Task Management Essay

Abstract The critical challenge facing any business is keeping up with technology. With the help of technology, businesses can keep a record of their stock, sales, earnings, e. t. c. With technology rapidly increasing, it is an essential part of business. The aim of this project is to introduce Odhani fashion boutique to the world of technology. Odhani has been established since 1997 and their activities are all manual based. For a business to run successfully, there are a number of factors but this paper concentrates on the IT aspect.

Although IT is not the only factor that contributes to the success of businesses it is a very important one and with the help of marketing, customer relations and staff. The hypothesis of this project is that IT is very useful and along with it factors such as leadership and management styles, mentoring and coaching, and communication will also be discussed. Introduction W & J IT Consultants Co (W&J IT Consultants Co) has been in the market since 1970. In these 35 years, it has introduced many companies to the world of Information Technology. It manages IT projects for its clients and also provides training.

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Training is based upon the size of the client company. Small companies get training sessions and bigger companies get instruction/training manuals. W&J IT Consultants Co has been approached by Odhani to handle an IT project. Odhani Fashion Boutique is a reputable company in Kingsbury. Established in 1997, it has strived to succeed even though it faces fierce competition from the likes of Roopshringar, Swagat and Apsara. The main drawback of the company is the lack of technology that is used in their day-to-day activities. The company specialises in Indian outfits both for adults and kids.

Their speciality includes; alterations and hiring of wedding gowns. Due to the ever changing fashion, stock record is vital. The aim of this project is to develop an integrated system which will have the functions controlling the stock, accounting system, a customer database and a database to record all the alterations and hiring of the garments. Hardware and Software Currently all transactions are done manually and acts as a barrier to excellent customer service. When customers are enquiring about the availability of any item, they want an immediate answer.

Currently the availability of stock has to be done manually which is time consuming and loss of customers as they tend to get very impatient. Odhani has contacted W&J IT Consultants Co to set up an integrated system to improve the quality of their services. CHAPTER 1 Below are the technical and non-technical issues that will be faced by W&J IT consultants. Technical issues Poor planning is the main cause of failure of any projects. Every individual involved in the project should be aware of how the project is being handled and regularly update all workers.

Meetings will play an important role as this is the only way the whole team can come together and discuss any matters relating to the project. Postponing the start date will incur additional costs and extra time needed to complete the project. Poor planning can lead to several problems and late start is one of them. Late start could be due to the IT company or customer company. IT company would fail to start the project due to labour, materials and so many other factors. Whereas the customer can add more specifications to the project hence delaying the project. Extra costs will be incurred as a result of late start.

Every project has a limited budget and time. When a project is delayed, the manager will have to work outside the set time and hence additional costs will be incurred in terms of salaries and wages, some equipments might have been hired and will have to be paid for until the completion of the project. The extra costs will lead to an increase in the budget which will be payable by the client company. Updating old systems can cut down on the cost but may not necessarily be effective in the long run. The aim of any project manager is to complete the project within a set budget.

In some cases, updating the existing system will be good option but in the case of Odhani fashion boutique, they will have to buy new systems as they currently have manual tills. Back up is another technical issue that has to be taken into consideration. Viruses are the main cause of data and information loss. Virus has created a lot of chaos in the world of IT and not having a back up may lead to the project been delayed as all the work has to be done again, hence additional costs will be incurred due to the delay as discussed previously. Ever changing technology can be a barrier to the completion of the project.

It is always recommended that project managers should bear this in mind at the start of any project. For instance, in the case of Odhani Fashion Boutique the project manager should choose a package that will meet all the needs. In case a newer package is launched, the manager can then decide whether or not to take the new option. Non-technical issues Communication is a common barrier that is faced by everyone regardless of whether it’s a business environment or day-to-day communication. The UK, especially London is cosmopolitan place, team members will probably be from different backgrounds.

For instance, a team member cam be very good at his/her job but will not be able to communicate with the rest of the team if English is not their first language. Another communication barrier can be expressing or giving an opinion because he/she might think it’s not worth. Expressing an idea can be over come compared to the language barrier. Having language workshops will help managers to communicate with the team. Communication barriers and how to over come them are discussed in much depth at a later stage in this paper. Human issues can delay projects.

