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Management Tools And Techniques Essay

1024 words - 4 pages

Making any decision is never trouble-free. It requires an organized thought process and critical thinking at its very finest to achieve the desired results. Decision-making is so complex in nature and there are many tools and techniques to come up with a good decision. After all, different scenarios require different decision-making techniques. One of which will be discussed is the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle.Identifying problems and solving them are important skills for managers, who are faced with dilemmas that require judgments everyday. According to De Janasz, Dowd, and Schneider (2002),Organizational problems come in many forms--whether in processes (how managers lead, how employees communicate, how work flows, how conflicts are solved, how employees deal with customers or suppliers) or outcomes (inadequate or unsatisfactory products or services, excessive employee absenteeism or turnover, insufficient profit margins). Problems such as these can significantly hamper an organization's ability to operate and succeed long term. To solve organizational problems effectively requires anappropriate mindset--viewing problems as opportunities or challenges and looking forsolutions as opposed to placing blame, as well as developing skills in problem solving--adisciplined approach to defining the problem and identifying and implementingappropriate solutions.... With that in mind ... you set out to figure out what caused the errors that have been serving to dissatisfy your customers (De Janasz et al., p. 396).Although there are plenty of tools and techniques that can be used to hinder solving problems, only one will be discussed in this paper.The concept of the PDCA Cycle was originally developed by Walter Shewhart, the pioneering statistician who developed statistical process control in the Bell Laboratories in the US during the 1930's. It is often referred to as `the Shewhart Cycle'. It was taken up and promoted [in Japan] very effectively from the 1950s on by the famous Quality Management authority, W. Edwards Deming, and is consequently known by many as `the Deming Wheel' (PDCA Cycle, n.d.).The PDCA Cycle is a process which consists of four steps. The most important step is the plan. "It is in this stage that we define and identify potential solutions for problems. This is easier said than done. What looks like the problem might actually be a symptom. Correctly defining the problem can be a challenge; with the remaining elements in this step we validate whether we identified the real problem and create a plan for fixing it" (p.396). Brainstorm for causes and corrective actions; and think creatively to determine the best approach.Once the plan is complete, the next stage would be doing the change by testing it. Document the procedures and observations. Third, check whether the changes are effective. "After you have implemented the change for a short time, you must determine how well it is working. Is it really leading to improvement in the way you...

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