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Principles of management

Principles of management

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Principles of Management

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Principles of management
We re betting that you already have a lot of experience with organizations, teams, and leadership. You ve been through schools, in clubs, participated in social or religious groups, competed in sports or games, or taken on full- or part-time jobs. Some of your experience was probably pretty positive, but you were also likely wondering sometimes, Isn t there a better way to do this? After participating in this course, we hope that you find the answer to be Yes! While management is both art and science, with our help you can identify and develop the skills essential to better managing your and others behaviors where organizations are concerned. Before getting ahead of ourselves, just what is management, let alone principles of management? A manager s primary challenge is to solve problems creatively, and you should view managements the art of getting things done through the efforts of other people. The principles of management, then, are the means by which you actually manage, that is, get things done through others individually, in groups, or in organizations. Formally defined, the principles of management are the activities that plan, organize, and control the operations of the basic elements of [people], materials, machines, methods, money and markets, providing direction and coordination, and giving leadership to human efforts, so as to achieve the sought objectives of the enterprise. For this reason, principles of management are often discussed or learned using a framework called P-O-L-C, which stands for planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Managers are required in all the activities of organizations: budgeting, designing, selling, creating, financing, accounting, and artistic presentation; the larger the organization, the more managers are needed. Everyone employed in an organization is affected by management principles, processes, policies, and practices as they are either a manager or a subordinate to a manager, and usually they are both. Managers do not spend all their time managing. When choreographers are dancing a part, they are not managing, nor are office managers managing when they personally check out a customer s credit. Some employees perform only part of the functions described as managerial and to that extent, they are mostly managers in limited areas. For example, those who are assigned the preparation of plans in an advisory capacity to a manager, to that extent, are making management decisions by deciding which of several alternatives to present to the management. However, they have no participation in the functions of organizing, staffing, and supervising and no control over the implementation of the plan selected from those recommended. Even independent consultants are managers, since they get most things done through others those others just happen to be their clients! Of course, if advisers or consultants have their own staff of subordinates, they become a manager in the fullest sense of the definition. They must develop business plans; hire, train, organize, and motivate their staff members; establish internal policies that will facilitate the work and direct it; and represent the group and its work to those outside of the firm.

the manager always concerned with the same matters. a French industrialist. many authors did hard work in developing and testing various principles of management. division of work means specialization. implying that it can be verified through examination and various examinations should yield same result. 1. offered fourteen principles of management for the first time in 1916. organization theory has the following characteristics. acquire an ability. "The worker always on the same post. and how output are given outside. viewing. Each job and work should be assigned to the specialist of his job. He developed theories and principles of management which are universally accepted and make him universalistic. According to this principle. we are giving some important principles of management. In other words. a person is not capable of doing all types of work. looking at. Organization theory has various concepts and propositions.Concept of organization Before going through the concept of organization theory. there is a very lengthily list of management principles and it is not possible to give an exhaustive lot of these management principles. A theoretic proposition is one that is observational or experimental. 2. sureness and accuracy which increases their output.S. . Division of work promotes efficiency because it permits an organizational member to work in a limited area reducing the scope of his responsibility. Here. how they are affected by their environment. According to him managerial excellence is a technically ability and can be acquired. how they are designed internally to convert inputs in to outputs. Rudner has defined theory as a "systematically related set of statements. it's validity remains confined to the situation in which the same logic holds true. During the period of 1920-40 in the U. let us first understand the concept of theory itself. A non-theoretic proposition is one which is not experimental but logically true. Thus. Fayol wanted the division of work not only at factory but at management levels also. The word theory and its meaning is derived from Greek word Qewpix. how various organizational processes are completed. Today. Organization theory explains how organizations function." Organization theory contains various concepts and propositions related to: how organization function. ESSENTIALS PRINCIPLE OF MANAGEMENT Fayol developed theory of management. that is. Since non-theoretic proposition is logical. Based on this theme. some of them are theoretic other are nottheoretic. He was pioneer of the formal education in management. Fayol's principles of management meet the requirements of modern management. Henry Fayol. or contemplating. including some law-like generalization that is empirically testable. Henry Fayol's Principle of Management Following are the fourteen principles of management developed by the Henry Fayol: Division of Work According to Henry Fayol under division of work. that is. meaning theoria.

