Definition of Management
Definition Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51
Management tracks the achievement of targets and does what it can within the constraints of governance to maximise the likelihood that they will be achieved.
Article Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51
The task of management is achieved by iterative and interactive1The initial letters of which can be rearranged to give ROMAN PPM, i.e. Latin-based Project & Programme Management through Reporting, Organisation, Monitoring, Analysis, Negotiation, Planning, Provisioning and Motivating; a better mnemonic would probably have required more vowels and considerably more work.
- Analysis – identifying and evaluating the dependencies between and among: intermediate states in the transformation from given initial state to the desired outcome; resource availability, efficiency, consumption, degradation, etc.; capability appropriateness and effectiveness; applicability, impact, mitigations etc. of the effect of governance changes, e.g. policies
- Planning – the establishment of intermediate goals2If, while working towards some grand goal, one can identify and achieve specific benefits en route and schedule their delivery to maximise the time value of those benefits, this is good… as long as attempting to do so does not lead to . and objectives for successive periods of time or units of activity designed to lead to the achievement of the overall goal without violating governance constraints
- Organisation – the creation or selection of systems as necessary for the achievement of planned objectives together with the enumeration of the resources required and capability-implementing
- Provisioning – the acquisition, supply, allocation and maintenance of resources and time for execution of those processes
- Monitoring – looking for changes to specifications governing the management activity, e.g. policies; collecting and collating information on the consumption or degradation of resources, the achievement of individual objectives and overall progress towards the stated goal
- Reporting – providing information as necessary or required on Planning, Organisation, Provisioning and Monitoring
- Motivation – motivating people to do what you want
- Negotiation – motivating people to do what you want in return for something else
The definition says that management is concerned with monitoring progress towards specified objectives and adjusting what it can (what it is able or permitted to) in order to maximise the likelihood of success. Note that insofar as management is focussed on a desired outcome, both the description of the future state and its valuation – both of which determine desirability – must be considered.
An execution plan comprises an orchestrated set of intended individually to achieve specific objectives and collectively to achieve one or more specific goals; each task is allocated resources, comprising performers and and a timescale for execution (start and end times, which may include slack), and both depends-on and is-depended-on by other tasks.
Since the goal of management is to achieve stated objectives – accepting always (according to the outcomes) deviate from expectation, the levers managers may employ to mitigate or take advantage of the impact of the deviations include the following – where the emphasis is on mitigating the effects of disadvantageous changes.appetite) that they might not ultimately be achieved – when external circumstances or the execution of the plan (i.e. intermediate
Without recourse to governing bodies, such as project or programme boards, or superior line management, managers may mitigate or correct deviations by taking one or more of the following actions:
- Get more work done without changing the schedule or the resources available (such as the budget) by people to work harder
- Within the overall risk budget make changes to timing, allocation of resources, etc., (adjusting the risk levels for individual tasks and outcomes as necessary), e.g. recognise that X is going relatively well and that some resources can be diverted from X to help with Y
- Reallocate tasks from one performer or team to another
- Increase the strength of performers’ key competences (e.g. by additional training) to increase the quality of work, thereby saving time and resources that can be redeployed
With the support of governing bodies:
- Get more work done by paying performers to work more
- Increase the level of acceptable risk
- Increase or change the resources available – more performers, better qualified performers, better tools, better access to tools, etc.
- Modify the goals
- Accept delayed delivery and, given the expectation of increased cost, reduction in net benefit from achievement of the goals
Ideally, a risk plan will already be in place to deal with adverse situations whose occurrence was perceived as sufficiently likely or disadvantageous, in which case the relevant aspect of the risk plan is simply put into effect. The most difficult cases to manage are those occurrence has not been planned for, and which therefore require analysis before they can be addressed, particularly since the need for analysis takes time; whilst some may prefer a “just fix it” approach, appropriate analysis will reduce the likelihood of introducing other unknown, unquantified risks, to the mitigation effect.
Management & Governance
Section Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51
Both the means that management employs for the allocation of resources etc. and the means it may direct others to use may be specified and subject to constraints; the execution of management tasks is itself also subject to management.
This management of management is defined as Governance.
It follows from this idea of governance as “management of management” that, in addition to being concerned with situations beyond the mandated scope of control of the management process being managed, governance also monitors and compares actual and desired outcomes; but for governance, outcomes are also defined in terms of demonstrated compliance with the policies, rules and procedures established for management of whatever kind.
Governance must therefore establish what aspects of management practice are to be monitored, how compliance is to be evaluated and how deviations are to be addressed.
Governance is therefore also implicitly involved in establishing the values, principles and procedures of management.
However, since management is ultimately concerned with the achievement of desired outcomes, monitoring is only the first enabling element of governance; governance must also direct.
With reference to the approaches to directing change, if change can be directed within implicit or explicit constraints on resources, time etc. the choice of direction remains a standard management responsibility.
If however change cannot be directed within those constraints, or there is a need to change the ultimate objective of the management activity (or the level of acceptable risk), the choice of direction must be undertaken by governance.
We should also note in passing that there must ultimately be a level of strategic management that concerns itself not only with what changes should be made but in defining the values and principles according to which the desirability of any particular change can be evaluated.
- Standard day-to-day activities are subject to operational management, which works to deliver desired outcomes
- Operational management must be in accordance with specified means (policies, rules, processes, standards etc.)
- The definition and application of the specified means for operational management is the responsibility of governance
- Strategic Management defines values and principles to be used in evaluating change, as well as setting specific high-level objectives
There may be multiple levels of management in an organisation: any level that manages a lower level of management executes governance of that level, and any level that is managed by a higher level of management is governed by that higher level.
Kinds of Management
Anything that is done may be managed, thus there is no fixed number of kinds of management, but commonly encountered management kinds include:
- Project Management
- Financial Management
- Sales Management
- Personnel Management
Notes [ + ]
|1.||⬆||The initial letters of which can be rearranged to give ROMAN PPM, i.e. Latin-based Project & Programme Management through Reporting, Organisation, Monitoring, Analysis, Negotiation, Planning, Provisioning and Motivating; a better mnemonic would probably have required more vowels and considerably more work.|
|2.||⬆||If, while working towards some grand goal, one can identify and achieve specific benefits en route and schedule their delivery to maximise the time value of those benefits, this is good… as long as attempting to do so does not lead to .|