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Four Functions of Management

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The four functions of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. In my organization the U.S. Army these functions are used at different management levels every day. Most of the members within the Top levels of management tend to delegate much more than the frontline managers. Although management at all three levels have to effectively utilize all of these functions throughout the course of a normal day; top and middle level managers tend to delegate more often.

Planning as defined in our text is the management function of systematically making decisions about the goals and activities that an individual, a group, a work unit, or the overall organization will pursue. This function is what is normally done within the top levels of our organization within the Army. In my unit for example top level managers meet several times a week and address different topics for each meeting. I believe the reason for so many meetings is to collaborate between sections, issue due outs or things that they will need updates on for the next meeting, and receive feedback. Many times the person holding the meeting normally the Commander is not afforded the time to be directly involved in the day to day operations because his main focus is planning. Developing the plan, preparing the plan, executing the plan, and assessing the plan is what we are taught as leaders in the military.

Organizing is defined as assembling and coordinating the human, financial, physical, informational, and other resources needed to achieve goals. My organization has undergone a major transformation within the last several years but one thing remains the same. Hurry up and wait. It is an age old motto known by every Soldier that has ever served. I believe that the reason that this occurs is that we normally plan for things to fall into place and plan well but organizing events has always been our downfall. An example would be going to the range to shoot our weapons. The Colonel may plan for us to show up at 9 o'clock. He tells the SGM be there at 845 who tells the 1SG to be there at 0830. He tells his PLT SGT's to be there at 0815 who tells their Squad Leaders to be there at 0800. The Squad Leader wants his guys there early to check their uniforms before they go so he tells them to be there at 0730. So in the end the poor Soldier gets there and has to wait at least an hour and a half before he can train. This age old process could be avoided by properly delegating the organization of this event. Ensuring Leaders and their Soldiers at all levels are not there prior to for example 0845. The organization of the event and Soldier checks conducted the day prior is called a Pre Conditions Check or PCC in the Army. I believe that the Army has put this in place to counter the Hurry up and wait syndrome. The Army has great management tools in place



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