going deeper into Product Development

Management – open, close and reopen

We have heard the word “management” so many times. But what is management? I am trying to discuss the management in a very simple way. Let me begin with the definition mentioned by Mary Parker Follet (1868–1933), who wrote on the topic in the early twentieth century, as “the art of getting things done through people”.

The key words here are: Art, Getting things done, and People.

Firstly, let me start with the last word: People.
Management is only applied to People. Whenever there is only one person; no management is needed Management will be made much effectively with the number of people over 2, 3 the least. Why? If there is only 2 people, then the most efficient way in getting things done is in compromise.
When people are gathered together, by nature, they will select one person to lead them, that is the Manager. But what is the difference between Manager and Leader? Manager is the one who points himself or is pointed by an authorized person. Leader is taken by the mass. There is no leader if the leader is appointing himself as a leader.
What is the function of the Manager? Manager is a person who could make sure the rhythm of the operation go smoothly and achieve the goal at last. It is also called Organizing. And, what is the function of the other people in the team ? They do whatever they could to get the goal accomplished . They also could be called by Staffing.
So, by this understanding, the structure organization would be needed. The organization structure also have to be completed with job responsibility. In order to measure the performance of the one in the structure, the job responsibility could be translated as job description. That would be in the Motivating activity.

Now, we come into the second keyword: Getting things done
If someone announces that he(she) can make something done or not, a statement on the goal will be needed. The goal could be in a short or long term. If the goal is planned for a long term, then it would be called by Vision. From the Vision, one would describe how to get the goal finished. Then another term comes arise: Planning

The last keyword is Art.
Management is a kind of art, so no right or wrong systems exist. The art means that anybody could make the management style as he likes to be. Nobody could tell if the management is good or bad. The management system has to be adapted specifically according to the nature of the people related. There is only one unit used in the management, the performance index. If the index is not suitable to the Owner or to the Manager, then he may change the system, and find the better index applied. This also would be called by Controlling or Monitoring. The new plan comes after the monitoring finished.

Now, I have finished in describing what is the management actually. The modern language use these following terminologies in the basic function of the management:

  1. Planning: Deciding what is needed and what will happen in the certain period of time (today, next week, next month, next year, over the next 5 years, etc.). The result of the Planning is the action plan.
  2. Organizing or Implementation. Making optimum use of the resources required to achieve the plan.
  3. Staffing. Job responsibility, recruitment, and their performance index.
  4. Leading/Motivating. Exhibiting leadership and motivational skills in order to encourage others to play an effective part in achieving plans.
  5. Controlling/Monitoring. Checking progress against plans. The result of the controlling or monitoring could be a modification of the planning.

So, no matter what the modern terminologies describe or define about the management, they could not run away from the first definition: the art of getting things done through people. As we could see there that Management is a very easy thing to do but discipline needed.

The conclusion about management is:  Open and close system. Opening is the planning and finally, monitoring is the end of the process; then from the monitoring may arise a new plan. Then the cycle will continue to move on.

What are the mistakes often made by Manager?
The most common mistake makes managers mad is: the willing to be open but no discipline for closing the open one. Sometimes managers have many thing he wants to do; so he assigns many tasks or programs or projects; but they could not be so patient as to watch the progress of the tasks to go on. At the end, he run out of his patient.Or they have already declines in mind,but he may forget about what he has asked for. Most badly is that he still has the power to start a new task.
Only the disciplines controlled by managers to close what they have opened, could they be a competent one.

The second mistake made by managers is : he himself doesn’t know what to do. Many managers actually don’t know what to do. He has no lateral thinking ability as well as the problem solving. When he encounters the problem, the thinking pattern would always be the same, so many thing could not be settled down, because everything was dealed as a routine thing. The worst is the narrow and static thinking pattern. So, if the manager could change the thinking pattern from now and then, it would be helpful to the surroundings.

“Do not ever take a pilot to ride your ship.
If you like to point a pilot to ride your ship, then don’t let the passagers know about it, and ask the seas to be calm and free of storm”

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