Having one member of the team specialise in one task can cause a lot of problems in case he/she falls ill or quits the job. An extreme scenario would be when the project manager quits/ falls ill and a replacement has to be found in order to complete the project. In such cases it is advisable to have atleast two people working on a task as a precaution. Another alternative is to keep the manager updated on every progress made so he knows where to pick up the pieces from incase of any illness or end of employment. Another human issue can be that of teamwork.

Work environments are not always pleasant may be due to differences between individuals. Working in one company doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone in the company will get along. Due to different believes and opinions, it can be very difficult to get along with all members. Two members who do not get along might have to work on one task and this could lead to a lot of problems as communication will be minimal. Keeping personal grudges aside and working as professionals could solve this matter, but it’s entirely upto individuals on how they tackle this problem.

Motivation is the key to increase productivity of workers/ team members. A good leader will motivate his/her workers by giving incentives. Incentives can be financial or non-financial. Financial incentives can be an increase in pay whereas non-financial incentives can be a promotion or overtime. Workers will be more productive if their work is appreciated and rewarded. Motivation theories have been applied and studied widely which will be dealt with in greater depth at a later stage in the paper. The initial stage of every project is planning which involves identifying tasks objectives.

The consequences of task objectives not properly identified could lead to an incomplete project. Every task will be explained in detail to its task manager and a failure to identify the objective could mean the task has not met the requirements of the customer. In the case of Odhani Fashion Boutique, one of the tasks is to have a stock control system. The stock control system will have several functions like; – stock availability – due dates of new stock – prices- old and new – et al If the above functions are not clearly detailed, the task manager will produce a system that doesn’t meet the needs of the customer.

Identifying the goals of each task will ensure smooth running and delivery of the project. CHAPTER 2 Project plan • Identify existing problems • Carry out a feasibility study of a possible project solution • System analysis • Allocate tasks • Prepare the system • System testing (Quality assurance) • Launch • Documentation (User guide) • Training • Hand-over (Sequential) Detailed project plan Any project that is aiming to have integrated system will have to be developed in phases which will be further subdivided into stages using resource and time management techniques.

The use of resource and time management techniques will help the project manager to schedule, budget and control the quality effectively. Each stage will have to be completed, tested and reviewed. The different stages of this project are discussed as follow: Identification of the problems with the current systems in Odhani will help the manager to develop a system that meets the requirements of Odhani. The identification process will enable the IT company to decide as to whether to upgrade the current systems or to invest in new ones. In the case of Odhani, they will have to buy the system.

Carrying out a feasibility study of a possible project solution is important as the customer gets a choice between different options. The possible solutions that have been suggested to the customer are; Oracle SQL Access Systems analysis will involve inspecting the current system and making the information available to the software and database task managers. Odhani records all its stock and other information on paper and it’s kept in files. System analysis will include the number of tills in the organisation and how staffs use it. Allocating tasks is the main part of the project.

It is a very essential part as it involves breaking down the project into stages and allocating each stage to a specialist. As a project manager it is extremely important to assign the tasks to team members who are willing and capable of doing the work. Tasks in this project are as follows; Database input Software and database Hardware and networking Quality and assurance Training Appropriate task managers will be allocated to tasks according to their expertise. After this the preparation of the system will begin. Appropriate software will be bought and according to the requirements of the customer database will be prepared.

Odhani’s requirement is a database to record the stock, hiring and alteration record and a customer database. Since all the records are on a filing system, a task manager will have to record this information and make it available to the software and database task manager who will programme the database. Software and database manager has decided to buy oracle and programme the database that will provide different functions. Oracle was agreed b both parties as it was the best option. Stock system will include the availability of stock, dates of new arrival, refunds and faulty, and price.

Hiring and alteration database will be programmed according to the requirements of Odhani, which is to record the address, contact number and pick up dates of altered items. Hiring items will have the functions of recording the address, contact number and due dates of the garments. Hardware and network managers will be incharge of buying the hardware and installation. Purchasing of new PCs and making sure that they comply with oracle. Oracle’s requirements are different versions of operating systems, for instance windows xp will support oracle.

Testing and quality assurance managers will make sure that the work done by both the above managers meets the requirements of Odhani. They will make sure that the system runs properly without crashing down. Training managers will be incharge of teaching the staff at Odhani on how to use the system. Since it is a small number of people that need to be trained, it has been decided by the training task manager to hire a hall and do a presentation of how to use the system. User manuals will also be provided as the hall is only available for one day.