These punishments are rarely awarded. A well disciplined working force is essential for improving the quality and quantity of the production. create harmonious relationship and a pleasing atmosphere of work. This attitude proves to be very harmful to the enterprise. This enables effective co-ordination of individual efforts and energy. carrying out orders and instructions of superiors and to have faith in the policies and programmes of the business enterprise. Unity of Command A subordinate should take order from only one boss and he should be responsible and accountable to him. carelessness and emotional pleasure overlook the interest of the organization. The violation of this principle will face some serious consequences. In other words. It emphasizes the attainment of common goal under one head. order disturbed and stability threatened. In this way the principle of direction create dedication to purpose and loyalty. proper and satisfactory. Unity of direction Fayol advocates "One head and one plan" which means that group efforts on a particular plan be led and directed by a single person. Logical and appropriate wage-rate and methods of their payment reduces tension and differences between workers and management. principle of management states that employees should surrender their personnel interest before the general interest of the enterprise. disciplined in danger. laziness. In other awards when the authority is exercised the responsibility. Both authority and responsible are the two sides of a coin. the principle of unity of command provides the enterprise disciplined stable and orderly existence. It creates harmonious relationship between officers and subordinates. But the degree of centralization of authority should vary according to the needs of situation. congenial atmosphere of work. Subordination of individual interests to general interests The interest of the business enterprise ought to come before the interests of the praise individual workers. . In this way. In this way. This fulfils the principles of unity of command and brings uniformity in the work of same nature. fines.Authority and Responsibility Authority and responsibility go together or co-existing. It is one of the Fayol's important essential principles of management. application. authority is undermined. Fayol does not advocate warming. in other sense. suspension and dismissals of worker for maintaining discipline. selfishness. discipline in terms of obedience. water and facilities. Fayol's principle of management in this regard is that an efficient manager makes best possible use of his authority and does not escape from the responsibility. Discipline According to Henry Fayol discipline means sincerity about the work and enterprise. Sometimes the employees due to this ignorance. Further he claimed that if the unit of command is violated. Centralization and Decentralization There should be one central point in the organization which exercises overall direction and control of all the parts. he should also have the concerned authority. However. if anybody is made responsible for any job. Further Fayol recommends that residential facilities be provided including arrangement of electricity. Both employees and ex-employers should agree to it. Fair Remuneration to employees According to Fayol wage-rates and method of their payment should be fair. energy and respect to superior. In other awards when the authority is exercised the responsibility is automatically generated.

This principle also stresses scientific selection and appointment of employees on every job. Business problems need immediate solution. Further. systematic and orderly arrangement of physical and social factors. such as land. Fayol defines scalar chain as "the chain of superiors ranging from the ultimate authority to the lowest rank. sex and religion." The flow of information between management and workers is a must. It requires that direct contact should be established. experienced and trained employees do not leave the organization. Stability of use of personnel Principle of stability is linked with long tenure of personnel in the organization. experience and decision-making capacity of the executives. economically and in the best possible way. who has been working on the specific job since long discover now. principles that every piece of land and every article should be used properly. the successful management provides an opportunity to its employees to suggest their new ideas. It should be shortcircuited. an efficient management always builds a team of good workers. The authority and responsibility is communicated through this scalar chain. better alternative approach and technique of work. appropriate and specific place for every article and every place to be used effectively for a particular activity and commodity. Stability of job creates a sense of belongingness among workers who with this feeling are encouraged to improve the quality and quantity of work. There should not be any discrimination as regards caste.According to Fayol there should be centralization in small units and proper decentralization in big organization. workers should be treated at par at every level. so we cannot always depend on the established scalar chain. In simple. raw materials. It will be more useful. An effective management always accords sympathetic and human treatment. to ensure success. So we must make direct contact with the concerned employee. experiences and more convenient methods of work. Thus. This will create loyalty and devotion among the employees. The choice between centralization and decentralization is made after taking into consideration the nature of work and the efficiency. The employees. there should be safe. Equity The principle of equality should be followed and applicable at every level of management. As per view. Selection and appointment of the most suitable person to every job. There should be specific place for every one and every one should have specific place. If the members of the team go on changing the entire process of production will be disturbed. Business opportunities must be immediately avoided of. tools and equipments and employees respectively. An employee should feel the necessity to contact his superior through the scalar chain. Order: According to Fayol there should be proper. . plans should be well formulated before they are implemented. In other words. Initiative Under this principle. It is always in the interest of the enterprise that its trusted. In other words. Fayol does not favor centralization or decentralization of authorities but suggests that these should be proper and effective adjustment between centralization and decentralization in order to achieve maximum objectives of the business. if initiative to do so is provided to employees. kindness and justice should be exercised by management in dealing with their subordinates. Scalar chain The scalar chain is a chain of supervisors from the highest to the lowest rank. honest and impartial with the employees. The management should be kind. This means production being a team work.

