Span of Control
Number of workers a manager oversees
Is what span of control really speaking is.
In 1800s Eli Whitney was experimenting
How much span of control to be giving
To managers working in his gun factory
And could not on a number readily agree.
Span of control is still a thorny issue
Over which a lot of debate can ensue,
Different numbers being thought feasible
Some say 6; some, 15-25 as reasonable.
The only way to come to a consensus
Is to think in terms of horses for courses
By looking at competence of subordinates
For the work that a manager delegates
And organizational structure and levels -
Larger span of control, if fewer the levels,
Higher the subordinates' competence
And simpler the work he attends to.
Management by Objectives
Drucker felt MBO is just another tool
To disagree, you would be a fool
For he was the originator of it
Developed by Odime as he saw fit.
If why that is the case you wonder
Without objectives you will flounder
As happens ninety percent of the time.
Packard saw in it reason and rhyme
Attributing HP's success to MBO
Which every manager was to know
As soon as he joined their company
But we may not agree, you and me,
Thinking MBO is definitely obsolete
Though the acronym do not delete
For it may be management buy-out
And not a strategy managers try out.
Still, know about it a thing or two
Lest it come back in a different hue.
A manager should know his objectives
And the advantage each strategy gives
Blended with all departments, divisions
Making if need be, appropriate revisions
And its mesh with the whole organization
Operating in its industry and the nation.
Management by Walking About
O manager, many techniques you tried
Often by workers been taken for a ride
But what works without a doubt
Is "Management by Walking About"
Which for a long time was HP's way
Till others soon joined the fray.
What will you do in office cloistered
With the poor results flustered,
Go take a walk and see firsthand
Where workers and their work stand
Regarding what you want to achieve,
It will also give the workers a reprieve
For they can approach you without fear
As they now feel to you close and near
And air they can doubts and grievances
Solving which the division advances.
MBWA fosters openness and visibility
As well as trust, honesty and integrity;
So stop being a stick-in-the-mud
Lest you fall down with a thud
And know your subordinates up close
To ensure they work well and not doze.
Whether you are called upon to do a market study,
Develop a product or handle successfully a merger,
You will be doing nothing but project management
Focusing on specific results desired in a time-frame
And operating within a budget, which is fixed.
Project management began to take off in 1950s
When US Defense was building Polaris missile,
Though the Egyptians knew a thing or two about it
Build as they did their pyramids stand till today.
Among the techniques employed in the 50s
Were Gantt and PERT charts, which got adopted
By automotive and movie industries across the US
And by private and public engineering organizations.
Newer project management techniques have evolved
Such as creative ones like cross-functional schedules,
Managing shared resources, aligning project portfolios,
Alongside the widespread use of personal computers
And the many project management software tools.
Project management is nowadays all too important,
With globalization and more competitive pressures
’Tis being carefully implemented by all industries
From computer manufacturing to pharmaceuticals
From software development to consulting services
As they vie with each other to better understand
Customer requirements and the solutions to them
So that they can impact positively the bottom-line.
A project is bounded by its results, time, resources
Among the three project parameters you tradeoff
Using solid and systematic data on all parameters.
Project management can be thought of consisting
Of three global sets of activities, which are
Defining, organizing and planning the project,
And lastly, tracking and managing the project.
To define and organize the project, know objectives,
Who will work as a team and how they will work.
Mess now, and you may do the “wrong” project
With result undesired, wasting time and resources.
In planning the project, schedule should be credible,
Avoiding guesswork, pressures, unaccounted risk,
Analyze resources, allocate work, optimize tradeoffs
Allowing top management to make future decisions.
To track and manage a project you should monitor
The critical project status data being generated
To take appropriate and timely discrete actions
Till you close-out the undertaken project
And celebrate thereupon by cutting a cake.
Meetings are said to be of two kinds:
Bad meetings and effective meetings.
Bad meetings drag on forever pointlessly
Leaving you wondering and in the dark.
Effective ones are quite the opposite
Leaving you refreshed and energized
To accomplish the things discussed.
Always follow these stipulations for meetings
If you want them to be effective and not bad:
Be clear about the objective of the meeting
And the desired outcome at the end of it;
Time is in short supply to all concerned
So plan wisely the minutes of the meeting
By communicating what the agenda is
When and where the meeting will be held
And how long it is expected to last
Who will be attending the meeting,
And if they need to prepare in advance;
As the meeting unfolds, be sensitive
To the dynamics of the meeting
Being flexible to the changing demands;
Let everyone have his or her say
As you sail smoothly through the list
Making sure not to deviate from the topic
And the discussion is cordial and logical;
And as the meeting slowly winds down
Summarize the conclusions reached
And send everyone a summary later.