Task managers will ensure that each task is complete within the given budget and time. After the allocation of tasks, the preparation of the system will begin. Completion of the tasks will mean that the system is ready to be launched. To make sure that the system is running according to the specifications it was built on, it is very important to test it before the launch. System testing enables to detect any errors made and any other options that need to be added. Once the testing has been a success, the system is ready to be launched. Documentation / user guides will be prepared to aid the training sessions.

The user guides will be written according to the functions of the system and answers to possible queries. Training will take place in a private hall, where all the staff of Odhani will attend a presentation and get an idea of what the new system is all about. Since the hall is only available for one day, the staff will be issued with user guides that will give them a further insight of the system. After training, W&J IT can handover the new system to Odhani. It has been decide by the IT firm that hand-over will be sequential. CHAPTER 3 Leadership and management

A leader is interpreted as someone who sets direction in an effort and influences people to follow that direction. They set direction by developing a clear vision and mission, and conducting planning that determines the goals needed to achieve the vision and mission. They motivate by using a variety of methods, including facilitation, coaching, mentoring, directing, delegating, etc. Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Management – The group of individuals who make decisions about how a business is run.

No organisation can succeed without a certain level of commitment and effort from its members. For that reason, managers and management scholars have always formed theories about motivation – those factors that cause, channel and sustain behaviour. These theories, in turn, affect the ways managers treat employees. As in other areas of management thought, one’s thinking about motivation has evolved from the traditional approaches, which sought the one “right” model of motivating the individual to more contemporary approaches, which realise that motivation arises from the interplay of both individual and environmental factors.

Traditional models of Motivation The traditional model of motivation attempted to construct a single model of motivation that would apply to every worker in every situation. This model was associated with Frederick Winslow Taylor and Scientific Management. Managers determine the most efficient way to perform repetitive tasks and then motivated workers with a system of wage incentives – the more workers produced, the more they earned. The underlying assumption was that managers understood the work better than workers, who were essentially lazy and could be motivated only by money.

At first, the model seemed to work, output increased in many situations. As efficiency improved, however, fewer workers were needed for specific tasks. Managers tended to reduce the size of the wage incentive and layoffs became common. At that point, the model began to fail, as workers started to demand job security over temporary and minor wage increases. Contemporary views of motivation were formulated that focus on a number of factors that may affect motivation.

This paper will concentrate on the content theories which focuses on the inner needs that motivate behaviour, in other words, they emphasise the whats of motivation – the content of individual goals and aspirations; Content Theories Content theories, focus on the question of what arouses, sustains and regulates good directed behaviour, i. e. what motivates people. It is assumed that everyone responds similarly to motivating pressures and that there is, thus one best way to motivate people. Content theories are sometimes known as the need theories because they focus on the needs served by work.

The basic needs model is depicted below. Perceived Needs Tension Activity Tension reduced (Motivation force) (Goal Achieved) This simplified model depicts motivation as prompting a person to take action to satisfy a state of needs or desires by achieving a perceived goals. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs This is a theory in psychology that Abraham Maslow proposed in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended. His theory contends that as humans meet ‘basic needs’, they seek to satisfy successively ‘higher needs’ that occupy a set hierarchy.

Maslow studied exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglas rather than mentally ill or neurotic people, writing that “the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy” (Motivation and Personality, 1987). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is often depicted as a pyramid consisting of five levels: the four lower levels are grouped together as deficiency needs, while the top level is termed being needs. While our deficiency needs must be met, our being needs are ontinually shaping our behaviour. The basic concept is that the higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus once all the needs that are lower down in the pyramid are mainly or entirely satisfied. Growth forces create upward movement in the hierarchy, whereas regressive forces push prepotent needs further down the Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the foundation for many content theories, normally, depicted as a pyramid: [pic] According to Maslow, an individual is ready to act upon the growth needs if and only if the deficiency needs are met.