faithfulness on the part of the members of the group which can be achieved by strong motivating recognition and importance of the members for their valuable contribution. School of management thought Awareness and understanding of important historical developments are also important to contemporary managers. "the most effective formal organization in the history of Western civilization has been the Roman Catholic Church" (Harold Koontz and Cyril O'Donnell). Production is a team work for which the whole-hearted support and co-operation of the members at all levels is required. disagreement on exactly how many different approaches to management exist and what each approach entails has been common. and the management approach. and technological. the behavioral approach. and Ivancevich. However. the Babylonians. effective coordination. it refers to the spirit of loyalty. .Spirit of Co-operation (Spirit de crops) In order to achieve the best possible results. although terms such as management principles or management theory may not have been used. its has been practiced for thousands of years. based on the approach of Donnelly. They offered these three wellestablished approaches to management the thought: the classical approach. In order to present the essence of the management movements. Gibson. The Sumerians. Over the years. or the Romans have provided numerous illustrations of effective management. others as many as seven. Some count as few as three approaches. Each complements and supports the others. Essentially. four major forces affect management are economic. social. Everyone should sacrifice his personal interest and contribute his best energies to achieve the best results. which attempt to integrate the three schools. The concept of management is not new. Although not recognized as a separate school. management gained in importance. In terms of longevity. The history of management theories helps managers by organizing information and providing a systematic framework for action. as mankind progressed and moved into the Industrial Revolution era. Today's concept of management is the product of a long and complicated evolutionary process. informal mutual social relationship between members of the group and positive and constructive approach of the management towards workers' welfare. political-legal. the contingency and the systems approach are also discussed in this section. I have chosen to discuss three schools. individual and group effort is to be effectively integrated and coordinated.

Depending upon the activities. and the psychological process of thinking about the activities required to create a desired goal on some scale. or meetings to discuss the important issues to be addressed. that is. our future is shaped by consequences of our own planning and actions. such as the creation of documents. Forecasting can be described as predicting what the future will look like. computer consultants give up on automated scheduling and resort to an old fashioned plan board to agree on who does what when. diagrams. Automated scheduling works well for the bigger picture. It is a blue print of business growth and a road map of development. which may mean contingencies and flexible processes. The counterpart to planning is spontaneous order. Beyond this. or integration of it with other plans. a plan can be long range. Two attitudes to planning need to be held in tension: on the one hand we need to be prepared for what may lie ahead. Planning in organizations and public policy is both the organizational process of creating and maintaining a plan. it combines forecasting of developments with the preparation of scenarios of how to react to them.II Planning In the weeks prior to an important milestone. it is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior. As such. Planning can be summarized in 3 easy steps: . is the relationship it holds with forecasting. It helps in deciding objectives both in quantitative and qualitative terms. It is setting of goals on the basis of objectives and keeping in the resources. but lack of a sound plan will almost certainly ensure failure. On the other hand. the objectives to be met. but often the detailed tasks must be discussed live with the whole team. It is the framework within which it must operate. An important. Overview Planning is a process for accomplishing purposes. Preparation of a comprehensive plan will not guarantee success.[1] The term is also used for describing the formal procedures used in such an endeavor. This thought process is essential to the creation and refinement of a plan. whereas planning predicts what the future should look like. intermediate range or short range. the plan is the most important document and key to growth. For management seeking external support. Such impromptu gatherings promote creativity and exchange of information that works positively towards an on-time result. planning has a different meaning depending on the political or economic context in which it is used. albeit often ignored aspect of planning. and the strategy to be followed. What should a plan be? A plan should be a realistic view of the expectations.

