Friday, August 22, 2008


Managing people effectively in coordination programmes is a skill that requires constant planning, organizing and development. A coordination programme, manager can be defined as the person who is vested with formal authority over an organization or one of its sub units. He or she has status that leads to various interpersonal relations, and from this comes access to information. Information, in turn, enables the manager to devise strategies, make decisions, and implement action. Management is concerned with the optimum attainment of organizational goals and objectives with and through other people. Management organizations are characterized by many strategies, wide spans of control, democracy, and autonomy. The management practices cannot be reduced to one standard set of operating guidelines that will work for all organizations continually. However, all managers of professional organizations face the same challenge: to manage one's time, objectives, and resources in order to accomplish tasks and implement ideas.

Managers are painfully aware of the need for revision and development of the new skill sets held by today's high performers. If change is not handled correctly, it can be more devastating then ever before. High performers reflect, discover, assess, and act. They know that a new focus on connecting the heads, hearts, and hands of people in their organization is necessary. Astute managers know what needs to be done but struggle with how to do it. Quite often they prefer to consider themselves as teachers or communicators rather than managers. This results in under-utilization of the increasing amount of literature on management theory and practice. The root of the problem is implementation. They must learn how to motivate others and build an efficient team.

More formally defined, management is the process by which people, technology, job tasks, and other resources are combined and coordinated so as to effectively achieve organizational objectives. A process or function is a group of related activities contributing to a larger action. Management functions are based on a common philosophy and approach. They centre on the following:
1. Developing and clarifying mission, policies, and objectives of the agency or organization
2. Establishing formal and informal organizational structures as a means of delegating authority and sharing responsibilities
3. Setting priorities and reviewing and revising objectives in terms of changing demands
4. Maintaining effective communications within the working group, with other groups, and with the larger community
5. Selecting, motivating, training, and appraising staff
6. Securing funds and managing budgets; evaluating accomplishments and
7. Being accountable to staff, the larger enterprise, and to the community at large.
Management is more than the sum of all individuals’ efforts. Management is an important aspect that will promote better communication between management and employees. Management is the process of working with people and resources to accomplish goals. Goals cannot be set without regard to resources available to facilitate their attainment. The management process consists if two criteria: managers being effective and managers being efficient. To be efficient a manager needs to make the best possible use of time, money and their resources (employees). To be effective a manager should achieve organizational goals. In other words, a manager must maintain a clear focus on both effectiveness and efficiency.

There are four functions of management: Planning, Organizing, Leading, and Controlling. These four functions constantly cross-link, they do not exist separately. “Without people that are motivated to reach new and higher goals, they will not happen”. Planning – a management function that systematically makes decisions about groups, goals and activities they will pursue. Organizing- a management functions of assembling and coordinating human, physical, informational, and other resources needed to achieve goals. Leading – a management functions that involves the manager’s effort to stimulate high performance by employees. Controlling – a management function of monitoring performance and making necessary changes.
In the business world today, good managers adapt to changing conditions but also apply fanatically, consistently, and with discipline new approaches. While fresh thinking is required more now than ever, successful management practices are relevant to the 21st century business environment. Theoretically, a manager’s role is “to make perfectly clear that today and for the future, the key roles of managerial challenges are far more dynamic than in the past, they involve continually learning and changing”.

As a manager, daily duties require doing many things simultaneously. Managers however, have to make sure that they organize themselves enough to devote adequate attention to all four functions. Looking at the “bigger picture” the power of delegation balances three parts: Authority, Accountability and Responsibility.

Managers has the authority to delegate task to persons they feel most confident would achieve the objective. A manager will always be held accountable for his/her performance as well as their subordinates. A good manager will take the responsibility for filtering out work that can provide training and new experiences to others. There are lots of people who can do things better than me. I am fortunate to be surrounded by them. “the more responsibility we give our employees, the better they perform”. Trusting that employees will do well and providing positive feedback will most likely set a warmer working climate and help boost morale.

An organizations success depends greatly on its management. Without understanding the historical evolution of management and the collaboration of all four management functions, and organizations success would be greatly impeded.

The management process is composed of four functions, all of which are needed to have a successful Management Process. Organizing however is the second of the four functions. Organizing, grouped with planning, provides managers with control of all organizational aspects, the organizing function is said to be the most frustrating one.
Collecting and arranging the financial, physical, informational, the human and other resources needed to reach goals, is what organizing consists of. Organizing activities include attracting people to the corporation, identifying job responsibilities, grouping jobs into work units, collecting and assigning resources, and creating circumstances so that people and things work together to achieve maximum success.