Maslow’s initial conceptualization included only one growth need–self-actualization. Self-actualized people are characterized by: 1) being problem-focused; 2) incorporating an ongoing freshness of appreciation of life; 3) a concern about personal growth; and 4) the ability to have peak experiences. Maslow later differentiated the growth need of self-actualization, specifically naming two lower-level growth needs prior to general level of self-actualization one beyond that level. They are: 5) Cognitive: to know, to understand, and explore; 6) Aesthetic: symmetry, order, and beauty; ) Self-actualization: to find self-fulfillment and realize one’s potential; and 8) Self-transcendence: to connect to something beyond the ego or to help others find self-fulfillment and realize their potential. Norwood (1999) proposes that Maslow’s hierarchy can be used to describe the kinds of information that individual’s seek at different levels. For example, individuals at the lowest level seek coping information in order to meet their basic needs. Information that is not directly connected to helping a person meet his or her needs in a very short time span is simply left unattended.

Individuals at the safety level need helping information. They seek to be assisted in seeing how they can be safe and secure. Enlightening information is sought by individuals seeking to meet their belongingness needs. Empowering information is sought by people at the esteem level. They are looking for information on how their ego can be developed. Finally, people in the growth levels of cogntive, aesthetic, and self-actualization seek edifying information. Maslow published his first conceptualization of his theory over 50 years ago (Maslow, 1943) and it has since become one of the most popular and often cited theories of human motivation.

An interesting phenomenon related to Maslow’s work is that in spite of a lack of evidence to support his hierarchy, it enjoys wide acceptance (Wahba & Bridgewell, 1976; Soper, Milford & Rosenthal, 1995). Researchers agree that employees will be concerned mainly about the lowest level of needs until these are satisfied, at which point they will then look to higher level needs as motivators. High productivity and low labour turnover exists when employees are able to accept that they have a high level of job security and opportunity of self-fulfilment.

W&J IT consultants can follow Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs to motivate its workers. Motivation can take the form of assurance of stable and secure jobs for its members of staff. Promotion is another tool to motivate the staff. When there is scope of promotion at work, there is an incentive to put in more effort to get the promotion. McGregor’s Human side of Enterprise Douglas McGregor (1906 – 1964) was a psychology professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose 1960 book The Human Side of Enterprise had a profound influence on management practises in which he proposed his famous X-Y theory .

Theory X and theory Y are still referred to commonly in the field of management and motivation, and whilst more recent studies have questioned the rigidity of the model, McGregor’s X-Y theory remains a valid basic principle from which to develop positive management style and techniques. McGregor’s XY theory remains central to organizational development, and to improving organizational culture. McGregor’s X-Y theory is a salutary and simple reminder of the natural rules for managing people, which under the pressure of day-to-day business are all too easily forgotten.

McGregor maintained that there are two fundamental approaches to managing people. Many managers tend towards theory X, and generally get poor results. Enlightened managers use theory Y, which produces better performance and results, and allows people to grow and develop. Theory X (‘authoritarian management’ style) • The average person dislikes work and will avoid it he/she can. • Therefore most people must be forced with the threat of punishment to work towards organisational objectives. • The average person prefers to be directed; to avoid responsibility; is relatively not ambitious, and wants security above all else.

Theory Y (‘participative management’ style) • Effort in work is as natural as work and play. • People will apply self-control and self-direction in the pursuit of organisational objectives, without external control or the threat of punishment. • Commitment to objectives is a function of rewards associated with their achievement. • People usually accept and often seek responsibility. • The capacity to use a high degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity in solving organisational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population. In industry the intellectual potential of the average person is only partly utilised. |McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y | |THEORY X |THEORY Y | |1. Workers must be supervised as closely as |People usually do not require close supervision and | |possible, either through direct oversight or by tight|will, if given a chance to control their own activities,| |reward and/or punishment systems. be productive, satisfied, and fulfilled. | |2. Work is objectionable to most people. |Work is natural and enjoyable unless it is made | | |offensive by the actions of organizations. | |3. Most people have little initiative, have little|People are ambitious, desire autonomy and self-control, | |capacity for being creative or solving organizational|and can use their abilities to solve problems and help | |problems, do not want to have responsibilities, and |their organizations meet their goals. Creativity is |prefer being directed by someone else. |distributed “normally” across the population, just as is| | |any other characteristic. | |4. People are motivated by economic factors and a |People are motivated by a variety of needs only some of | |need for security. |which involve economics or security | What is, of course, sought is the self-motivation and self-discipline of all employees. Management has to understand that it has to find the kind of environment, which actually encourages this to happen.

