So now you’re a manager. Or maybe you’re the head of a department in a new company. What should you do now?
Your plan will contain 4 actions:
- Emerge into the context;
- Create your plan of actions;
- Assign tasks to your employees;
- Launch control and optimization cycle.
#1. Emerge into the context
Before making any actions, a beginner manager should understand the surrounding where he/she works:
- It’s necessary to get acquainted and build relationships with your director, employees, and key outer partners (your clients and suppliers).
- You need to understand the basic processes that will take place during your management or happen with your participation and key indices of these processes.
- You need to master the main resources (budgets, main means, and software) which are at your disposal.
- You need to find out all the problems which are present in your surroundings and processes and understand the main direction of your area.
#2. Create your plan of actions
You have gathered information about the condition of your branch, what tasks you need complete, and in what direction you should move. Now it’s time to think.
- Gather all the information about tasks your director assigned to you, problems you’re heard from your employees, and clients. How do they correlate? Is there a “root of evil” — one or several key problems which are the reason for the rest of them? The solution to these problems is your goal.
- Further on is goal decomposition. What should be done in order to complete the task? What should you do in order to achieve little goals? Draw all the goals you’ve got as a tree or a hierarchic list. Continue the process until you get a clear picture of what you need to do to solve your task.
- An important stage is to agree with your director on the plan of action and get an approval to carry it out. It will also be great if you have time to discuss it with your team.
Now you’re ready to delegate tasks to your employees.
#3. Assign tasks to your employees
The right delegation of tasks to employees is an art. The task should have the right content (it should lead to the considered result the shortest way) and right form — contain a detailed description of a desired result, deadline, be measurable, etc.
Who of your employees is able to complete the tasks from your list? Which tasks people will be able to and want to fulfill? Add surnames of people to the list who you plan to delegate these tasks to.
Choose a form of how you will assign the tasks: common meeting, personal appointment, or e-mail? A common meeting will give everybody a better understanding of what each person does but it takes a lot of personal time. A personal appointment allows to discuss tasks and way they can be solved in a very detailed way but people will work on their own without knowing what their co-workers do. E-mails also require some time but leave no chance to further discussion on a task formulation. It’s likely that you’ll need some sort of combination of the three.
#4. Launch control and optimization cycle
Surely, the task won’t be solved at once as it was planned to. There will be misunderstandings, missed deadlines, poor performance, and other problems peculiar to human nature. The role of a manager is to constantly monitor the situation and correct it.
- Build a system of KPI evaluation. You need a clear digit vision of what’s going on.
- Agree with your employees in the form of regular control — meetings, reports. It’s important to carry out control prematurely, not waiting for deadlines as it’ll be late to make changes.
- Provide regular accountability for your director. Don’t wait until you’re asked to do it, keep your boss updated (daily e-mail, weekly meeting).
- Don’t forget that any manager, especially a beginner one, should grow as a leader constantly.
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