Management FastTrack Exam Prep
A Manager is often many things. But at each and every level of management within an organization, there is a tool-box of organizational paradigms that can help the manager do his or her job quickly and effectively.
The first of these tools at the manager's disposal is Planning. And while some managers may take an informal approach to this process, often the structure of an organization will help establish a solid foundation from which a plan evolves.
Planning helps establish the standards for controlling and making sure that company resources are not wasted. Planning helps maintain focus on achieving company objectives, keeps a reasonable time-line for the schedule of deliverables and helps motivate staff to keep on track.
Planning is a primary function of management.
It is the manager's relationship to responsibility and authority that defines his or her job. Very often, a company will employ a hierarchy structure – what is known as a “chain of command” which forms an unbroken line of authority that links all persons in an organization and defines who reports to whom.
This not only strengthens the power of individual managers but also helps clearly define each person's job within the organization and clarifies each person's responsibility. While no organization is exactly like another, this chain of command does contain some universal principles that have a net effect of ensuring the least amount of effort is deployed for the most amount of profit.
The chain of command has two underlying principles: unity of command and the scalar principle. The term “scalar” refers to a clearly defined line of authority that includes all employees in the organization. The classical school of management suggests that there should be a clear and unbroken chain of command linking every person in the organization with successively higher levels of authority up to and including the top manager. Unity of command states that an employee should have one and only one supervisor to whom he or she is directly responsible.
That helps keep duplication of work and the waste of company resources. It helps keep projects on-track and ensures effective communication across departments – and even with outside contractors. This helps keep a manger's authority consistent: in a well-organized company, a manager has just the right amount of power to see that his or her department's job gets done.
Which leads to the manager's job of “responsibility.”
Responsibility is the duty to perform the task or activity an employee has been assigned. An important distinction between authority and responsibility is that the supervisor delegates authority, but the responsibility is shared between the manager and his or her subordinate.
One of the best sources of determining how much authority will be necessary to accomplish a task is the person who will be held accountable for that task and that can be a manager's greatest asset. Clear definitions of who needs to do what and when help keep the entire company on-track to be effective, competitive and profitable. At all levels it is the managers who help steer the ship towards the desired goals of an organization.
Without managers and the tools they use, a company cannot expect to be successful.