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Effective Planning For Managers – Part 2

How To Develop Procedures For Effective Planning

Procedures are standard methods or approaches to particular jobs. They often result from the PROGRAM step. They are a detailed method for carrying out a policy.

As a manager thinks about how he can accomplish his objectives, he will probably find certain tasks that must be done over and over again. Suppose one is responsible for a conference. Part of the plan for the conference involves registration. He will determine factors of materials and payments. These are procedures.

The steps in developing procedures are the following:

1. Develop standard procedures when significant gain or loss is at stake.

2. Make forms and instructions self-explanatory.

3. Get specialized assistance when an interdepartmental system may be involved.

4. Give key people as much freedom as possible to do their work in their own way.

Developing procedures is the work a manager performs to standardize the work that must be done if the objectives are to be achieved. The manager must see to it that he follows these guidelines in making procedures:

- Make them consistent.

- Keep them to minimum.

- Ensure they define the best way of doing something.

- Provide for periodic review.

How To Develop Strategies, Programs, And Schedules for Effective Planning

The work a manager performs to establish the sequence and priority of work steps to be followed in achieving objectives is called programming while the work he performs to establish a time sequence for program steps is called scheduling.

A program is a strategy to be followed and major actions to be taken to achieve or exceed objectives. It is the sequence of action steps one develops arranged in the priority necessary to accomplish a specific objective.

Importance of Programming and Scheduling

Through programming and scheduling, the manager can:

1. Establish step-by-step guide to action.

2. Provide for listing alternatives.

3. Anticipate problems.

4. Facilitate delegation and coordination of work.

5. Set priorities and time limits.

6. Provide a basis for control.

Steps in Programming

1. Review each specific objective.

2. Identify resources.

3. Identify obstacles.

4. Identify all important action steps necessary to achieve specific objectives.

5. State accountabilities.

6. Schedule.

Steps in Scheduling

A schedule is a plan showing when individual or group activity or accomplishments will be started and/or completed. It states the time limit and time sequence for each step. The following are the steps in programming:

1. Estimate the time required for each program step.

2. Allow time for handling routine responsibilities.

3. Trade-off to reconcile differing schedule times.

4. Make provisions for unforeseenables.

5. Establish deadlines for stating and completing each major action.

For an effective program and schedule implementation, there is a need to develop in the manager a sense of urgency, that is, “never putting off until tomorrow what can be done today.” It is manager's drive. It is energy. It is a desire to get done today the things others would take until next week to do.

A sense of urgency abhors any wastefulness; it is a combination of attitudes and habits which works on the belief that everything that can be done immediately should be done immediately.

Urgency emphasizes timeliness, rearranged priorities, and long hours of work. It demands innovation and flexibility. It emphasizes prudence in the use of money and time. A manager with a sense of urgency believes that resources are to be invested, not spent.

How To Budget For Effective Planning

The work a manager performs in allocating resources to achieve an objective within a specified period of time is called budgeting.

A budget is an allocation of resources for accomplishing objectives and is based on developed programs and schedules. It is calculated in terms of cost of human effort, materials, tools and facilities actually used, and overhead costs. It is an accurate estimate of costs which provides a proper basis for management control. It is most often expressed in monetary terms because money is a common denominator. Once budget is approved, it becomes a commitment to use resources.

Budgeting is of great importance because it helps determine what will happen to resources if various alternatives are carried out.

Techniques of Budgeting

In budgeting, the manager should determine the value of specific objectives for which resources are to be allocated because he is accountable in ensuring that the value of his component's work and contribution exceeds its total cost.

Each manager should be accountable for proposing the budget covering his own operations and for those expenses over which he has control.

A budget should be developed from top to bottom and vice versa.

The steps in budgeting are the following:

1. Calculate the value of a specific objective.

2. Determine the cost or each program step in terms of cost of human efforts, materials, lots, and facilities actually used and overhead costs.

3. Calculate costs in constant terms to facilitate the comparison of contributions to the enterprise's basic purpose between time periods and, if feasible, convert all costs into money.

4. Weigh cost of program against calculated value of specific objective.

5. Make trade-offs as required. Budget estimates are generally reviewed by various staff groups and by the accountable superior before they are authorized. If an arbitrary cut is made in the money allowed, an equivalent trade-off in terms of a more limited program, longer time, or reduced use of materials and facilities is indicated.

How to Make a Time Budget

Managers who do their ROUTINE and REGULAR duties may “get by” but those who seek out opportunities to help in emergencies (SPECIAL) are flexible to absorb SPECIAL assignments without collapsing under load and the ones who show initiative and undertake IMPROVEMENT (creative) will get ahead.

There are four broad categories of time users. They are the following:

1. Routine work: a) little things but necessary; cut them to the bone b) routine matters should not take more than 10% of manager's time; if it does, manager must delegate

2. Regular work: a) care of manager's job b) time allotment should be 65-70% c) usually can't delegate d) most managers spend little time here; the routine steals time from regular work.

