Management analysis paper - Management Essay Example

Management Analysis

This Term Paper presents an analysis of a real work problem/situation using some of the fundamental management principles—planning, organizing, influencing, and controlling—aimed at finding remedies or solution to said problem/situation - Management analysis paper introduction. Two feasible alternatives for resolving the problem/situation are presented from which one is chosen and defended.

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Overviews Following are overviews of fundamental management principles derived from Koontz, O’Donnell, & Weihrich (1980) used in addressing the given problem/situation.

Planning Planning is “deciding in advance what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and who is to do it….The essential nature of planning [has] four major aspects: contribution to purpose and objectives, primacy of planning, pervasiveness of planning, efficiency of plans.” Koontz, et. al. provides an 8-step planning method: being aware of opportunity, establishing objectives, premising, determining alternative courses [of action], evaluating alternative courses, selecting a course [of action], formulating derivative plans, and numbering plans by budgeting. Planning is simply a rational approach to accomplishing an objective.  (pp. 156-157, 170-172, 173-177).

Organizing “For an organizational role to exist and to be meaningful to people, it must incorporate (1) verifiable objectives … (2) clear concept of the major duties or activities involved; and an understood area of discretion,” write Koontz, et. al. (1980, pp. 330). There are two organizations—these are “formal” (based on official organization structure or organization chart with accompanying policies, rules and regulations, procedures, guidelines, among other formally written documents)  and “informal” (“any joint personal activity without conscious joint purpose, even though possibly contributing to joint results”) (pp. 331-334). Organizing is one of the key responsibilities of a manager. This is an activity that calls for a competent person in an organization who has the integrity to define roles and responsibilities or specific functions aimed at accomplishing any conceived task.

Influencing “[P]ower in organizational terms … is the ability to produce change … power is the ability to produce change by mobilizing one or more people to take action. Influence is the exercise of that ability,” writes Donnellon (1993, pp. 114-115). Donnellon also defines “politics” as “the study of who gets what, when, and how” (p. 114). There are several sources of power, according to Donnellon, namely: position (a manager can write an organization chart easily but not a clerk); resources (“he who holds the bag of gold, is the most powerful”); information (at times, a data entry clerk keeps the key to information); expertise (why do we entrust our lives into the hands of vehicle drivers?); performance (the excellent performer gets more assignment or projects); and personal attraction (a Lee Iacocca can stop and raise a sinking ship). Donnellon also identifies two types of power as being: “formal” and “informal” and that she distinguishes these two types of power into: “legitimate” and “illegitimate.” Finally, Donnellon, writes of three strategies people use in influencing others, such as: “threat,” “exchange,” and “appeal” (pp. 122-27).

Controlling “Controlling implies measurement of accomplishment of events against the standard of plans and the correction of deviations to ensure attainment of objectives according to plans. Once a plan becomes operational, control is necessary to measure progress, to uncover deviations from plans, and to indicate corrective action….Most controls are partial: they concentrate on one aspect of operation—quality of product, cash flow, costs, or some other rather narrow area. In many enterprises, a difficult problem is the development of overall control so that managers may have a check on the progress of the entire organization or of an integrated product or territorial division,” write Koontz, et. al. (pp. 717-718). There are two prerequisites of control: it requires plans and it requires organization structure. There three basic control process, namely: establishment of standards, measurement of performance, and correction of deviations. Koontz, et. al., provides several types of critical-point standards: physical standards, cost standards, capital standards, revenue standards, program standards, intangible standards,” (pp. 740-741).

Real work problem/situation Table 1 below shows real work/problem situation statements. Operational problems pertaining to Outside Plant (OSP) group—one of the three disciplines of a US$ 4+ Billion “mega” TEP6/GSM telecom project that installed 1.5 million telephone switch lines in and for the government of Saudi Arabia from 1995 to 2002, the largest in the Middle East—arose during the planning and implementation stage of said project (see Galapon & Norton, 2001).

Table 1  Problem and Current Situation Statements for an OSP Quality Improvement Undertaking. Copy right (ASQ, 2001). Printed with permission from the authors (Galapon & Norton, 2001).
Problem Statement
·      OSP’s present process for managing the field work, interfacing with the customer’s representative.

·      Identifying work performed and turning it into earned revenue, is cumbersome, untimely, rife with errors and too costly.
Current situation
·      Site diaries are either not prepared or prepared too long after the work is performed to provide timely earned revenue to Lucent and payment of the vendor (Subcontractor).

·      The site diary process requires too many Lucent personnel to operate and therefore is too costly to Lucent.
Alternatives developed to effectively address the problem/situation

Alternative # 1 – Use of fundamental management principles. Table 2 below shows the recommended actions to take in addressing the problem/situation.

Table 2 Fundamental management principles used in addressing the identified problem/situation
Fundamental management principles
 

Recommended actions to take along with specific management principle
Planning
·      Determine what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and who is to do it.