and 3. Provides a considered and logical framework within which a business can develop and pursue business strategies over the next three to five years. markets and competition. It bridges between where we are and where we want to go. and most importantly.   Importance of the planning process A plan can play a vital role in helping to avoid mistakes or recognize hidden opportunities. It serves the following three critical functions:  Helps management to clarify. Offers a benchmark against which actual performance can be measured and reviewed. A plan is an important aspect of business. management. Planning helps in forecasting the future.1. and research their businesses or project's development and prospects. Deciding the specific course of your plan. focus. 2. Purpose of a plan Just as no two organizations are alike. Evaluating alternative routes. Preparing a satisfactory plan of the organization is essential. The planning knows the business and those they have thought through its development in terms of products. finances. so also their plans. Choosing a destination. It is therefore important to prepare a plan keeping in view the necessities of the enterprise. makes the future visible to some extent. Planning is looking ahead. Types of plans or planning Architectural planning Business plan Comprehensive planning Economic planning Enterprise Architecture Planning Event Planning and Production Family planning Financial planning Land use planning Life planning Marketing plan            .

Review past performance. the objective of the firm justifies its existence. They are needed in every aspect where performance and result directly and vitally affect the survival and success of the firm. management has to: Clearly define the target/goal in writing. Applications In organizations . it is useful to think of objectives as the results we want to achieve.      Network resource planning Strategic planning Succession planning Urban planning Operational planning Contingency planning Objectives and policies The objectives The objectives are general parts of the planning process. For a comprehensive business plan. Decide budgetary requirement. Focus on matters of strategic importance. It is prepared after careful and extensive research. The goal should be realistic. Strategies for implementation. "For managerial purposes. Planning basics Essentials of planning Planning is not done off hand. Define strategies and activities. What are requirements and how will they be met? What will be the likely length of the plan and its structure? Identify shortcomings in the concept and gaps. Review periodically. They are the end-results towards which all business activities are directed. Policies provide the framework within which decision-makers are expected to operate while making organizational decisions. They are the basic guides to be consistent in decision-making. Acceptability Easily measurable Identify all the main issues which need to be addressed. In other words. It should be set by a person having authority." The policies Policies are specific guidelines and constraints for managerial thinking on decision-making and action. Newman and summer stated. Objective covers firm's long-range plans specific departmental goals and short-term individual assignment also. It should be specific.

The concept of planning is to identify what the organization wants to do by using the four questions which are "where are we today in terms of our business or strategy planning? Where are we going? Where do we want to go? How are we going to get there?. and who should do it. A manager's job is planning. The purpose may be achievement of certain goals or targets. It is a process that involves making and evaluating each set of interrelated decisions. action. monitoring and controlling.. although the specific functions of each tool are used differently in the overall strategic planning. It is done at all levels of the organization. While both process planning and project planning are necessary to give form and focus to any project. this aspect of planning also includes establishing the general sequence of steps that begin with the acquisition of materials and end with the creation of a finished product. Process planning helps to create the general process necessary to reach an ultimate goal. It is "an anticipatory decision making process" that helps in coping with complexities. each procedure fulfills specific needs. In many countries.."[3] In public policy Planning refers to the practice and the profession associated with the idea of planning an idea yourself (land use planning. The planning helps to achieve these goals or target by using the available time and resources. the thought process. It is a conscious as well as sub-conscious activity. Planning is deciding in advance what to do. In a manufacturing setting. concerned with defining goals for future organizational performance and deciding on the tasks and resources to be used in order to attain those goals. Process of planning Process planning is a key element in project management that focuses on selecting resources for use in the execution and completion of a project. Process planning is often closely associated with project planning. Planning always has a purpose. urban planning or spatial planning). objectives and "translation of knowledge into action. when to do it. how to do it. The planning function involves establishing goals and arranging them in logical order. It is deciding future course of action from amongst alternatives. To meet the goals. . and implementation. Planning gives more power over the future. To minimize the timing and resources also require proper planning. Planning includes the plan." A planned performance brings better results compared to an unplanned one. such as the creation of a product or the development of a marketing campaign.Planning is also a management process. This bridges the gap from where the organization is to where it wants to be. It is selection of missions. the operation of a town and country planning system is often referred to as "planning" and the professionals which operate the system are known as "planners". managers may develop plans such as a business plan or a marketing plan. Planning and goal setting are important traits of an organization.

