More Management Theory

For Cheryl again, whose test is now much closer than it was yesterday.
The topic of planning consists of many parts, but I believe that the most important (test-wise) thing is to be familiar with the steps in planning.
<u>Steps in Planning</u>
<blockquote>Let’s talk about choosing a school of higher education to attend, something you should be quite familiar with. You see the <strong>opportunities</strong> to go to one of these schools, as well as the improved opportunities you’ll get from having a diploma.
You set up <strong>objectives</strong> for yourself. What sort of area you want to major in etc. You also develop planning <strong>premises</strong> – you assume that financial help or scholarships are available, or that you might have to work your way through school. Or that you might consider studying locally or abroad.
There are different <strong>alternatives</strong> in every situation, and you’ll have to <strong>choose</strong> and <strong>evaluate</strong> among them. Then there are the minor details, so you have to come up with <strong>derivative plans</strong> (decisions you have to make that are a result of your wanting to attend a Polytechnic). For example, finding a job near the school, how to get to school everyday and so on.
Then you have to put all the details down in <strong>numbers</strong>. This is the horrible step of doing simple budgeting etc.</blockquote>
So the steps in planning are these eight:
<ul><li><strong>Opportunities</strong>. Be aware of all the opportunities and do a SWOT analysis. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The first two pertain to yourself, the third and fourth refer to the external environment.</li>
<li><strong>Objectives</strong>. Major objectives give direction to the entire company, and these are divided into smaller objectives for each department in the company.</li>
<li><strong>Developing Planning Premises</strong>. What sort of boundaries will your plan operate within? e.g. Is your plan to be implemented internally within the company or externally? What assumptions can you draw about your operating environment?</li>
<li><strong>Alternatives</strong>. Are there any alternatives ways to accomplish your objectives?</li>
<li><strong>Evaluate Alternatives</strong></li>.
<li><strong>Choosing an Alternative</strong></li>.
<li><strong>Formulating Derivative Plans</strong></li>. Plan for things that are not directly related to your objectives, but essential to making it possible to accomplish them.</li>
<li><strong>Numberising the Plan</strong>. How much?</li></ul>
<strong>OOPADN</strong>. Where under A for alternatives there is determining the alternatives, evaluating them, and choosing one. So OOPADN, or <strong>O</strong>nly <strong>O</strong>ne <strong>P</strong>erson <strong>A</strong>lways <strong>D</strong>oes <strong>N</strong>othing.
That’s a golden rule for managing groups not found in any management text.
Now zoom into the A of OOPADN. Alternatives. Determining what they are, evaluating them, and choosing them. This brings us into the next topic of Making Decisions.
A quick run through.
<u>Decision Making</u>
Narrow down the list of alternatives by looking at the few that tackle <strong>limiting factors</strong>. Limiting factors are things which stop you from choosing the best alternative to accomplish your goals. Those are things you want to solve first.
Evaluate among this list of alternatives. Many tools are used in modern day management to do this. Examples include marginal analysis and cost effectiveness analysis, both of which deal with quantifiable data. Experience, experimentation and research also help make these decisions.
There are <strong>programmed</strong> and <strong>unprogrammed</strong> decisions. Programmed decisions are ones that deal with routine problems. A computer can make these decisions because they are seldom unusual. Unprogrammed ones solve problems that are more complex, unstructured, and come up once in a while. People are paid big bucks to solve these problems.
I’m not sure how far further into the topic I need to go, but most of the stuff after this is purely memory work. Yeah, I <strong>HATE</strong> those.
Drop me a line if you need anything.

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