Functions of Management What are the four functions of management and how do they relate to my organization? The Management Process… as refereed to by our text describes four basic functions – Planning, Organizing, Leading, and Controlling. While each of these functions on their own play an important role in management applied correctly they can be key to the success or failure of your organization. The first of these functions is that of planning.
Planning is more than merely setting goals and deciding on a course of action. The text explains planning as “developing rules and procedures, developing plans (both for the organization and for those who work in it), and forecasting (predicting or projecting what the future holds for the firm) .” The process of this first function is performed on many levels of the organization. In our organization the process of planning generally starts with the Senior Leadership Team and then works its way thru the organization. During this annual process goals are determined, plans are developed and budgets forecast ed. As the process cascades thru the organization each functional area is identified.
Tasks are aligned with goals, and goals are aligned with tasks. Projects are aligned with plans and plans aligned with budgets. The second of these functions is organizing. The text explains organizing as “identifying jobs to be done, hiring people to do them, establishing departments, delegating or pushing authority down to subordinates, establishing a chain of command (in other words, channels of authority and communication), and coordinating the work of subordinates.” I’m sure originally this was something that was done by Senior Leadership. Departments had to be established, job functions had to be identified, and at some point a chain of command was identified.
Internet Article Summary-Planning Any major building project begins with a plan or blueprint. It is necessary to insure that the general concept or vision can be constructed. It also helps to insure that the building process runs smoothly and that the building process does not constantly have to overcome obstacles. The strategic planning process for any business serves the same purpose. It ...
However after the fact, this is something that middle managers and front line leaders deal with on a regular basis. In our company, the majority of staffing issues and job delegation is handled at the front lines. The third of these functions is leading. The text explains leading as “influencing people to get the job done, maintaining morale, molding company culture, and managing conflicts and communication. This is in my mind is a critical function of management. The ability to influence people in of itself is a powerful tool if used in the right way.
In our company culture is not just a word, its part of our DNA. The fourth and final function is controlling. The text explains controlling as “setting standards (such as sales quotas or quality standards), comparing actual performance with these standards, and then taking corrective action as required.” This is a function of management that is dealt with at every level. How to we determine the standards? How do we measure our success or failure? How do we know where we are? The ability to effective implement measurable standards is a critical element to this function. In our organization we have established service levels and anything that falls below that is simply unacceptable.