The Four Functions Of Management – And How To Apply Them

Long before the four functions of management existed, there were originally five functions as proposed by French mining engineer Henri Fayol. They were planning, organising, commanding, coordinating and controlling.

At present, these five functions were narrowed down into four: planning, organising, leading and controlling. A clear communication plays a crucial role to perfect – if not, improve on – each of these functions. Identifying the end-goal is the beginning of exercising these.

Let’s assume that you already have that ultimate goal in mind. It can be improving your sales, generating new leads or improving your team culture. Whatever your goal is, applying the functions of management eventually boils down to having a competitive and functional team.


Four Management Functions

1.) Strategic Planning

Planning alone is not enough. There has to be a solid strategy when doing this function so you have a fallback when ideas go wrong.

This function can be defined through the FIOA model.

  • Facts – list the major problem you need to solve
  • Issues – encourage everyone to jot down the issues they have – whether it is internal or external
  • Options – look at different options inside and outside the organisation
  • Actions – create an action plan consisting realistic timelines & standards for completion

It is important to carefully identify what the responsibilities are, level of priorities and the realistic deadline to meet goals. Brainstorm with key people from different departments and discuss what needs to be done. There might be a need to reallocate tasks or making adjustments among the team’s current role.

Where adjustment is needed, identify how the transition affects everyone. The transition process must be planned ahead. It could be re-training personnel who are affected or setting new rules aligned to the new process.

2.)  Organising

Organisation is not simply about delegation to relevant people within the team. It encompasses re-organising processes in response to existing challenges.

Your written plan clearly tells you if there’s a need for role alteration or restructuring internal processes. Organising includes slightly adjusting:

  • Timeline of activities
  • Resources needed to carry out tasks
  • Designation and/or re-allocation of tasks and responsibilities to the key people with expertise to a particular task
  • Organisational structure and chain of communication
  • Duties, responsibilities, authority and even relationship amongst team members

3.) Leading

A leading function in management doesn’t only entail motivating team members in achieving business goals. Leaders must be able to project a strong sense of direction & leadership throughout the process. However, this should be in accordance with the values and objective of the company.

BMG Outsourcing

For example, an organisation values everyone being heard. As a leader, you need to open yourself to ideas from others – regardless of their roles. Directing them is not limited to being followed at all times. Give them the free will to create wise decisions as it is what the organisation holds for.

4.) Controlling

Controlling determines if actions are followed according to plan. Leaders and/or those who are in management roles must check the team’s progress. Begin with these simple questions:

  • Are your KPIs met?
  • Does everyone provide quality work?
  • Are team members efficient when carrying out tasks?
  • Is there a need to make adjustments to the current process?

Start asking questions with a yes-or-no answer. It makes pitfalls easier to identify. It also saves time and you can allot more to finding ways how to resolve them.

The controlling process involves:

  • Establishing standards to measure performance and/or quality of work
  • Measuring actual performance
  • Comparing performance with the organisational standards
  • Taking corrective actions when necessary

Always keep in mind that without measurement, there’s no effective control. Controls need to focus on results and outputs.

Defining a functional team

To define functional team and management is rather academic. However, applying it is very different. Each involves commitment and dedication to the company’s goal, values and objectives. No matter how difficult it may be, it results in high-performing team and management.

According to Peter Drucker;

“No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.”

Hence, an organisation is not manned by one person but by a team that are dedicated to achieving a common goal to succeed. A true leader works alongside the team as a coach and mentor.

BMG Outsourcing has included these functions into our core values and believes that these will not only help us succeed but also to have continuous improvement. We ensure that our core values display all the functions mentioned above. We would love to share the experience to enable you to reach high performance. Talk to us at for more details about our services offered.

In order to fully grasp the functions of management, each member of the team should aim to be performed at their best and align actions with the values of the company.