Management functions in operations


Organizational coordination and control is taking a systematic approach to figuring out if actions are being implemented as per planning or actions taken and plans are worked out. It’s the planning after decisions are taken to implement with which the management is concerned. Major approaches to organizational control and coordination by the management is discussed below:

Quality Control and Operations Management:

The concept of quality control has received a great deal of attention over the past twenty years. Many people recognize phrases such as “do it right the first time, “zero defects”, “Total Quality Management”, etc. Quality includes specifying a performance standard, monitoring and measuring results, comparing the results to the standard and then making adjusts as necessary. Recently, the concept of quality management has expanded to include organization-wide programs, such as Total Quality Management, ISO9000. Operations management includes the overall activities involved in developing, producing and distributing products and services.

Management “Control” any adverse reaction?

More “organic” forms or organizations allow organizations to be more responsive and adaptable in today’s rapidly changing world. These forms also cultivate empowerment among employees, much more than the hierarchical, rigidly structured organizations of the past.

Many people assert that as the nature of organizations have changed, so must the nature of management control. Some people go so far as to claim that management shouldn’t exercise any form of control whatsoever. They claim that management should exist to support employee’s efforts to be fully productive members of organizations and communities. Therefore, any form of control is completely counterproductive to management and employees.
People even react strongly against the phrase “management control”. It can sound dominating, coercive and heavy handed. It seems that writers of management literature now prefer use of the term “coordinating” rather than “controlling”.

No “Coordination” then no “Organizationâ€?:

Regardless of the negative connotation of the word “control”, it must exist or there is no organization at all. In its most basic form, an organization is two or more people working together to reach a goal. Whether an organization is highly bureaucratic or changing and self-organizing, the organization must exist for some reason, some purpose, some mission otherwise it is not an organization at all. The organization must have some goal. Identifying this goal requires some form of planning, informal or formal. Reaching the goal means identifying some strategies. These strategies are agreed upon by members of the organization through some form of communication. Then members set about to act in accordance with what they agreed to do. They may change their minds, fine. But they need to recognize and acknowledge that they’re changing their minds.

This form of ongoing communication to reach a goal, tracking activities toward the goal and then subsequent decisions about what to do is the essence of management coordination.
The following are rather typical methods of coordination in organizations. The function of the following methods is not to “control”, but rather to guide. If the direction changes from ongoing communications among management and employees then it may be with a purpose..
No matter what one calls the following methods, coordination or control, they’re important to the success of any organization.

Administrative control:

Organizations often use standardized documents to ensure complete and consistent information is gathered. Documents include titles and dates to detect different versions of the document. Computers have revolutionized administrative controls through use of integrated management information systems, project management software, human resource information systems, office automation software, etc. Organizations typically require a wide range of reports, e.g., financial reports, status reports, project reports, etc. to monitor what’s being done, by when and how.

Approach to get the things done:

’Delegation’ is an approach to get things done, in conjunction with other employees. Delegation is often viewed as a major means of influence and therefore is categorized as an activity in leading rather than controlling or coordinating. Delegation generally includes assigning responsibility to an employee to complete a task, granting the employee sufficient authority to gain the resources to do the task and letting the employee decide how that task will be carried out. Typically, the person assigning the task shares accountability with the employee for ensuring the task is completed.

Analyzing information:

Analyzing or evaluation is carefully collecting information in order to make decisions. There are many types of evaluations in organizations, for example, evaluation of marketing efforts, evaluation of employee performance, program evaluations, etc. Evaluations can focus on many aspects of an organization and its processes:

Once the organization has established goals and associated strategies, funds are set aside for the resources and labor to accomplish the goals and tasks. Statements are updated as the money is spent to reflect what was spent, how it was spent and what it obtained.

Review of financial statements is one of the more common methods to monitor the progress of programs and plans. The most common financial statements include the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement.

Observation and feedback:

Management focuses on the performance of the total organization, including its processes, critical subsystems say departments, programs, projects, etc. and employees. Most of us have some basic impression of employee performance. The role of performance reviews provide an opportunity for supervisors and their employees to regularly communicate about goals, how well the goals are being met and what must be done to continue to meet (or change) those goals. The employee is rewarded in some form for meeting performance standards.

Personnel policies and procedures help ensure that employee laws are followed. Procedures ensure that routine tasks are carried out in an effective and efficient fashion.