Regarding this project, the employees of W&J IT fall under Theory Y management style as the workers don’t need to be supervised, the task mangers all know their jobs and they don’t need to be told by the manager as what needs to be done. They control their own activities and as a result will increase productivity. Each task manager is creative in their own field and each of them are working toward the same goal. Herzberg’s Two-Way Theory Herzberg, a psychologist, proposed a theory about job factors that motivate employees.

Herzberg (1959) constructed a two-dimensional paradigm of factors affecting people’s attitudes about work. He concluded that such factors as company policy, supervision, interpersonal relations, working conditions, and salary are hygiene factors rather than motivators. According to the theory, the absence of hygiene factors can create job dissatisfaction, but their presence does not motivate or create satisfaction. He found five factors in particular that were strong determiners of job satisfaction: achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, and advancement.

These motivators (satisfiers) were associated with long-term positive effects in job performance while the hygiene factors (dissatisfiers) consistently produced only short-term changes in job attitudes and performance, which quickly fell back to its previous level. In summary, satisfiers describe a person’s relationship with what she or he does, many related to the tasks being performed. Dissatisfiers, on the other hand, have to do with a person’s relationship to the context or environment in which she or he performs the job.

The satisfiers relate to what a person does while the dissatisfiers relate to the situation in which the person does what he or she does. Work and the Nature of Man (1966) expounded was thus job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not direct opposites to each other. Job satisfaction arises out of actual attainment of the task being done, and dissatisfaction from the environment in some way. Therefore, he felt to simply remove causes of dissatisfaction by the improvement of the environment would not automatically give rise to satisfaction.

The work itself has to present opportunities to the worker so that job satisfaction is experienced. Herzberg considered that the hygiene factors (sometimes termed maintenance factors or Dissatisfiers) attract people to work and persuade them to remain. These include such factors as: -company policy and administration -remuneration; -working hours; -sports facilities; -conditions of service, etc. These factors relate to the working context itself. However, they cannot, say Herzberg, offer long-term satisfaction; their key importance is in eliminating dissatisfaction.

Motivators, (or Satisfiers) on the other hand, relate to work content. Motivators include such factors as: -challenging, interesting tasks; -opportunities for development and achievement; -praise from superiors; -increased responsibility One way of summing these ideas up is to say that if hygiene factors are not provided, their absence causes dissatisfaction – if they are present they do not actually motivate. Every project is different as its specification varies according to the needs of a customer.

Even though the person is specialised in one field, every task will be challenge. For instance, software and database task manager of W;J IT has programmed numerous databases for several companies but the requirements of each database have been different. W;J IT believes that the firm is successful because of its dedicated and hardworking employees. An excellent delivery of a project will be praised by the directors, which is a motivation for its employees as the hard work has been recognised and appreciated. McClelland’s Four Socially Based Needs

Need for Achievement (nAch) People with strong achievement needs have a strong desire to succeed. Unwilling to share a burden with others, preferring to work alone, they will have high standards and compete with others. Concern for other people is limited to the extent that they are means to an end. Strong achievement personalities are marked by an unwillingness to gamble and only to take limited risk. Success and failure are faced realistically and are seen as learning opportunities for self-improvement. Need for Power (nPow)

Those with high power needs find their satisfaction in controlling or influencing the action of others. They have a need for recognition and acceptance and will often display aggressive tendencies. They prefer to operate in competitive situations that will provide status. In an organisation they will attempt to control the sources and uses of information in an attempt to improve their own prestige and self-image. Need for Affiliation (nAff) Strong affiliation needs are marked by a concern with establishing, maintaining or restoring positive affective relations with others.

The main concern is with friendship. Warm and friendly by disposition the person will tend to avoid problems that disrupt relationships with others. Need for Manipulation (nMan) The hallmark of strong manipulation needs is cynicism and manipulation for one’s own purpose. The person is not concerned with conventional morality. Cool and detached in dealing with other people, this personality will be interested in means rather than ends and tend to be overly rational in the achievement of personal goals.

