Management is complex process consisting in a number of management functions. The most popular management functions are: planning, organizing, motivating and controlling. Henri Fayol created the first principles of management theory, he also developed some other theories and defined five functions of management: planning - looking ahead and preparing resources, organizing - preparing people and resources, commanding - motivation people, making decision, coordinating - creating place for efficient processes, controlling - making sure that goal was achieved, and results attained However these are not the only ones functions. For years functions and definitions are changing because of evolution of management, different point of view of scientists and relations between them.
Basic classification of management functions
Planning(decision making) is the most important and the most fundamental of the functions. Planning is the vision of the way how to achieve specific goals. Planning begins with the questions of what and why, then try to reply how, when, who and where. During planning you have to:
- identify the problem or need
- obtain and analyze data
- determine the best action
- carry out the plan
- monitor the process, report and make adjustments
Planning improves our chances to work effectively and efficiently. It provides more intelligent use of resources. It is very time-consuming and hard, but it is the most important function of management, so it is important to do a good plan. We can divide plans into following categories: strategic plans, tactical plans, organizational plans, operational plans, financial plans etc. the most important in planning is vision and strategy (Harrison, F., Lock, D. 2004).
Organizing consists in developing an appropriate configuration of resources that will enable efficient implementation of the planned activities. Organizing includes, among others:
- spatial organization - e.g. optimal placement of machines and devices in the production hall
- division of labor - division of tasks in a way that ensures full use of employees, without downtime, but also without overloading,
- development of the organizational structure - the organizational structure links individual work positions to organizational units (e.g. departments, speeches, departments, divisions), enables the awarding of managerial positions,
- delegating decision-making powers and responsibilities - managers may delegate part of their authority and responsibility to subordinates if employees have appropriate competences,
- process development - the process is a sequence of tasks carried out in a specific order and leading to the achievement of the stated goals. Organizing tasks in processes helps to improve the efficiency of tasks implementation,
- team work - many organizations appreciate today's team work instead of individual execution of tasks by employees,
- providing information - an efficient communication and information system is important for the proper functioning of the company.
Motivating or commanding. Conduction consists in modifying the attitudes of subordinates in such a way that they achieve designated or agreed goals. Nowadays, it is believed that a manager should be a leader, i.e. lead employees to achieve goals. Leadership is due to many factors, including:
- formal authority - the authority of a given manager,
- acceptance of subordinates - consent to comply with the decisions of the manager-leader,
- charisma - an authority resulting from experience and approach to employees,
- high professional competences,
- ethical attitude and value system.
An effective leader should be involved in the functioning of the organization, improve their competences, demonstrate empathy towards employees, be open to ideas of others and creative, flexibly change the way behavior along with changing internal and external conditions (Wren, D. A., and others 2002).
Controlling is an essential activity because the environment in which all supervisors work is in a constant state of change. What applies today may well not be valid tomorrow. The conditions that prevail when a project is started or a decision is made do not necessarily remain static. For an undertaking that is planneg to extend overal several weeks, we can rest assured that the number of changes potentially having some effect on the project will occur and that some of these, if not addressed could conceivably derail the undertaking.
- Harrison, F., & Lock, D. (2004). Advanced Project Management, Gower Publishing.
- Koontz, H., & O'Donnell, C. (1964). Principles of management: an analysis of managerial functions, McGraw-Hill.
- Wren, D. A., Bedeian, A. G., & Breeze, J. D. (2002). The foundations of Henri Fayol's administrative theory, Management Decision, 40(9), 906-918.
Author: Piotr Budz