·      Never initiate a problem-solving undertaking without a clearly defined problem.
Organizing
·      Determine where the problem exists; identify the responsible organization who should own the problem; get the head of the department “buy in” to the plan.
Influencing
·      Apply appropriate power techniques as appropriate but limited only to the solution of the defined problem.
Controlling
·      Make sure an official problem-solving plan has already been reviewed and agreed upon by people who will be involved in the undertaking

·      Consider all identified points of control when upon the implementation of the plan.
Alternative # 2 – Use of the 7-Step Problem Solving Methodology practiced by Lucent Technologies Saudi Arabia (Galapon & Norton, 2001). Table 2 below shows the structured 7-Step Problem Solving Methodology as another alternative in addressing the problem/situation.

Table 2  The structured 7-Step Problem Solving Methodology of Lucent Technologies. Copy right (ASQ 2001). Printed with permission from the authors (Galapon & Norton, 2001).
The 7-Step Problem Solving Methodology
 

The OSP Site Diary Problem Details
1. Define the reason for improvement
·      OSP’s present process for managing the field work, interfacing with the customer’s representative.

·      Identifying work performed and turning it into earned revenue, is cumbersome, untimely, rife with errors and too costly.
2. Describe the current situation
·      Site diaries are either not prepared or prepared too long after the work is performed to provide timely earned revenue to Lucent and payment of the vendor (Subcontractor).

·      The site diary process requires too many Lucent personnel to operate and therefore is too costly to Lucent.
3. Analyze data

# of OSP before QIT
Target

(25% reduction)

A lot of people are involved in the prepration of Site Diaries (SD)
600
150

Estimate before QIT
Target

Number of days to process accurate SD
9 days
5 days

4. Plan and implement counter measures
See Table 1.1 (Note: this is Table 2.1 in this Term Paper)
5. Assess results
See Figure 1.1 (Note: this is included in this Term Paper)
6. Standardize counter measures
·      On September 14, 1998, this process along with OSP Subcon Invoicing process was implemented Kingdom-wide.

·      On March 1, 1999, this process was re-Implemented Kingdom-wide along with two other OSP processes: OSP Project Turnover and OSP Project Implementation.
7. Develop future plans
·      Monitor the results and take action when required to correct errors and delays.

·      Use results as management tool in working with field staff and Project Consultants.
Table 2.1  Problem Root causes and corresponding countermeasures and methods for OSP SD QIT. Copy right (ASQ, 2001). Printed with permission from the authors (see Galapon & Norton).
Root causes
Countermeasures
Methods
It takes too long to prepare Site Diaries
Let Subcontractor prepare Site Diaries
Re-engineer current SD preparation process.
Site Diary preparation impacts earned revenue for LTII-SA
Let Subcontractor prepare Site Diaries
·       Orient and train Subcontractor and other parties involved in the process

·       Deploy new process Kingdom-wide
Site Diary preparation impacts payment of vendor (Subcontractor)
Recommend chartering of another QIT to address the root cause
Same as above
Site Diary Preparation process is not effective
Re-engineer current SD preparation process
·       Submit recommendation to Director of OSP.

·       Form OSP Subcontractor Invoicing QIT
There are too many people personnel involve din processing Site Diaries
Let Subcon prepare Site diaries
·        Orient and training Subcontractor and other parties involved in the process
Reduce Lucent manpower by 25% (or 150 personnel)
·       Re-engineer current SD preparation process

·       Orient and train Subcon and other parties involve dint he process

·       Deploy new process Kingdom-wide

·       Provide Quality-related seminars
I select and defend Alternative # 2 as the best solution to the problem/situation because of its simplicity. This simplicity is provided by its being “structured.” It is also easy to understand and to orient to the stakeholder aside from its being used successfully by a large and global company.

I have done scrutinizing the management principles of planning, organizing, influencing, and controlling, and I find them to be too detailed and inappropriate for a specific problem-solving undertaking like the one mentioned in this paper so that I prefer Alternative # 2.

I consider my current management style today as being in the process of improvement and continued development. However, I feel that I am going to obtain practical knowledge and develop certain management skills after completing my course from the current semester.

References

 

Donnellon, Anne (1993). Power, Politics, and Influence: the Savvy and Substance of Action in
Organizations. In Allan R. Cohen, The Portable MBA in Management (pp. 113-146). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Galapon, E. A. & Norton, J. S. (2001, May 7-9). TQM Works for Lucent ‘QITs’ in Saudi Arabia on TEP6. In 55th Annual Quality Congress Proceedings, Charlotte, North Carolina Vol. 55, No. 0 (pp. 660-673). Milwaukee, WI: ASQ.

Koontz, Harold, O’Donnell, Cyril & Weihrich, Heinz. (1980). Management (7th ed.). Tokyo, Japan: McGraw-Hill.

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