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MA NA GEMENT FA Qs

STRATEGIC M ANAGEM ENT What is strategic management? What is strategic planning? What is the difference betw een strategic and long-range planning? What is strategic thinking and strategic management? What strategic planning is not! What is a strategic plan? When should a strategic plan be developed? How are strategies developed? What are some tools for analysis and planning? What is SWOT Analysis? What is the MacMillan Matrix? KNOWLED GE M ANAGEM ENT What is know ledge management How are innovation and know ledge management related? INFORM ATION M ANAGEM ENT What is information management? What are the benefits of information management? What is the difference betw een data, information and know ledge? What is an information strategy? PROJECT M ANAGEM ENT What is the purpose of project management? Why should the project be planned? What is the most important safe guard provided by project planning? Why should a company have a project management system? Does each project have to create its ow n management system? What are the tools needed for a project management system? What should a project manager look for in a scheduling system? What is a Work Breakdow n Structure (WBS)? D ELEGATION M ANAGEM ENT Why use delegation? What are the benefits of delegation for the manager? What are the benefits of delegation for team members team? How does delegation help decision making?

STRATEGIC M ANAGEM ENT

What is strateg ic manag ement? Strategic management can be used to determine mission, vision, values, goals, objectives, roles and responsibilities, timelines, etc. Top of C ategory What is strateg ic planning ? Strategic planning is a management tool, period. As w ith any management tool, it is used for one purpose only: to help an organization do a better job - to focus its energy, to ensure that members of the organization are w orking tow ard the same goals, to assess and adjust the organization's direction in response to a changing environment. In short, strategic planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide w hat an organization is, w hat it does, and w hy it does it, w ith a focus on the future. (Adapted from Bryson's Strategic Planning in Public and Nonprofit Organizations). A w ord by w ord dissection of this definition provides the key elements that underlie the meaning and success of a strategic planning process: The process is strategic because it involves preparing the best w ay to respond to the circumstances of the organization's environment, w hether or not its circumstances are know n in advance; nonprofits often must respond to dynamic and even hostile environments. Being strategic, then, means being clearr bout the organization's objectives, being aw are of the organization's resources, and incorporating both into being consciously responsive to a dynamic environment. The process is about planning because it involves intentionally setting goals (i.e., choosing a desired future) and developing an approach to achieving those goals. The process is disciplined in that it calls for a certain order and pattern to keep it focused and productive. The process raises a sequence of questions that helps planners examine experience, test assumptions, gather and incorporate information about the present, and anticipate the environment in w hich the organization w ill be w orking in the future. Finally, the process is about fundamental decisions and actions because choices must be made in order to answ er the sequence of questions mentioned above. The plan is ultimately no more, and no less, than a set of decisions about w hat to do, w hy to do it, and how to do it. Because it is impossible to do everything that needs to be done in this w orld, strategic planning implies that some organizational decisions and actions are more important than others - and that much of the strategy lies in making the tough decisions about w hat is most important to achieving organizational success. The strategic planning can be complex, challenging, and even messy, but it is alw ays defined by the basic ideas outlined above - and you can alw ays return to these basics for insight into your ow n strategic planning process. Top of C ategory What is the d ifference b etween strateg ic planning and lo ng -rang e p lanning ? Although many use these terms interchangeably, strategic planning and long-range planning differ in their emphasis on the "assumed" environment. Long-range planning is generally considered to mean the development of a plan for accomplishing a goal or set of goals over a period of several years, w ith the assumption that current know ledge about future conditions is sufficiently reliable to ensure the plan's reliability over the duration of its implementation. In the late fifties and early sixties, for example, the US. economy w as relatively stable and somew hat predictable, and, therefore, long-range planning w as both fashionable and useful. On the other hand, strategic planning assumes that an organization must be responsive to a dynamic, changing environment (not the more stable environment assumed for long-range planning). C ertainly a common assumption has emerged in the nonprofit sector that the environment is indeed changeable, often in unpredictable w ays. Strategic planning, then, stresses the importance of making decisions that w ill ensure the organization's ability to successfully respond to changes in the environment. Top of C ategory What is strateg ic thinking and strateg ic manag ement? Strategic planning is only useful if it supports strategic thinking and leads to strategic management - the basis for an effective organization. Strategic thinking means asking, "Are w e doing the right thing?" Perhaps, more precisely, it means making that assessment using three key requirements about strategic thinking: a definite purpose be in mind; an understanding of the environment, particularly of the forces that affect or impede the fulfillment of that purpose; and creativity in developing effective responses to those forces. It follow s, then, that strategic management is the application of strategic thinking to the job of leading an organization. Dr. Jagdish Sheth, a respected authority on marketing and strategic planning, provides the follow ing framew ork for understanding strategic management: continually asking the question, "Are w e doing the right thing?" It entails attention to the "big picture" and the w illingness to adapt to changing circumstances, and consists of the follow ing three elements: formulation of the organization's future mission in light of changing external factors such as regulation, competition, technology, and customers development of a competitive strategy to achieve the mission creation of an organizational structure w hich w ill deploy resources to successfully carry out its competitive strategy. Strategic management is adaptive and keeps an organization relevant. In these dynamic times it is more likely to succeed than the traditional approach of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Top of C ategory What Strateg ic Planning Is No t! Everything said above to describe w hat strategic planning is can also provide an

