015 – Michael D. Moore. All Rights Reserved World Wide
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