Organization is paramount in any company or organization but is of particular importance in today’s business world. Companies that are a success are in a perpetual cycle of organization to ensure that their operations and procedures are designed in such a way as to maximize efficiency and productivity. Disorganization can lead to disastrous results via wasted efforts, lost productivity and employee disdain redundant tasks and processes.
Organizing can be viewed as the activities to collect and configure resources in order to implement plans in a highly effective and efficient fashion. Organizing is a broad set of activities, and often considered one of the major functions of management.

Organization is a big management function. It takes a tremendous amount of organizing to run a successful organization year in and year our. There are many branches of the organizing function of management that are used in daily, monthly, and yearly activities. For the management of any organization, organizing is as critical aspect of planning for the present and future as any. Organizing is defined as the assembling and coordinating of human, financial, physical, informational, and other resources needed to achieve goals.

As management teams devise plans for new organizations to engage in, they need to take on resources to help them achieve their goals. The only way to know what resources the company needs is by utilizing the organization management function. Planning and organization functions go in hand in hand. So before we can begin to discuss organizing we must first know that organizing is. The encyclopedia states that organizing is, the management function that usually follows after planning and it involves the assignment of tasks, the grouping of tasks into departments and the assignment of authority and allocation of resources across the organization.
Collecting and arranging the financial, physical, informational, the human and other resources needed to reach goals, is what organizing consists of. Organizing activities include attracting people to the corporation, identifying job responsibilities, grouping jobs into work units, collecting and assigning resources, and creating circumstances so that people and things work together to achieve maximum success. In basic terms, organizing means, for a cause to be structured or ordered or operating according to some principle or idea, the focus of organizing is on division, coordination, and control of tasks and the flow of information within the organization. It is in this function that managers distribute authority to job holders.

In order to carry out a plan effectively, managers must organize priorities to accomplish the overall objective. Both the managers and the organization must be able to develop major subsystems, such as departments, programs, divisions, and teams. Individually, each of these subsystems has a responsibility. Often, these systems and processes are defined by plans, policies, and procedures.

Once strategic planning and management planning are implemented, organizing to get the job done is next. Organizing is the process of establishing formal relationships among people and resources in order to reach specific goals and objectives. The process, is based on five organizing principles: unity of command, span of control, delegation of authority, homogeneous assignment, and flexibility. The organizing process involves five steps: determining the tasks to be accomplished, subdividing major tasks into individual activities, assigning specific activities to individuals, providing necessary resources, and designing the organizational relationships needed.

In any organizing effort, managers must choose an appropriate structure. Organizational structure is represented primarily by an organizational chart. It specifies who is to do what and how it will be accomplished. The organizing stage provides directions for achieving the planning results. There are several aspects to organizing - time, structures, chain of command, degree of centralization, and role specification.

Managers must decide what to do, when, where, how, and by or with whom. Time management is the process of monitoring, analyzing, and revising your plan until it works. Effective planning is a skill that takes time to acquire. It is difficult to implement because you have no one but yourself to monitor how effectively you are using your time. Everyone has the same amount of time - 168 hours per week. How that time is managed is up to the discretion of each person. Effective time management involves philosophy and common sense. Time is not a renewable resource - once it is gone, it is gone forever. To function effectively, managers have to be able to prioritize and replace less important tasks with more important ones. Effective and efficient time management encourages us to achieve and be productive while developing good employee relations.

Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART). Once the goals are known, it is important to think about how they can be achieved. Effective time managers facilitate planning by listing tasks that require their attention, estimating the amount of time each task will take to complete, and prioritizing them - deciding what tasks are most important to do first and numbering them in rank order. It is essential to know what is crucial and what is not. Some activities have relatively low levels of importance in completing a given task. By planning ahead, managers can decide what to do and take the time to come up with ideas on how to do it. They can make their own list of steps to eliminate or reduce time wasters. Maintaining a daily "To Do" list with priorities attached and maintaining a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly diary is helpful. Managers should analyze their daily activities to see which are directed toward results and which simply activities are. They could learn how to manage meetings more effectively since considerable management time seems to be wasted in no directional formal meetings.

Four suggestions for better time management are (1) never handle the same piece of paper twice; (2) learn how to say "no" without feeling guilty about requests that do not contribute to the achievement of your goals; (3) when a visitor drops in to your office, stand up while you have your discussion to ensure that only a brief period of time will be consumed by the visitor's interruption; and (4) avoid being a slave to the telephone. By managing time well, managers are better able to solve problems quickly, make decisions, avoid frustration, keep from getting bogged down in day-to-day tasks, handle crises, work on their goals and priorities, and manage stress.

