Looking at the current organizations across the globe, we now know that Management is a critical function of any organization. We can have the right products and the right market. But if things are not managed properly, then the business can fail. Accordingly, there are four functions of management critical to any organization.
These functions have to be carried out by Managers who might be managing a single product, a small business unit or the complete organization. Overall, these four functions of management encompass all the activities which are to be done by the management department. Let us delve deeper into what are these 4 functions and how they can result in better management of organization.
The number 1 function of management is Planning. It is needed by any organization for management of business and products. Let us take 2 examples of planning to understand its importance as a management function.
a) Planning in a small business – If a small business starts, they have to start with a product or service. Naturally, they have to plan how to get these products or services penetrated in the market. The initial phase will be tough wherein customers come to know about these products. And later on, further expansion has to be planned. Without proper planning, the business owner will be unaware of what to do next and there will be longer times of inactivity or no result driven action. Hence for small businesses, planning is an important functions of management.
b) Planning in a large organization – One of the common characteristics of a large organization is reporting. A smaller manager reports to a bigger manager, who in turn reports to a national manager, so on and so forth. Another common thing in large organizations is “Planning committee”. This is because organizations know without planning, the whole organization might fall apart. A company is a sluggish animal, and you have to ensure that the animal moves in the right direction. Hence you have to plan the movement of such a large animal. Hence, in large organizations as well, planning is important as the four functions of management.
Ever seen a wedding planning in action? If he has taken on multiple weddings, the wedding planner enters in the end and ensures that all things are in place. He does not participate in getting the lights in place, or the decorations. He just plans in the starts, and then organizes so that the planning is implemented.
Organizing means the implementation of the plans you have made. Taking the same example above, if a small business wanted to organize itself, it will get sales managers in place and service and marketing managers in place as well. This will ensure that the products penetrate in the market better and even service is given for the products.
When you have a plan, you implement it in an organized manner. Hence organizing is an important part of the four functions of management. Even the word organization means a company which is moving forward in an organized manner.
Any manager in the organization is supposed to be a leader. One of the most common forms of management is people management. We have seen politicians do it, we have seen leaders do it and we see team leaders and sales managers do it on a day to day basis – They LEAD people.
Hence leadership is an important aspect as a function of management. Supposing that you are a business head and you have 100 people to report to you. This means all the actions that you take, affect the organization and in turn affect all the people that are reporting to you. On the other hand, if you require a change in the organization, then more leadership is needed to ensure that the change happens at the bottom levels as well.
Leadership is ensuring that the people below you move in the right direction. Good leaders are brave, understand risks and know that moving forward is important to life; not only their life, but the life of people who are following them as well. Any business owner or even a small business manager, is a leader of people because people report to him and he is responsible for them. Hence, leadership is the 3rd most important functions of management.
Ever heard the phrase “Things spiralled out of control”? It happens when you are faced with a sudden change in the business environment or within the organization. And you have to control your organization during this change.
Any business, be it small or large, has to make a lot of decisions on a day to day basis. These decisions keep the business in a dynamic stage, because the business environment is always changing and the organization has to change according to it.
If you cannot control your organization, how will you adapt to the changes and the dynamic nature of a business environment? Leadership which is the third important function of management, involves a crucial aspect which is control. Leaders know how to control the people reporting to them.
Over times, controlling has evolved with the usage of Standard operating procedures, policies and various other controlling measures implemented in the organization. This control is important because it means that the senior person is responsible for all the actions which are done by the junior executive. This goes on to the top of the organization, and this establishes control.
In high technology and high intelligence firms like Google, control is left upto the employees. The employees have to decide how to spend their own time, and in the end, because of their very nature, they end up spending more time at work then outside. Because these people love their work.
But on the other hand, FMCG sales is a department which will not love its own work, because the work is grueling in nature and you have to face a lot of disappointment regularly. In such cases, control is of the utmost importance to ensure that sales and push keeps happening on the field so that the organization achieves the result that it has targeted.
These four functions of management are interdependent and always keep interacting with each. While planning, you have to implement control as well. You have to ensure your leaders are capable of organizing also. Be it any organization, these four functions of management will ensure that your organization will run smoothly.