Reward Award System Management action is usually designed to keep staff highly motivated to meet their performance standards. Achievement of high performance may be via offering positive rewards. Equally, achievement may be through the employees having the perception that if they do not perform up to standard, then unpleasant repercussions may result, by virtue of less pay, reduced chance of promotion, or in the current world, employment climate reduced job security or loss of job.

Either way, it is important to identify opportunities for development and advancement and conduct regular performance reviews so that performance can be monitored. Money as a Motivator Money is the form of pay is a powerful motivator and can be viewed as all embracing, as a basis for comparison or as a reinforcement. The multiple meanings of pay can be related to the motivational theories reiterated as follows: -Maslow: Pay is unique in that it can satisfy all types of needs: directly, in the case of lower-level needs, and otherwise indirectly; for example the restige of being o a high salary level can be a source of ego-fulfilment. -McClelland: High-need achievers view pay as a performance feedback and as a measure for goal accomplishment; group bonuses are attractive to high-need affiliators; those seeking power could view pay as a means of buying prestige or as a way of coercing other people; -Herzberg: Pay is normally viewed as a hygiene factor but it can be a motivator when it occurs as a merit increases that give special recognition for a job well done.

The most direct use of money as a motivator by result schemes in which an employee’s pay is directly linked to their results. All such schemes are dependent upon the belief that people will work harder to obtain more money. Conclusion Although Herzberg’s paradigm of hygiene and motivating factors and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs may still have broad applicability in the business world, at least one aspect of each, salary as a hygiene factor (Herzberg) and esteem as a lower order need than self-actualization (Maslow), does not seem to hold in the case of elementary and secondary school teachers.

These findings may begin to explain why good teachers are being lost to other, higher paying positions and to help administrators focus more closely on the esteem needs of teachers, individually and collectively. CHAPTER 4 Mentoring Mentoring can be defined as the process of forming and maintaining an intensive and lasting developmental relationship between a senior person and a junior person. The modern word mentor derives from Mentor, the name of a wise and trusted counsellor in Greek mythology. Terms typically used in connection with mentoring are teacher, coach, godfather and sponsor.

Mentoring is an important part of developing a high-performance culture for three reasons. First, mentoring contributes to the creation of a sense of oneness by promoting the acceptance of the organisation’s core values throughout the organisation. Second, the socialization aspect of mentoring also promotes a sense of membership. Finally, mentoring increases interpersonal exchanges among organisational members. Both performance management feedback and job coaching are tied to the attainment of job-specific results. They directly affect both the manager and the employee.

Mentoring, however, is directed to benefit only the individual and may or may not have a positive impact on the organization. There may, in fact, be a conflict of interest if the potential of the individual falls outside of the scope of the organization. It’s often hard for a manager to lose his or her star employee to a promotion. It’s even harder for an organization to lose a great worker to another company. Yet if mentoring the individual is to be truly effective, it must be altruistic at its core. So here’s the conundrum: can a manager be a performance manager, job coach, and mentor?

The answer is “maybe,” but only if the manager remembers that the three roles are distinct from one another and focus on different topics. Performance management is about results. Job coaching is about job-related behaviors. Mentoring is about the development of untapped potential, watch out for the conflicts of interest and make sure that attempts at mentoring are truly altruistic. And, if you must sacrifice one or more of these roles, remember that as a manager you are primarily focused on attaining results through the efforts (behaviors) of those who report to you. Performance management and coaching are critical.

Mentoring, however, might better be left to those who do not have a vested interest in the organization. Benefits for individuals The benefits to the less experienced employee (mentee) include: • increased skills and knowledge, • improved understanding of their roles in the organisation, • insights into the culture and unwritten rules of the organisation, • a supportive environment in which successes and failures can be evaluated, • a smoother transition through management levels, and • development of professional confidence and self-confidence.

The benefits to the more experienced employee (mentor) include: • renewed enthusiasm for their role as an experienced employee, • challenging discussions with people who have fresh perspectives and who are not already part of organisational thinking, • satisfaction from contributing to the mentee’s development, • opportunities to reflect upon and articulate their role, • improved ability to share experience and knowledge, • enhanced knowledge of other areas of the agency, and • opportunities to test new ideas.

