The Four Functions Of Management – And How To Apply Them
Every business leader has core responsibilities to fulfil.
In the early 1900s, French mining engineer Henri Fayol proposed five management functions of business leaders. They include planning, organising, commanding, coordinating, and controlling.
These functions are developed over the years and narrowed down into four functions: planning, organising, leading, and controlling.
But how important are these functions to your business?
A closer look at the four management functions
A written plan is a business’ blueprint to achieve its goals and objectives. Realistic timelines, resources allocation, and tasks delegation should be clearly defined during the planning process.
Planning can be executed by using the FIOA model:
- Facts – list the major challenges to be solved
- Issues – team members should state their current issues at work, whether internal or external
- Options – identify the options available, internal and external, to solve the issues
- Actions – make an action plan consisting of realistic timelines and standards for completion
Organising is not limited to task delegation. It may include adjustments on existing processes or roles whenever necessary. For example, there might be a need to merge two teams to work on a big project.
When organising processes, expect that there will be slight adjustments on:
- Resources needed
- Designation and/or re-allocation of tasks and responsibilities to key members
- Organisational structure and chain of communication
- Duties, responsibilities, and authority
Business leaders must project a sense of direction and leadership throughout the process. This should be in accordance with the values and objectives of the company.
Directing the team is not simply about being followed by the team members. It entails enhancing their skills and abilities to perform their responsibilities.
This function determines if actions are followed according to plan. The controlling process involves
- Establishing standards to measure performance and quality of work
- Measuring actual performance
- Comparing performance with the organisational standards
- Correcting errors on actions when necessary
Thus, you may ask these simple questions during this process:
- Are KPIs met?
- Are standards for work quality achieved?
- Is the team efficient when carrying out tasks?
- Are adjustments to the current process necessary?