Top 4 Functions of Management Process Explained

If you are determined to climb up the managerial ladder in your organization, you must be accustomed to management fundamentals. The core responsibilities of a manager are strikingly similar across all businesses, irrespective of the industry. The primary managerial functions include planning, organizing, leading, and managing.

Today, we shall discuss each of these four core duties of a manager and their importance vis-a-vis organizational objectives’ achievement in this detailed post.

Top Four Management functions

About 100 years ago, Henri Fayol, a French industrialist, first identified five elements that formed the essential functions of a manager’s role.

However, presently, there are only four such h generally accepted fundamentals of managerial functions, namely: 

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Leadership 
  • Controlling (Managing)

All these functions must work out cohesively for creating, executing, and realizing the organizational goals. These four managerial functions can be considered a chain process, wherein each function furthers the previous one. Thus, all managers must know the intricacies of these functions inside-out to lead their company towards success.

First, managers need to chalk out a well-thought plan. After this, they must organize the available resources and then delegate specific responsibilities to the team members according to the devised strategy. It is fundamental to motivate and lead the team to help them achieve the desired results. As the last step, managers must assess the plan’s efficacy while it’s in action. If needed, they must make the necessary adjustments to get the desired business goals.

Let us understand the nuances of each of these functions in detail:

Planning

Planning is the task of chalking out organizational goals. Herein, managers decide the flow of actions to achieve these organizational goals. Planning is integral to the role of a manager. It’s like a blueprint that forms the backbone of all tasks done in a business. Without proper planning, the company would have no direction. 

Managers evaluate external and internal aspects that can affect the smooth execution of their plan, such as customer relations, economic growth, business competitors, etc. They should also create a futuristic and actionable timeline to help the organization achieve its goals based on the available finances and resources. Before proceeding with the plan, managers must also work on additional steps, for instance, seeking approval from different departments, senior executives, or the ultimate board of directors.

These are the three basic approaches to the act of planning:

1. Strategic planning: 

The task of strategic planning is regularly completed by an association’s top administration and typically makes objectives for the whole association. It breaks down dangers to the association, assesses the association’s qualities and shortcomings, and arranges how the association can best contend in its current circumstance. Essential arranging generally has a long period of three more years.

2. Tactical planning

Strategic or tactical planning connotes a more limited term which means arranging a genuine plan that will require less than one year to accomplish. An association’s central administration typically does it. Tactical planning focuses on a particular region or branch of the association, like its offices, financial resources, members, etc.

3. Operational planning

Functional or operational planning is the most common way of utilizing strategic needs to accomplish essential preparation and objectives. Operational planning aligns with the company’s goals and objectives to outline the strategic missions, activities, and budgets.

Organizing

The primary purpose of the organizing function is to allocate the resources in the right places and delegate tasks to employees for accomplishing the objectives outlined during the planning phase. Managers often need to work closely with different business departments, such as marketing/sales, finance, HR, etc., to organize staffing and budget. 

When assigning roles to the employees, managers must clarify and guarantee that workers understand their singular obligations. In addition, to help the staff feel productive and resourceful, managers should ensure that the team members are given an adequate amount of work within a reasonable time limit. 

Here are a few situations in which the organizing function is best exemplified:

  • Suppose the company’s brand manager is working part-time and the business decides to launch a new advertising campaign for any product they sell. In that case, the part-time manager won’t be able to take up this additional duty. The company may need to hire a third-party advertising agency to get the task done.
  • Suppose the company’s output and sales in a particular geographic area have grown substantially. In that case, the manager may need to divide the area in two and divide the team working with that area accordingly. He may also need to hire some additional staff if required.

Leading

Leading involves motivating and encouraging employees by influencing what they do to achieve organizational goals. This function focuses on managing individual employees, groups, or teams rather than actions and tasks. Apart from giving orders and directions to the teammates, good leadership involves establishing a deep connection with their employees so that they happily abide by their commands and guidelines.

Managers should foster a positive and cordial working atmosphere for their team members and positively reinforce them with rewards and appreciation where it’s due. They must incorporate different leadership styles to constantly motivate the team to do better and push their limits. Some steps of effective leadership are:

1. Directing

For employees who need many initial directions and training, managers must give their best to make them understand their expected roles and the desired outputs they must generate. By effectively directing, managers can clearly define the know-how of an employee’s role in the organization.

2. Training

This involves pitching ideas and coaching the employees to perform different tasks correctly. Team members look up to the manager for guidance and motivation. Thus, managers must be deeply invested in training their team. 

3. Supporting

This involves the manager’s relationship with the team, motivating them, and helping them carry out their tasks. The manager must assist the team members in every way possible if they face any challenges while executing the proposed plans. 

4. Delegating

Delegating refers to assigning the relevant duties to employees in sync with their skills and strengths while keeping in mind their weaknesses. Successful execution of business plans can only happen when the right task is assigned to the right person. 

Controlling

Controlling or managing involves assessing the plan’s execution and the efficiency of the teammates in the process. Managers must acknowledge and fittingly reward deserving employees. Also, it is crucial to provide detailed feedback to both high-performing and low-performing professionals to help identify their key strengths and weaknesses. By doing so, managers can ensure that all the previous steps align perfectly with the company’s short-term and long-term goals. Needless to say, effective leadership goes hand-in-hand with supervising and managing. 

If you want to become a competent manager, opt for upGrad’s MBA(Global) from Deakins Business School. By pursuing this course, you can incorporate the development process and product design by brainstorming innovative ideas for prototypes. This course is well developed to help you achieve an analytical mindset and gain expertise in problem-solving in a highly data-driven way. The course curriculum is designed to help you acquire industry-relevant skills and build a solid project portfolio. 

So, if you want to become a tactical and strategic decision-maker, this course by upGrad is perfect for you!

Conclusion 

Every manager must aspire to be a good leader who can inspire subordinates to recognize their optimal potential. Apart from planning, organizing, controlling, and delegating, a manager must also ensure that his voice is heard throughout the relevant channels within the organization. An MBA degree helps you acquire these skills and emerge as an industry-ready professional.

How much does a manager earn in the US?

A manager makes up to $52736 per annum in the US.

Is an MBA degree compulsory to become a manager?

Yes. Since a manager's role is a senior position in any organization, most recruiting companies opt for MBA graduates with the suitable skill set and expertise.

What are the different kinds of managers in an organization?

There can be different managerial roles in an organization like finance, HR, customer relationship, sales, marketing, international relations, etc.

Prepare for a Career of the Future

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