understanding of w hat it is not. For example, it is about fundamental decisions and actions, but it does not attempt to make future decisions (Steiner, 1979). Strategic planning involves anticipating the future environment, but the decisions are made in the present. This means that over time, the organization must stay abreast of changes in order to make the best decisions it can at any given point - it must manage, as w ell as plan, strategically. Strategic planning has also been described as a tool - but it is not a substitute for the exercise of judgment by leadership. Ultimately, the leaders of any enterprise need to sit back and ask, and answ er, "What are the most important issues to respond to?" and "How shall w e respond?" Just as the hammer does not create the bookshelf, so the data analysis and decision-making tools of strategic planning do not make the organization w ork - they can only support the intuition, reasoning skills, and judgment that people bring to their organization. Finally, strategic planning, though described as disciplined, does not typically flow smoothly from one step to the next. It is a creative process, and the fresh insight arrived at today might very w ell alter the decision made yesterday. Inevitably the process moves forw ard and back several times before arriving at the final set of decisions. Therefore, no one should be surprised if the process feels less like a comfortable trip on a commuter train, but rather like a ride on a roller coaster. But even roller coaster cars arrive at their destination, as long as they stay on track! Top of C ategory What is a strateg ic plan? In strategic planning it is critical to formally consider how your organization w ill accomplish its goals. The answ er to this question is a strategy. There are a variety of formal definitions for strategies, but everyone fundamentally agrees that a strategy is the answ er to the question, "How ?" "Strategies are simply a set of actions that enable an organization to achieve results." MAP for Nonprofits, St. Paul, MN. "Strategy is a w ay of comparing your organization's strengths w ith the changing environment in order to get an idea of how best to complete or serve client needs." Jim Fisk & Robert Barron, The Official MBA Handbook. Essentially, there are three different categories of strategies: organizational, programmatic, and functional. The difference among the categories is the focus of the strategy: Organizational strategy outlines the planned avenue for organizational development (e.g., collaborations, earned income, selection of businesses, mergers, etc.). Programmatic strategy addresses how to develop, manage and deliver programs (e.g., market a prenatal care service to disadvantaged expectant mothers by providing information and intake services in w elfare offices). Functional strategies articulate how to manage administration and support needs that impact the organization's efficiency and effectiveness (e.g., develop a financial system that provides accurate information using a cash accrual method). Top of C ategory When sho uld a strateg ic p lan b e d evelo p ed? Strategy development follow s the creation and affirmation of the organization's purpose statement, environmental and program data collection and analysis, and identification of critical issues. It is critical that strategy development follow these steps because the information gathered and decisions made in these phases are the foundation for strategy creation and selection. Each of these steps provides the follow ing: The purpose statement, the statement of the organization's ultimate goal, provides the direction to w hich the strategies should ultimately lead. External market data and program evaluation results provide critical data to support strategy development. Without this information and insight, the organization's strategies w ill not be in alignment w ith or effective in the marketplace. The critical issues list serves as the specific focus and framew ork for the activities of the organization and the pattern of these activities (developing and selecting the strategies). Top of C ategory Ho w are strateg ies d evelo ped ? Strategy formulation is a combination of rational, scientific examinations and educated, intuitive best guesses. Many individuals are overw helmed by the idea of developing strategies, but it can be a fun and invigorating process. The process entails: examining the organization's critical issues determining how the organization's strengths and skills can be employed to address the critical issues analyzing opportunities and strengths and looking for w ays to synthesize the tw o exploring and choosing the best approaches for the organization. During this evaluation ask these key questions: Does the strategy meet/address critical issues? Is this aligned w ith our mission? Is this approach financially viable? One effective method of strategy generation is to list critical issues and organizational strengths onto flipcharts and then have staff or board members brainstorm possible uses of those strengths or other skills to address the critical issues. Once the brainstorm session is completed, use a roundtable discussion to investigate and evaluate the possible strategies. Remember to develop a list of alternative strategies to investigate and keep in the contingency planning file. It is important not to discount the ideas that come to people during non-w orking hours. The Polaroid camera is the result of a three year old's question to her father: "Dad, w hy can't I see the picture now ?" Top of C ategory What are so me to o ls fo r fo r analysis and p lanning? A number of analytical tools have been developed to assist organizations w ith the planning process. Many nonprofit organizations have adapted these tools, modifying the questions

