The Four Functions of Management
There are four functions of management that need to be successfully applied if a business is to survive and thrive in the fast paced economy of today. They are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Every business, large or small, public or private will benefit from a well-structured, coordinated, directed, and monitored business plan.
Planning is the process of defining a structured sequence of specific tasks that need to be accomplished to achieve a goal. Good planning is key to their success of all projects. Some projects involve the installation of whole production lines and others may involve only modifications to an existing line. However the size or scope of the project, there must be a well thought out plan in place to guarantee a successful outcome. When planning a project it is important to first imagine the completed project. The project manager must ask him/herself, what will the successful project look like? What are the customer’s requirements? When these questions are answered the project manager can move forward with an action plan. One method a project manager will use to begin developing the action plan is to break the project down into manageable segments. Each segment will have numerable tasks and we will call them “milestones”. When building the list of project milestones it is helpful to begin by imagining the completed project and working backwards, consider all the steps it took to get there.
Now that the project manager has a list of milestones and has broken them down into manageable segments, he or she will organize the necessary resources into a project team. This organizational aspect is vital to the success of the project. The team will be comprised of individuals qualified to deliver those milestones. A project manager charged with modifying an aseptic filling line will select team members from engineering, manufacturing, process validation, quality assurance, and safety.
The project manager is now the project team leader. The team will meet and agree on a timeline for meeting the project milestones. The team leader will establish the frequency of subsequent meetings, assign responsibilities, and state member expectations through the development of a team charter. The entire team will participate in developing the charter. The charter will describe their commitment to achieving their goals in a timely and efficient manner. This charter can be a good motivational tool for the team because it can instill ownership in the project.
Once the meetings begin the team leader must control the agenda and monitor the teams progress toward achieving the milestones. A team volunteer, called the scribe, will keep minutes for each meeting. The minutes will be recorded on a form that will capture attendance, topics for discussion, any milestones achieved since the last meeting, and next steps. The “next steps” category lists the current and new tasks. It has 4...