4 Functions Of Management


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The management process contains four basic functions; planning, organizing, leading and controlling. By using these key tools, one can create an organization as a whole consisting of unified parts acting in harmony to achieve goals, both successfully and proficiently. It is vital for an organization manager to implement these functions to ensure the success of the company. The functions of management are described, according to (Bateman, Snell, 2004) as follows: Planning is specifying the goals to be achieved and deciding in advance the appropriate actions needed to achieve those goals. Planning activities include analyzing current situations, anticipating the future, determining objectives, deciding in what types of activities the company will engage, choosing corporate and business strategies, and determining the resources needed to achieve the organization's goals. Plans set the stage for action and for major achievements. Organizing is assembling and coordinating the human, financial, physical, informational, and other resources needed to achieve goals. Organizing activities include attracting people to the organization, specifying job responsibilities, grouping jobs into work units, marshaling and allocating resources, and creating conditions so that people and things work together to achieve maximum success. Leading is stimulating people to be high performers. It is directing, motivating, and communicating with employees, individually and in groups. Leading involves close day-to-day contact with people, helping to guide and inspire them toward achieving team and organizational goals. Leading takes place in teams, departments, and divisions, as well as at the tops of large organizations. Controlling monitors progress and implements necessary changes. When managers implement their plans, they often find that things are not working out as planned. The controlling function makes sure that goals are met. It asks and answers the question, "Are our actual outcomes consistent with our goals?" It makes adjustments as needed.
These four functions of management apply to my organization, my immediate supervisor, and finally, my position. I work in the IT department of a financial institution. I'm going to discuss how one project we have coming up involves the four functions of management. We are relocating our internet banking call staff to a different location outside of New York City. There are 50 workstations and 7 printers that need to be configured and ready to go by October 28.
The role of planning in this project is very important. We have to address a few straightforward questions:
(1) What do we want to do?

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We want to relocate a department to different location outside the city.
(2) Where are we in relation to our goal? We are currently in the process of configuring all the new workstations and printers that will be installed in the new building.
(3) Which factors will help or delay us in reaching our goal? A few factors that will help us are the fact that new equipment was ordered so that we won't have any down time for the users. This is a 24hr a day on call department. If we didn't order new equipment then the down time would be a big problem. Reconfiguring a workstation could take anywhere from 1-3hrs. With 50 workstations and a staff of 4, the users would be down for a great deal of time. Since new equipment was order we had time in the weeks before to configure and get everything ready. We have to be prepared for something to go wrong. There is always something going wrong in this type of move. The one thing that can delay us is the fact that connections to the network could be down for certain users, users might not be able to print due to some software/driver issue, and worse of all the telephone lines or network lines to the bank's system might not be ready for the rollout.
My departments' manager has to organize us to get this project completed on schedule. He delegated a few jobs for each of us to do. There are 4 of us. Two guys were assigned to configure the workstations and printers. They were giving 2 weeks to have the workstations imaged and configured. One guy has the job of inventory. He has to take inventory of all equipment. He has to gather all users' names and assign them with a workstation. And the last guy has to work with the other IT departments, with the information at hand from the inventory, and associate each workstation with a printer package and workstation object. Our manager has to also organize the rollout. How are we going to get to the new location and what is the time frame which this needs to be completed.
Leading is going to also be an important factor with this project. Our manager needs to motivate us to actually wanting to work very late on Friday and all day Saturday. Our manager needs to be able to communicate with us and let us know what we have to do at that very moment. The leader needs to keep us on the right track and focus on the goal at hand. This entails him to be present during the rollout. I believe we will be motivated if he is present during the rollout, giving a helpful hand where ever he can. Even if it isn't much, anything is better than nothing at all.
The final function is controlling. Management will have to monitor our progress during the rollout and decide what actions need to be taken to improve. In past projects similar to this one, we ran into a few problems and management had to reconfigure its game plan to make everything work out fine in the end. In one instance, the cubicles that were supposed to be up and ready were not. There was a miscommunication somewhere and it was scheduled to be completed the week after. Management was hit hard with this problem. Without cubicles how are we supposed to setup workstations? How are the users supposed to work without any desks? What they had to do was set up folding tables temporarily with two workstations on each one. It was the only answer to the problem unless we held off the rollout for a week and that wouldn't fly with the owner. This could have been avoided altogether if management had been monitoring the update on the construction of the floor. This wasn't done and look what happened.
In conclusion, I could have discussed the nature of our organization as a whole but that would have been a bit much. I simply explained how the four functions of management relate to everyday projects managers have to complete.


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