1. Always put your schedule in writing.2. Focus on the objectives you are trying to accomplish.3. Continually review objectives, priorities, and scheduled actions to keep on track.4. Schedule around key events and actions.5. Get a productive start by scheduling early-day actions.6. Group related items and actions whenever possible.7. Do not hesitate to take large time blocks for important tasks.8. Be sure to allow enough time for each task, but not too much time.9. Build in flexibility for unexpected events.10. Include some thinking time for yourself.11. Try to match your work cycles to your body cycles.12. Learn to control your unscheduled action impulses.13. Prepare tomorrow's schedule before you get to the office in the morning.

Working productively and developing feelings of cooperation and effectiveness are related to having the right people doing the right jobs. Structure, then, can be defined as a system of interrelated jobs, groups of jobs, and authority. There is no standard organizational structure, but most organizations and agencies follow the "Christmas Tree" system with the star (e.g., president, minister) at the top, smaller branches at management levels, and bigger branches at the production levels. Some would claim that the lower branches support the upper branches, but as in the tree, the branches are supported by a single trunk, which can be thought of as the organizational mission and objectives. Each part of the tree has its specific function. When all parts work together, the system survives functions productively, has balance, and is a pleasure to see. There are four primary elements in designing an organizational structure:

1. Job specifications - what each division/office/unit is responsible for
2. Departmentalization - the grouping of jobs and responsibilities in common sectors with the objective of achieving coordination
3. Span of control - a definition of how many job roles should be in each unit and which roles require coordination by a unit manager
4. Delegation of authority - assigning the right to make decisions without having to obtain approval from a supervisor

The resulting organizational structure will vary according to these four elements. An organization with decentralized authority and very heterogeneous departments will appear very different from one with centralized authority and a very homogeneous product.
Once an organization starts delegating authority, then there is automatically a chain of command, "the formal channel which specifies the authority, responsibility and communication relationships from top to bottom in an organization". Thus authority flows from presidents to vice-presidents to divisional managers, from ministers to deputies to directors, from principals to vice-principals to deans, etc. In complex organizations, there may be bridges from one level to another and there will be complex procedures for maintaining the chain of command. Adult and extension educators, if working for an organization or agency, will be part of a structure and part of the chain of command. One cannot often make major changes in these two elements; it is wise, however, to be very aware of the organizational structure and chain of command if you wish to accomplish things efficiently.

Centralized organizations are those in which the key authority and decision-making role is focused on one or a very few individuals. Where authority is distributed among many managers, then one can see a decentralized structure. As the organization's various roles become more diverse in terms of programme, product, or geographical location, one can see a more decentralized organizational structure with authority being delegated to those who are closest to the action. Centralization refers to authority, whereas centrality refers to the proximity to the organization's stated mandate and objectives. One could have a much decentralized organization with each unit being responsible for programmes, staffing, and budget, and yet be very close to the main mission and objectives of the organization.

Another important point in terms of structure is the concept of line and staff functions. Line functions are those involved in creating, developing, and delivering a programme. Staff functions are those that are of an advisory and consultative order. Line functions contribute directly to the attainment of the organization's objectives, and staff functions contribute indirectly.

If you have already done some basic business planning and drafted a basic business plan, then you probably already have the answers to all or many of the following questions.
1. What are the primary goals and objectives that the organization should be designed to meet?
2. What continuing activities need to be performed in order to implement the strategies that have been selected as part of the planning process
3. How can the necessary activities to be divided so that individuals or groups can be assigned responsibility for performing them [that is, organized into separate roles and jobs!] Activities should be grouped into related and similar activities as much as possible so that individuals are working on tasks that are related and similar
4. Once activities have been grouped into specific jobs, what kind of authority and responsibility should be assigned?
5. How and by whom should decisions be made? [Attempt to always and ultimately have one person who is singularly responsible for decisions!].
6. How specialized should roles be?
7. Who should control the work being performed?
8. How can communication and coordination among members of the organization be facilitated?
9. How can job and role descriptions be developed to take into account both functions and accountabilities?
10. How can coordination and communication with the external social environment be facilitated?
11. Strive to have every employee ultimately reporting to one person, if possible, and they should know who that person is. Job descriptions are often complained about, but they are useful in specifying who reports to whom.
12. Carefully consider the span of control, that is, how many people are reporting to whom. Can each manager really supervise that many people in an effective fashion?
13. When designing the group, always build structure into the new design through the use of organizational charts, job descriptions, policies and procedures that document the design and who is doing what in it.