3. Special assignments: a) unexpected and unplanned for b) cannot be predicted c) cannot and should not be avoided d) should take 10-15% of manager's time e) if more than 10% - regular duties will suffer – the manager ends up being a “crisis manager”

4. Creative work: a) innovations, improvements b) the more challenging areas where a manager can “leave his works,” “imprints” c) “Everything that's being done can be done better. How can I devise a better way?” d) initiative e) looking for improvement possibilities f) 10-15% of his time

The steps in making & time budget are the following:

1. Make a time budget according to this standard – Routine 10%, Regular 65%, Special10%, Creative 15%

2. Use as a basic unit, a one-week period of about 40 hours.

3. Proceed by finding out where time goes by keeping a diary (time log for a period of time) or monitor where time really goes by a weekly-activities review.

4. Plot a new time allocation.

Time And Motion Study

What is Time and Motion Study?

Frank Gilbreth, its founder, defined motion study as “the science of eliminating wastefulness resulting from using unnecessary ill-directed and inefficient motions.” He defined time study as “the art of recording, analyzing, and synthesizing the time of the elements of any operations, but it has also been extended to mental and machinery operations.” This definition of Gilbreth is still a good one, with the possible elimination of his emphasis on its manual aspects. Time study is an accurate analysis of the time required to perform an operation or some part thereof. Time study may be made without motion study but it is better to have motion study precede time study.

A careful motion analysis of an operation may be made without an accompanying time study; however, a careful timing of the operation after the motion study is desirable. The timing of an operation provides time standards that are valuable in measuring the performance of the workers. These time standards also provide a desirable base for wage incentive systems. The careful motion analysis will indicate the best method of performing the operation. It may require a new layout or new equipment. When all of the conditions indicated by the motion study (including the training of the operator) are met, most of the advantages will have been realized. The timing of the revised operation merely completes the study and provides the desired time standards.

Maintaining Adequate Work Force

Key Concepts

1. Manpower planning - the process by which a company insures that it has the right number and kinds of people, in the right places at the right time, doing the things for which they are economically most useful.

2. Performance Appraisal - a system that is instituted to keep the supervisor informed of each subordinate's performance, progress, and need for counseling, training, and support.

3. Objective Factors - those signs in an employee's job record that can actually be measured: quantities, qualities, attendance, accident record, and housekeeping. They are observable facts and, as such, tend to be free of bias.

4. Subjective Factors - those characteristics in an employee's approach to his job that can't be easily converted to quantitative measures but which must also be accounted for in the merit rating of an employee. They include factors like dependability, initiative, adaptability, attitude, and personality.

5. Halo Effect - where one aspect of an individual's performance or a single quality of his nature is allowed to overshadow everything else about him.

How does a manager forecast manpower requirements?

It's really a matter of looking ahead and applying simple arithmetic. Time studies, labor standards, and the like, all make a forecast more accurate, but one can do well even without them.

STEP 1. Find out what one's department is scheduled to produce for the next week, month, quarter, or as far ahead as one can determine. If one does not know that, chances are slight that one will make efficient use of the people who work for him.

STEP 2. Calculate how much the work schedule means in terms of total man-hours. One can do this by getting an estimate from the time-study, industrial engineering or planning and scheduling department - if one exists at the plant. The schedules are certainly based upon machine time and manpower estimates.

If man-hour requirements aren't available elsewhere, one will have to make his own estimate. Do this by checking time for previous or similar jobs, or by making ,careful estimates of the time required for each job. Keep figures in terms of man-hours, man-half days or man-days. But be specific and allow time for setups and teardowns. Try to recall delays associated with each job and allow time for these.

Where jobs are machine-controlled (that is, the job can't be done any faster than the speed at which the machine runs), make estimates based upon (1) how long the machine will take to do each job-allowing for breakdowns, idle time, etc. and (2) how many operator-hours are needed to run the machine.

STEP 3. Convert totals to man-hours and divide by 8 to see how many man-days it will take to complete the schedule for the period one has selected.

STEP 4. Divide the total man-days by the number of working days during the period to find the number of operators one will need. But don't stop here.

STEP 5. Check how many indirect people-sweepers, material handlers, setup men, et c., one will need to service the required number of operators during this period (unless this is included in step 2).

STEP 6. Add the number of operators (direct labor) to the number of indirect people to get the total needed.

STEP 7. Make allowances for absences. How many days absent per month do employees in one's department average? How many man-days a month do all employees combined lose? Suppose, for example, it's 5 man-days a month. That's just the same as saying that one can expect to be short-handed 5 days a month, which may interfere with meeting the schedule. If one adds an extra employee, one can expect to be overstaffed 15 days a month - which is costly.

Back to Part 1

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