and criteria to align w ith their ow n specific services and markets. Listed below are analytical tools frequently used by nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Top of C ategory What is SWOT Analysis? SWOT analysis is a methodology of examining potential strategies derived from the synthesis of organizational strengths, w eaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). The partnering of the different elements and the extensive data collected as a result of the analysis can serve as a spark for roundtable discussions and refinement of current strategies or generation of new strategies. Top of C ategory What is the M acM illan M atrix? This strategy grid, developed by Dr. Ian MacMillan, is specifically designed to assist nonprofit organizations to formulate organizational strategies. There are three assumptions underlying this approach: the need for resources is essentially competitive and all agencies w anting to survive must acknow ledge this dynamic given that resources are scarce, there is no room for direct duplication of services to a single constituency -- this is w asteful and inefficient mediocre or low quality service to a large client population is less preferable to delivering higher quality services to a more focused population. These assumptions have implications that are difficult and painful for many organizations and individuals. It might mean terminating some programs to improve core services and competencies, giving programs and clients to more efficient, effective agencies, or competing aggressively w ith those programs that are less effective or efficient. MacMillan's matrix examines four program dimensions that guide placement on the strategy grid and indicate implied strategies. Alignment w ith Mission Statement: Services or programs that are not in alignment w ith the organizational mission, unable to draw on existing organizational skills or know ledge, unable to share resources, and/or unable to coordinate activities across programs should be divested. C ompetitive Position: C ompetitive position addresses the degree to w hich the organization has a stronger capability and potential to fund the program and serve the client base than the competitive agencies. Program Attractiveness: Program attractiveness is the complexity associated w ith managing a program. Programs that have low client resistance, a grow ing client base, easy exit barriers, and stable financial resources are considered simple or "easy to administer." The level of program attractiveness also includes an economic perspective or a review of current and future resource investments. Alternative C overage: Alternative coverage is the number of other organizations attempting to deliver or succeeding in delivering a similar program in the same region to similar constituents. The MacMillan Matrix provides ten cells in w hich to place programs that have been review ed in terms of these four dimensions. Each cell is assigned a strategy that directs the future of the program (s) listed in the cell (e.g., aggressive competition, joint venture, orderly divestment, etc.). One cell of the matrix, "Soul of the Agency," requires additional explanation. These are the difficult programs for w hich the organization is often the clients' "last, best hope." Management must find w ays to use the programs in other cells to develop, piggyback, subsidize, leverage, promote, or otherw ise support the programs in this category. Top of C ategory KNOWLED GE M ANAGEM ENT What is kno wled g e manag ement? Getting the right information to the right people at the right time -- to enable the right actions. Top of C ategory Ho w are inno vatio n and kno wled g e manag ement related ? Innovation is the most evolved stage in the development of know ledge management. The first stage is data, the second is information, the third is know ledge, and the fourth is innovation. Top of C ategory INFORM ATION M ANAGEM ENT What is info rmatio n manag ement? Information management (IM) is the harnessing of the information resources and information capabilities of the organization in order to add and create value both for itself and for its clients or customers. Information management is the management of organizational processes and systems that acquire, create, organize, distribute, and use information. We adopt a process view of information management. In this view, IM is a continuous cycle of five closely related activities: identification of information needs; acquisition and creation of information;