There are a wide variety of reasons for reorganizing an organization, particularly in today's rapidly changing marketplace. However, there are several reasons for reorganization that seem to keep coming up in businesses, whether for-profit or nonprofit. These reasons include1. An employee keeps complaining (and you agree) that he or she is overloaded with work.
2. Employees complain that their activities overlap.
3. An employee indicates (and you agree) that he or she does not have enough work to do during a work day.
4. Employees complain that they are reporting to more than one boss, or supervisor. 5. An employee complains that their work includes very different tasks. For example, they may have a highly complex and demanding project (e.g., leading strategic planning) and a large routine, recurring task (sorting a great deal of the organization's daily mail).
6. Management notices a large amount of employee turnover, that is, employees do not stay long enough with the organization.
7. A department, or major function in the organization, has recurring problems.
NOTE: It is not always problems that provoke the need for reorganizing. For example, if the organization has been conducting strategic planning and produced new goals, these goals may require the organization to reorganize. For example, if the business wants to expand marketshare in a certain region, then the organization may need a new office in that region, more sales people, etc.
Recurring problems often seem to have little to do with the business's overall purpose and goals. However, any attempts at reorganizing may be just fine-tuning, or tweaking, if not done with the long term in mind. In fact, the recurring problems may be a symptom of the organization's not having clearly thought out what its overall purpose and goals are. Without visiting the overall purpose and goals, redesign is usually a highly reactive and very short-term fix.

Successful change must involve top management, including the board and chief executive. Usually there's a champion who initially instigates the change by being visionary, persuasive and consistent. A change agent role is usually responsible to translate the vision to a realistic plan and carry out the plan. Change is usually best carried out as a team-wide effort. Communications about the change should be frequent and with all organization members. To sustain change, the structures of the organization itself should be modified, including strategic plans, policies and procedures. This change in the structures of the organization typically involves an unfreezing, change and re-freezing process.

The best approaches to address resistances is through increased and sustained communications and education. For example, the leader should meet with all managers and staff to explain reasons for the change, how it generally will be carried out and where others can go for additional information. A plan should be developed and communicated. Plans do change. That's fine, but communicate that, the plan has changed and why. Forums should be held for organization members to express their ideas for the plan. They should be able to express their concerns and frustrations as well.

In addition to the above general guidelines, there are a few basic guidelines to keep in mind.
1. Consider using a consultant. Ensure the consultant is highly experienced in organization-wide change. Ask to see references and check the references.
2. Widely communicate the potential need for change. Communicate what you're doing about it. Communicate what was done and how it worked out.
3. Get as much feedback as practical from employees, including what they think are the problems and what should be done to resolve them. If possible, work with a team of employees to manage the change.
4. Don't get wrapped up in doing change for the sake of change. Know why you're making the change. What goal(s) do you hope to accomplish?
5. Plan the change. How do you plan to reach the goals, what will you need to reach the goals, how long might it take and how will you know when you've reached your goals or not? Focus on the coordination of the departments/programs in your organization, not on each part by itself. Have someone in charge of the plan.
6. End up having every employee ultimately reporting to one person, if possible, and they should know who that person is. Job descriptions are often complained about, but they are useful in specifying who reports to whom.
7. Delegate decisions to employees as much as possible. This includes granting them the authority and responsibility to get the job done. As much as possible, let them decide how to do the project.

Anchor Point Nigeria Limited (APN for short) has had a spate of labour unrest especially in the last few years. Management was of the opinion that the administrative manager (a retired top police officer) was responsible for the poisoned atmosphere in view of his “high-handed approach to dealing with human problems”. Consequently, his appointment was terminated and Mr. Adonri, a bright young man with extensive experience in a comparable organization, was appointed and re-designated as personnel manager.
Mr. Adonri was anxious not to fail because management expected “miracles” from him. The first thing he did was to find out the cause(s) of industrial unrest at APN. He studied the records in the 5 years and found a close relationship between the unrests and the period of the economic difficulties which APN had been facing. He interviewed his colleagues, workers and union officials and discovered that it was not the economic crunch per se that caused unrest; rather, they had to do with their effects on what those interviewed called “our rights as enriched in the rule book”.
After a close study of the rule book, Mr. Adonri was amazed that APN had so tied its hands as to be unable to react to changing circumstances. For example, he felt strongly that the following policies should not be written down in the rule book:-
i. The factory shall close every year from mid-December to early January.
ii. The company shall provide a salary payment roster each year, indicating the exact dates on which salaries shall be paid.

Mr. Adonri also felt that some provisions were too loose and ambiguous. For example, “employees could be placed on suspension when a serious misconduct is under investigation or otherwise suspended without pay as a disciplinary measure”.
He made a list of the loopholes in the rule book (as he saw them) and prepared a report which was well received by management. He was given them mandate to draft a new rule book for consideration and approval. Mr. Adonri then invited the branch union executive to brief them on the expected changes in the rule book. A few hours after the meeting, the union issued a strongly-worded protest to management to “drop your satanic or face the consequences”.


1. Critically assess the steps so far taken by the Personnel Manager
2. If you were the Personnel Manager, how would you introduce the proposed changes with minimum resistance from the union?

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