Analyze the situation: This involves conducting a SWOT analysis and forecasting future events. the planning works in just about any setting where a group of people wish to determine how to reach a specific goal. as well as the creation of user instructions that accompany each unit that is sold. a process plan provides the framework for a procedure while a project plan provides the specifics of how to complete each step or process necessary to achieve the desired outcome. e. It provides the following benefits: y Direction: The plan sets the direction for the business by clearly identifying the objectives. Accurate forecasting can lead to success.Project planning looks at each of the steps or processes identified in process planning and defines the specific actions that must take place in order for each of the processes to be completed successfully. Good performance can be rewarded (bonuses) and failure to meet targets should be investigated. For example. to expand (Ryan air has announced plans to open up new routes and to buy new jets). Stages of planning process Planning involves selecting organizational goals and finding ways to achieve them. y y y y The four stages in the planning process are: 1.. The strategy has been utilized in business circles for centuries. While the amount of detail involved will depend greatly on the scope of the project and the culture of the business or entity conducting the project. process planning may also address concerns that are related to the steps identified as necessary to create a product. the plan may also address issues such as designing the packaging or labeling for the final product. Coordination: The plan is used to coordinate the activities of the different departments. Finance: A plan can be used when approaching potential investors for money as it demonstrates how the money will be used and how funds will be generated for repayment. Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) and is therefore more adaptable to change. Awareness: An organization that plans by consulting all relevant stakeholders becomes aware of its Strengths. Private and non-profit organizations often use this same type of planning when structuring a new project or directive. Control: Management can compare the actual results to the planned targets.g. In a manufacturing setting. the sales department must not take orders that the production department is unable to meet. Bill Gates forecast a computer on every desk and . In a sense. Weaknesses..g. Process planning is not a new concept. e.

a mission statement is written. This process is called a means-ends chain because low-level goals lead to accomplishment of high-level goals. In addition to these three types of plans. fire on premises Tactical plans Operational Plans Single use Plans Types of plans Detailing Types of Plans Plans commit individuals. Operational plans lead to the achievement of tactical plans. these are more precise. Types of Plans Strategic Plan These are long term plans. company launching a new product. organizations.g a method of increasing profit over first 10 months of the year Medium term. which in turn lead to the attainment of strategic plans. Relevant and Timed (SMART). managers should also develop a contingency plan in case their original plans fail. e. Achievable. e. e.planned Microsoft's strategy to match. Identify the goals: Goals should be Specific. Implement the plan: Plans are implemented by putting policies in place. Effectively designed organizational goals fit into a hierarchy so that the achievement of goals at low levels permits the attainment of high-level goals. . Cadbury s launching new white chocolate flake Short term plans which are designed to meet specific objectives. a tactical (operational) plan and a contingency (for unseen events) plan. tactical. 3. The policies of the organization detail how the objectives are to be achieved.g. 4. and operational.g flooding. To communicate the organizations most important goals to the stakeholders. Measurable. 2. Policies succeed best if they are devised by consultation. Three major types of plans can help managers achieve their organization's goals: strategic. Policies must be adaptable to outside forces such as competitors or government legislation. He failed to predict the importance of the Internet and lost ground to Netscape but later changed his view and hence the Explore / Netscape "war". departments. Draft the plan: The plan should consist of a strategic (long term) plan. A firm introducing a new internal telephone system Short term plans used in case of a sudden emergency or problem encountered by a firm. and the resources of each to specific actions for the future.