organization and storage of information; information dissemination; information use. The idea underlying IM is that just as an organization purposefully and systematically manages its human resources or financial assets, it should do likew ise for its information resources and processes. All the classic functions of managing an organizational activity apply to IM as w ell: defining goals, providing leadership, developing policies, allocating resources, training staff, evaluation and feedback. Top of C ategory What are the b enefits o f info rmatio n manag ement? Generally speaking, there are four kinds of benefits from managing information strategically: reduce costs; reduce uncertainty or risks; add value to existing products or services; create new value through new information-based products or services. Top of C ategory What is the d ifference b etween data, info rmatio n and kno wled g e? C onsider a document containing a table of numbers indicating product sales for the quarter. As they stand, these numbers are Data. An employee reads these numbers, recognizes the name and nature of the product, and notices that the numbers are below last years figures, indicating a dow nw ard trend. The data has become Information. The employee considers possible explanations for the product decline (perhaps using additional information and personal judgment), and comes to the conclusion that the product is no longer attractive to its customers. This new belief, derived from reasoning and reflection, is K now ledge. Thus, information is data given context, and endow ed w ith meaning and significance. K now ledge is information that is transformed through reasoning and reflection into beliefs, concepts, and mental models. Top of C ategory What is an info rmatio n strateg y? An information strategy describes the overall direction and general framew ork in w hich the organizations information resources and processes should be managed so that the organization w ould achieve its most important goals. An Information Strategy typically consists of the follow ing: IM goals and objectives that are w ell aligned w ith the organizations mission and vision IM principles that articulate desirable outcomes and form the foundation for developing information policies One or more areas of strategic focus: this could be some critical information content; common information to be shared; some information-intensive process; or new information-based products or services. Top of C ategory PROJECT M ANAGEM ENT What is the p urp o se o f p ro ject manag ement? base management decisions. Top of C ategory Why sho uld the pro ject b e p lanned ? The main reason for planning a project is for cost expediency. Proper project planning w ill insure that the amount of w ork to be accomplished, the time allotted to satisfactory complete the w ork scope, and the resources required to complete the w ork scope are equally balanced. Every project undergoes some amount of change w hile in progress. Proper planning allow s for the assessment of the impact of change prior to implementing the change. Top of C ategory What is the mo st imp o rtant safe g uard p ro vid ed b y p ro ject planning ? Proper planning includes the documentation of the w ork scope in language that is understandable by the individuals w ho must accomplish the w ork scope. This single step w hen properly accomplished w ill save many false starts as w ell as preventing the w aste of resources w orking on efforts w hich are not required to obtain the desired goals of the project. Top of C ategory Why sho uld a co mpany have a p ro ject management system? The customer may w ish to know how the company manages a project. The customer w ants some assurance that the company can deliver the project on time and w ithin budget. Senior management w ants a valid insight on how the project is progressing. History is required of past To provide management w ith valid, auditable status on w hich to

performance so that new proposals can be created based on fact. The company desires to be a superior performer w hen compared to the competition. Top of C ategory D o es each p ro ject have to create its o wn manag ement system? The style of the individual project manager w ill normally vary for each project. It is the responsibility of senior management to put in place a policy and procedure, supported by a selection of project management tools and formats, w hich w ill assure that the status reporting is readable, auditable, and valid. Top of C ategory What are the to o ls need ed fo r a p ro ject manag ement system? A w ork definition policy and format, a scheduling procedure, a resource budgeting methodology and format, a real time data collection/reporting system, a material control and accountability subsystem, a change control subsystem, and a monthly formal status review format to be used by senior management. Top of C ategory What sho uld the p ro ject manag er lo o k fo r in a sched uling system? The three basic elements that the project scheduling systems should provide are; a common basis for communication at all operational levels of the project, a basis for regular status reporting, the use of the management by exception technique. Top of C ategory What is a Wo rk Breakd o wn Structure (WBS)? The w ork breakdow n structure defines the total project. A w ork breakdow n structure is a product oriented, family tree composed of hardw are elements, softw are elements, and service elements. The w ork breakdow n structure relates project elements or w ork scope definitions to each other and to the end product. The w ork breakdow n structure is not an organization chart of company personnel. Top of C ategory D ELEGATION M ANAGEM ENT Why use d eleg atio n? Although delegating is one of the most difficult aspects of any management job, there are many important benefits derived by the organization as w ell as the manager w hen tasks and responsibilities are properly delegated. Through delegation, you can ease the job of managing and thereby increase your ow n effectiveness and that of the w ork group. Top of C ategory What are the b enefits o f d eleg atio n to the manag er? Everybody w ins w ith effective delegation, but delegation is especially important if you w ant to survive and grow in an organization. Here is how delegation can help the manager:

Allows the manager to achieve more. Probably one of the most signifi- cant benefits is that you can achieve greater productivity. Through the proper selection, assignment, and coordination of tasks, you can mobilize resources to achieve more than w ould have been individually possible. Allows time for manag erial activities. Delegation gives you an opportunity to handle aspects of the job that no one else can do. These activities might include project planning, monitoring team members, and handling personnel problems as they arise. Using delegation, you can focus on doing a few tasks w ell rather than too many tasks poorly. Increases managerial promotion potential. Personal ad vancement. If you don't have people in the department w ho are trained to handle responsibilities, you w ill be shackled to one area and w on't be considered for promotion. John Henry Patterson, founder of National C ash Register C ompany, used to w alk into his departments and order the managers to take tw o-w eek vacations. His motive: to determine w hether a team member had been adequately trained to take over the supervisor's job on short notice. The key to such training, Patterson believed w as delegating--providing the team member w ith the experience, know ledge, and responsibility needed for a smooth transition. Managers w ho don't delegate don't have trained team members to take their places. Managers w ho aren't able to delegate at their current level w on't be able to delegate at the next. Their ineffectiveness thus multiplies w ith each level in the organization. Top of C ategory What are the b enefits o f d eleg atio n fo r team memb ers? effective delegation. Your team members are more highly motivated w ith

D evelops team memb ers' skills. Failure to effectively delegate deprives team members of opportunities to improve their skills and assume greater responsibility. Team members realize that they are not learning and gaining the experience they could. As a result, they may leave the firm for more challenging and supportive environments. Unfortunately, the most talented team members are the most likely to leave and those you least w ant to lose. A routine task for you is often a grow th opportunity for a team member. Delegating a w ide variety of assignments not only serves to train team members, it allow s for backup personnel in times of emergency or termination of other employees. When others are w ell-versed in handling the responsibilities of different areas, you attain maximum flexibility and ensure that the project w ill not be at a standstill in your absence. Increases team memb er involvement. Proper delegation encourages team members to understand and influence the w ork the department does. It allow s team members a chance to incorporate their values in the w orkplace and, in many cases, to w ork on activities that especially interest them. Increasing team members' involvement in the w orkplace increases their enthusiasm and initiative. Increases promotion potential. As w ith managers, a team member w ho receives extensive delegation w ill be ready and able to advance to new positions. In this regard, delegation serves both to train and to test an employee. Benefits to the Organization If both managers and team members benefit from delegation, it follow s that the organization as a w hole benefits. M aximizes efficient outp ut. When you delegate tasks according to the skills and abilities of each member of the w ork group, the department as a w hole is likely to produce a higher level of w ork. Work w ill also be completed more efficiently. Delegation helps you make the best use of available human resources and achieve the highest possible rate of productivity. In addition, it allow s new ideas, view points, and suggestions to flourish. Produces faster, more effective decisions. Top of C ategory Ho w d o es d eleg atio n help decisio n making ? Effective delegation makes for faster, more effective decision

making. An organization is most responsive to change in the environment w hen decisions are made by those individuals closest to the problems; that is, responsibility and decision making are pushed further dow n in an organization. Individuals closest to the problem have the most information on w hich to base an intelligent decision. Decision making can be achieved more expediently through delegation, thus allow ing the organization to be more responsive and hence more competitive. When team members participate in decision making there is an increase in employee motivation, morale, and job performance. The greater the employee participation, the greater the employee commitment to the job and the organization! Increases flexibility of operations. Effective delegation assignments. When they w ill already be responsibilities. And trains many people to do the same assignments. This overlap allow s for greater flexibility of w ork someone is absent or a crisis requires people to assist w ith tasks not regularly a part of their jobs, familiar w ith the assignment. Delegation prepares more individuals for promotion or rotation of it allow s you to appoint someone to supervise the w ork group w hen you're absent. Back to Top