Efficient Management Systems: From Gilbreth to Drucker

Efficient Management Systems: From Gilbreth to Drucker Leadership and Management

Imagine a professional football team without a well-established effective management system that focuses on a regimen of practice drills and player statistics. They may win a few games, but they are likely to be doomed in the long run.

Management systems establish and control structured processes — they follow the PDCA cycle, focus on KPIs and OKRs, and promote good flow of communication and ownership.

Post-Implementation Review: Ensuring Long-Term Success

The post-implementation review is a critical process that helps a project team learn from its successes and failures. This review provides valuable information that can be used to improve internal processes and achieve greater cost-efficiency. It can also be used to determine whether a new strategy or method is working, as well as how well current methods are performing.

Efficiency in management is the ability to complete tasks at the fastest speed possible while still producing quality work. This could be done by streamlining processes, implementing new technologies or hiring additional employees. Increasing a business’s efficiency can increase productivity, which in turn increases profits and customer satisfaction.

Another measure of efficiency is how much operating income a company generates relative to its capital investments and spending. This is often referred to as “allocative efficiency” in management theory. Poor allocation of resources to a particular strategy, product or department can reduce profitability by dedicating money and time to activities that don’t produce results.

Process efficiency is the strength of a business’s internal systems. For example, a well-oiled inventory system allows a company to quickly unpack, allocate and use raw materials to produce products that fulfill orders. Inefficient inventory management, on the other hand, creates bottlenecks that can add costly time to operations.

A post-mortem review can help businesses pinpoint the root causes of a failure and find ways to avoid similar problems in the future. It’s important to include an outside facilitator who can focus on gathering facts without emotional attachment. In the context of project management, authors Dragan Z. Milosevic and Russ J. Martinelli suggest that the PIR be conducted by an independent team, so the project manager isn’t too involved with the process and can concentrate on meeting delivery milestones.

Gilbreth’s Motion Study: The Foundation of Efficiency

Frank Bunker Gilbreth is considered the father of motion study, a technique that evaluates workers’ movements to increase efficiency. His work also revolutionized how companies design their products and workplaces. His wife, Lillian Evelyn Moller Gilbreth, was a trailblazer for women in the workplace. She earned degrees in English literature and psychology, and was the first female industrial-engineering professor at Purdue University.

The Gilbreths’ famous film footage of worker motions is considered the earliest time- and-motion studies. The pair used a stopwatch and a grid to record movements of workers at the New England Boot Company factory, which is still in operation today. The Gilbreths filmed hundreds of workers performing tasks that included making boots, braiding shoelaces and packing goods for shipment.

Lillian’s background in psychology helped her understand how to get the most out of human resources, especially female workers. She emphasized the importance of training for workers and creating comfortable working conditions. In addition to improving factory processes, the Gilbreths pushed for better living standards. For example, they designed appliances with women in mind and created the work triangle concept in kitchens.

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Motion study is a form of micromanagement that analyzes the movements of workers. It reduces the time spent by workers on unnecessary tasks and increases the amount of work done per unit of time. It also helps to identify problems in existing processes. Gilbreth’s motion-analysis techniques were first applied to bricklaying, and he increased the number of bricks laid per hour by eliminating unnecessary stooping and walking.

The movement-studies method combines elements of scientific management and Taylorism. It considers health, size, strength, skill, habits and temperament as variables that can affect efficiency. It focuses on reducing unnecessary fatigue by implementing solutions such as convenient workbenches, comfortable chairs and regular rest-recovery periods.

Drucker’s Management by Objectives: A Goal-Setting Revolution

Management by objectives (MBO) is a popular management theory that focuses on decentralizing workplace management and empowering staff to feel like their input and contributions matter. It involves superiors and subordinates working together to identify areas of responsibility, define goals using the SMART goal method (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-specific) and then use these standards as metrics to judge performance.

In MBO, employees are encouraged to meet or exceed these set targets, which often align with those of the organization, resulting in a higher level of employee motivation and productivity. This method works best when employees are able to have a strong say in identifying their objectives, which should be directly linked to those of the business or department. It can also lead to more transparency between supervisors and staff, and a greater level of accountability.

However, MBO is not without its drawbacks. It can put too much emphasis on performance measurement, resulting in a focus on numbers and data rather than on other important factors such as cultivating a healthy work ethos or encouraging a culture of safety. Furthermore, it can lead to undue stress for employees who may feel pushed to meet unattainable targets, such as the need to finish service calls within seven minutes, leading them to take shortcuts or ignore customer needs.

Nevertheless, MBO remains a key part of many management systems and can be used in conjunction with other management theories such as total quality management (TQM) to improve efficiency in the workplace. In addition, it can help organizations create better experiences for their customers by building in transparency and fostering a culture of continual improvement. Ultimately, an effective management system is all about improving day-to-day processes and embedding efficiency into the fabric of a company.

Integrating Classical and Modern Management Theories

The success of any large project depends on a robust planning phase. Whether it’s building a multi-story office complex or completing the filming of a major Hollywood blockbuster, the right mix of materials and manpower must be orchestrated to ensure efficiency and a quality end-product. This is no less true in management systems development, which requires careful attention to detail to optimize a new process and maximize organizational efficiency.

Classical Management Theory

Spearheaded by theorists like Henri Fayol, Frederick Taylor and Max Weber, classical management focuses on optimizing an organization’s productivity through quantitative methods. This approach involves observing workers closely to determine what factors affect the completion of tasks, and it also involves setting performance goals. While this method can be effective in businesses that rely on repetitive tasks, such as an assembly line, it’s not a good fit for companies that require creativity and social interaction.

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Under this management style, the top executives or business owners set long-term company goals, and middle managers set department-level objectives for the rest of the organization. Then, a specific number of employees will be assigned to each task within that process, and these employees will be responsible for performing those tasks. In addition, the classical management theory requires that an employee’s accomplishments and qualifications alone be used to determine his or her potential for promotion. This type of system can be ineffective when it comes to motivating employees, as it does not take into account the importance of job satisfaction and morale.

Additionally, this management model imposes an “assembly line” structure on the workplace. This means that workers will only be responsible for one particular task at a time, which can help prevent the time loss that can occur when workers attempt to multitask. Finally, the classical management theory imposes a maximum span of control, which is the number of subordinates that a manager can effectively supervise.

Optimizing Organizational Performance in One Setting

Whether you’re the head coach of an NFL team or the manager of a small business, your job is to help your employees reach their career goals, which are often inextricably linked to those of the entire organization. To make that possible, the first step in building an effective management system is setting clearly defined goals and setting effective criteria for reaching them.

Much like a building project, each component of the management system must be mapped out in the planning phase. Imagine how difficult it would be to construct a skyscraper without the plans for each floor and every part of the building. This step is critical in ensuring the system meets the needs of your organization and ensures that all team members can understand and support the goals.

Once your processes are mapped and reviewed, it’s time to move on to the development stage of your management system. Then, just as in the film industry, you’ll go through the process of putting it all together – the way that script and acting work together to produce a motion picture. This includes the creation of process flow charts, review of documents and training programs.

The most important part of the development phase is ensuring that everyone involved in the process is trained on what they need to know. For example, a company may need to provide employees with digital dashboards that illustrate progress towards their key performance indicators. This type of visibility can boost employee engagement, which can lead to higher levels of output and accelerated business growth. Providing employees with training is also important to ensure that they can perform their jobs correctly and safely. This can be accomplished by implementing safety and compliance management systems and embedding them into your company culture.

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