Operational plans The specific results expected from departments. Depending on the amount of the request. The following are examples of ongoing plans: y A policy provides a broad guideline for managers to follow when dealing with important areas of decision making. where. An operational plan is one that a manager uses to accomplish his or her job responsibilities. for example. such as a special sales program. and individuals are the operational goals. Rules are do and don't statements put into place to promote the safety of employees and the uniform treatment and behavior of employees. and facilitators develop operational plans to support tactical plans (see the next section). procedures provide a standardized way of responding to a repetitive problem. and discipline. Policies are general statements that explain how a manager should attempt to handle routine management responsibilities. pay increases. The approved requisition is forwarded to the purchasing department. team leaders. work groups. the purchasing department may place an order. Process 150 sales applications each week or Publish 20 books this quarter are examples of operational goals. is a single-use plan because it deals with the who. Typical human resources policies. The requisition is then sent to the next level of management for approval. or they may need to secure quotations and/or bids for several vendors before placing the order. Supervisors. how. Operational plans can be a single-use plan or an ongoing plan. y A rule is an explicit statement that tells an employee what he or she can and cannot do. For example. rules about . By defining the steps to be taken and the order in which they are to be done. A one-time occurrence. and how much of an activity. performance appraisals. A budget is also a single-use plan because it predicts sources and amounts of income and how much they are used for a specific project. Most organizations have procedures for purchasing supplies and equipment. y Continuing or ongoing plans are usually made once and retain their value over a period of years while undergoing periodic revisions and updates. y Single-use plans apply to activities that do not recur or repeat. These goals are precise and measurable. terminations. This procedure usually begins with a supervisor completing a purchasing requisition. address such matters as employee hiring. y A procedure is a set of step-by-step directions that explains how activities or tasks are to be carried out. what. for example.

Normally. on the other hand. Tactical plans A tactical plan is concerned with what the lower level units within each division must do. Requiring multilevel involvement. Strategic planning begins with an organization's mission. When . and mastery of changing conditions. it is the middle manager's responsibility to take the broad strategic plan and identify specific tactical actions. or even more years to move the organization from where it currently is to where it wants to be. Tactics are the means needed to activate a strategy and make it work. Strategic plans A strategic plan is an outline of steps designed with the goals of the entire organization as a whole in mind. five. Tactical plans are concerned with shorter time frames and narrower scopes than are strategic plans. can take several years or more to accomplish. flexibility. Top management's strategic plan for the entire organization becomes the framework and sets dimensions for the lower level planning. Top-level management develops the directional objectives for the entire organization.tardiness and absenteeism permit supervisors to make discipline decisions rapidly and with a high degree of fairness. while lower levels of management develop compatible objectives and plans to achieve them. Long-term goals. and who is in charge at each level. Strategic plans look ahead over the next two. Keep in mind that events beyond a manager's control may cause even the most carefully prepared alternative future scenarios to go awry. three. Unexpected problems and events frequently occur. These plans usually span one year or less because they are considered short-term goals. how they must do it. rather than with the goals of specific divisions or departments. Contingency planning involves identifying alternative courses of action that can be implemented if and when the original plan proves inadequate because of changing circumstances. these plans demand harmony among all levels of management within the organization. Strong management requires a keeping all options open approach at all times that's where contingency planning comes in. Contingency plans Intelligent and successful management depends upon a constant pursuit of adaptation.

to meet future needs estimated usually by extrapolation of present or known needs. how can we expect to develop plans that will remain relevant? With so little control over external events. and contributes to organizational stability and growth. It facilitates new program development. target groups. Most Hispanic community-based organizations exist to serve a specific community. Funders require them. Management can then develop alternatives to the existing plan and ready them for use when and if circumstances make these alternatives appropriate. and provides a clear focus to the Executive Director and staff for program implementation and agency management. and generally includes short-term (operational or tactical plans) for achieving interim goals. and objectives. With the external environment changing so rapidly. and they provide a basis for setting priorities. organizing work. how can we hope to influence them in a way that benefits our community? In fact. Board members and senior staff ask. Anticipating change during the planning process is best in case things don't go as expected. Longer-range planning planning beyond the next year or two often seems more difficult and less rewarding. It enables an organization to look into the future in an orderly and systematic way. it may well be more important. Long term planning Definition Exercise aimed at formulating a long-term plan. they need to be very clear on community needs and then work to address them through similarly clear organizational missions. and for assessing results and impact. priorities. To do that. organizational development. It provides a basis for monitoring progress. and in some cases Board development. From a governance perspective. and to design strategies and programs to meet them. it enables the Board to set policies and goals to guide the organization. Most groups find it practical to define objectives for a 12-month period. A growing number of Hispanic community-based organizations go beyond funder requirements to develop annual objectives and operating plans which also include a systematic plan for resource development. Most organizations understand the need for annual program objectives and a programfocused work plan. If the external environment . Strategic planning process IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING There is broad agreement among nonprofit leaders and experts that planning is a critical component of good management and governance.they do. Planning helps assure that an organization remains relevant and responsive to the needs of its community. and assessing progress. It begins with the current status and charts out a path to the projected status. planning is no less important in a changing environment. managers may need to change their plans.

safe and affordable housing. is changing or hostile. etc. May 1994 and July 2001. and a secure environment remain fairly constant. . then our organizations must be that much more effective in defining needs and marshaling internal and external resources to meet them.funding. job training. but the most basic ones such as access to high quality educational services. sufficient financial resources to meet basic needs. Based on materials originally prepared for use with SHATIL. The challenge of meeting them can become greater with changes in the local or national Prepared by Emily Gantz McKay. the economy in general. employment opportunities. human services directed at various age groups and special needs populations. Modified for the National Council of La Raza. and further modified for MOSAICA. The community's needs will change over time. government enforcement of civil rights laws. the technical assistance project of the New Israel Fund.

however. a sound base for planning is consensus concerning a well-defined mission statement and/or organizational goals these must often be developed as a foundation for longer-term planning. and updated. and unrealistic to look five years ahead unless an organization has some confidence that it will exist next year. a sense of joint purpose and agreed-upon priorities. which means that they must not be using every minute to carry out functions required for survival. such as a poor economy or a hostile or unresponsive government. while planning provides increased organizational definition. serious effort which takes time and energy. any plan needs to be reviewed. The benefits to an organization can be significant -. Learning from that experience. It is also difficult to plan if the organization is so young or its leadership so new that they do not have a good sense of the community and of the broader external environment. understanding obstacles and figuring out ways to overcome them. and a basis for measuring progress and impact. and that most of its key staff and its Board leadership will continue to be affiliated with the organization. or groups which have undergone major institutional difficulties or change. they can begin a longer-term planning process. It is very difficult to plan in a crisis. planning is not a one-time effort. Planning that focuses on a period of three years or more requires an organized. but also demanding. Moreover. There may need to be a formal community needs assessment as input to planning.Environment. . This is extremely valuable. consensus on strategies. Moreover.a clear focus. There is an important caveat: Longer-range planning requires some level of organizational stability. Most new organizations. monitored. and it is here that strategic or long-range planning can be most helpful. usually for a single year. find that they do best by first attempting to reach consensus on an organizational mission statement and then doing shorter-range planning. Planning is designed to help an organization define its vision for the future and then determine systematically how it will get there. Board and staff also need the time to plan.

(It may be helpful at this point to use a variety of research methods. blaming is often one of our first reactions. What can you see that causes you to think there's a problem? b. you might substitute "problem" for "opportunity" in the following guidelines. with whom and why. (Note that it might be more your nature to view a "problem" as an "opportunity". in particular. When is it happening? e.. Don't be intimidated by the length of the list of guidelines. How is it happening? d. what we consider to be .. However. Therefore.III. stressed and very short for time. b. Note the difference between "important" and "urgent" problems. then prioritize which ones you should address first. including what is happening. how. when they encounter a new problem or decision they must make. where. Consequently. seek to understand more about why you think there's a problem. you need to address issues more than people.) 1. Where is it happening? c. Write down a five-sentence description of the problem in terms of "The following should be happening.enough that you can deepen and enrich them to suit your own needs and nature. Defining the problem: (with input from yourself and others) Ask yourself and others. With whom is it happening? (HINT: Don't jump to "Who is causing the problem?" When we're stressed. Problem solving and decision making Much of what managers and supervisors do is solve problems and make decisions. Defining complex problems: a. be specific in your description. often make solve problems and decisions by reacting to them. It helps a great deal to verify your problem analysis for conferring with a peer or someone else. After you've practiced them a few times. Define the problem This is often where people struggle. Not all problems can be solved and decisions made by the following. but isn't .. they'll become second nature to you -. Therefore. as a new manager or supervisor. rather rational approach." or "The following is happening and should be: . the following basic guidelines will get you started. They react to what they think the problem is. they react with a decision that seemed to work before. Prioritize the problems: a. To be an effective manager. Often. Also see . get used to an organized approach to problem solving and decision making. Instead. Why is it happening? g." As much as possible. the following questions: a. Verifying your understanding of the problems: a. If you discover that you are looking at several related problems. break it down by repeating steps a-f until you have descriptions of several related problems..) f. If the problem still seems overwhelming. It's easy with this approach to get stuck in a circle of solving the same problem over and over again. New managers and supervisors. They are "under the gun".

it's useful to keep others involved (unless you're facing a personal and/or employee performance problem). it'll probably look like others are. Your role in the problem can greatly influence how you perceive the role of others. it's critical to get input from other people who notice the problem and who are effected by it. a new policy or procedure? Don't resort to solutions where someone is "just going to try harder". For example. where. Write down what your opinions and what you've heard from others. brainstorming is collecting as many ideas as possible. It's often useful to collect input from other individuals one at a time (at least at first). you are feeling very guilty about your role in the problem. consider: a. in the problem solving process is why problem solving and decision making are highly integrated. it's often useful to seek advice from a peer or your supervisor in order to verify your impression of the problem. (A wonderful set of skills used to identify the underlying cause of issues is Systems Thinking. in particular.) 4.Write down a description of the cause of the problem and in terms of what is happening. What is the extent of risk associated with each alternative? (The nature of this step. Understand your role in the problem: a. Therefore. e. for example.) 5. Brainstorm for solutions to the problem. Otherwise. It's critical when collecting the ideas to not pass any judgment on the ideas -.important problems to consider are really just urgent problems. with whom and why. What steps should be taken to implement the best alternative to solving the problem? What systems or processes should be changed in your organization. Carefully consider "What will the situation look like when the problem is solved?" b. c. then you've probably got a more "important" problem and that's to design a system that screens and prioritizes your phone calls. Regarding what you think might be performance problems associated with an employee. At this point. Plan the implementation of the best alternative (this is your action plan) a. when. or. Select an approach to resolve the problem When selecting the best approach. if you're continually answering "urgent" phone calls. d. in this phase. Very simply put. you may ignore the accountabilities of others. . how. Or. Identify alternatives for approaches to resolve the problem a. Look at potential causes for the problem a. Which approach is the most realistic to accomplish for now? Do you have the resources? Are they affordable? Do you have enough time to implement the approach? c. Important problems deserve more attention. people tend to be inhibited about offering their impressions of the real causes of problems. It's amazing how much you don't know about what you don't know. if you're very stressed out. For example. b. too. 3. you may resort too quickly to blaming and reprimanding others.just write them down as you hear them. 2. and then screening them to find the best idea. Which approach is the most likely to solve the problem for the long term? b.

then consider: Was the plan realistic? Are there sufficient resources to accomplish the plan on schedule? Should more priority be placed on various aspects of the plan? Should the plan be changed? 7. What resources will you need in terms of people. Will the plan be done according to schedule? c. Still. etc. and when you expect to see certain indicators of success.) 6. at least. peers and subordinates. If the plan is not being followed as expected. (An important aspect of this step in the problem-solving process is continually observation and feedback. Verify if the problem has been resolved or not One of the best ways to verify if a problem has been solved or not is to resume normal operations in the organization. understanding and/or skills. Share it with your supervisor.c. How will you know if the steps are being followed or not? (These are your indicators of the success of your plan) d. and what you learned as a result. . Communicate the plan to those who will involved in implementing it and. to your immediate supervisor. Lastly. you should consider: y y y What changes should be made to avoid this type of problem in the future? Consider changes to policies and procedures. consider "What did you learn from this problem solving?" Consider new knowledge. Who will primarily be responsible for ensuring implementation of the plan? g. training. Write down the answers to the above questions and consider this as your action plan. How much time will you need to implement the solution? Write a schedule that includes the start and stop times. h. Consider writing a brief memo that highlights the success of the problem solving effort. Monitor implementation of the plan Monitor the indicators of success: a. f. Are you seeing what you would expect from the indicators? b. money and facilities? e.

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