Coaching Coaching as a profession is relatively new. Because of its origins it might be confused with other forms of helping. However, although it is concerned with helping others and shares some commonalties, it is not therapy; it is not treatment; it is not counselling; it is not consulting; and it is not sports coaching. Coaching is a way to help people make the best use of their own resources. It is a way to bring out the best of people’s capabilities.

Coaching helps people set goals and then reach those goals. Coaching is goal and results oriented and can focus on virtually any area of life: business, career, family, health, personal growth, spirituality, intimacy, simple living, and financial development. A coach is trying to direct a person to some end result, the person may choose how to get there, but the coach is strategically assessing and monitoring the progress and giving advice for effectiveness and efficiency.

Coaching is a custom-designed, one-on-one developmental experience for the mid- to senior-level who wishes to improve performance on the job, or prepare for career moves, by working with another professional. The coach should be able to relate to the coachee’s business environment, provide assessments, feed back and guiding the executive toward changing or developing identified behaviors and stretch goals within a specified time frame. Differences between Mentoring and Coaching | | |Mentor |Coach | |Focus |Individual |Performance | |Role |Facilitator with no agenda |Specific agenda | |Relationship |Self selecting |Comes with the job | |Source of influence |Perceived value |Position | |Personal returns |Affirmation/learning |Teamwork/performance | |Arena |Life |Task related | Reverse Mentoring Alan Webber, co-founder of Fast Company describes reverse mentoring: “It’s a situation where the ‘old fogies’ in an organization realize that by the time you’re in your forties and fifties, you’re not in touch with the future the same way the young twenty-something’s. They come with fresh eyes, open minds, and instant links to the technology of our future”. Reverse mentoring relationships are developed to gain technical expertise and a different perspective. They are not a younger to older person thing for this group it was more a peer-to-peer relationship where both people have a lot to teach and lot to learn. Job coaching

While performance management is about results, job coaching is concerned with the continuous improvement of job-related tasks and behaviors. Coaching is the ongoing observation and cultivation of the behaviors that lead to results. Its purpose is developmental rather then judgmental and it has, at its core, a fundamental level of mutual trust and respect between the manager and employee. Under optimal conditions, there is an unstated contract between the coach and employee through which the coach demonstrates that he or she will do everything in his or her power to help the employee succeed. Likewise, the employee demonstrates a willingness to learn and exhibits an all-out effort to embrace and internalize the coach’s advice and support.

Many managers find it difficult to balance the roles of job coach and performance manager. However, the two are integrally connected and necessary to facilitate the attainment of results. While it is possible to have job coaches who are not direct supervisors, the most powerful learning will come from the person who also provides performance feedback. Mentoring and coaching is applicable to this project. The project manager himself could be an inspiration to a task manager; therefore he will be a mentor. A task manager can also be a mentor in this project as he/she will have assistants who will be working as a team to complete a task. The mentee will be learning different techniques and styles from the mentor through observation.

The project manager will be a coach as he’s relationship with the task managers comes with the job, performance is the main focus as a quality project has to be delivered, and the success and failure of the project is based on teamwork. CHAPTER 5 Communication Communication is the transfer of information and may be defined as an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons. It plays a major role in employer-employee relationships. It also affects the relationships among family members on the management team. Although effective communication does not guarantee success of a farm business, its absence usually assures problems. A communication problem may soon become a crisis or it may linger on for years.

More specifically, communication influences the effectiveness of the hiring and training of employees, motivation of employees, providing daily instructions, performance evaluations and the handling of discipline problems. These are the obvious roles of communication. Communication also affects the willingness of employees to provide useful suggestions. Employees feeling a part of the business requires communication. In fact, for employees to make the important evolution from “workers” to “working managers” requires effective communication between supervisors and employees. Employees typically are hesitant to state their goals, their concerns and their disappointments.

Of course, an employee may be a complainer and share views to the point supervisor silently begs for less “communication. ” Much more common is the need to better understand what an employee is “really thinking. ” The communication process involves six basic elements: sender (encoder), who initiates the communication process by sending the message via a channel. A receiver decodes the message, and feedback is enacted. Noise however can distort the message – technical noise involves noises that disrupt the flow of message, and semantic noise – whereby the message is misunderstood, either because the message is not user friendly, or because there is bias between the two parties. The communication process can be viewed in the form of a flowchart as: |MESSAGE FROM SENDER | | | | | | | |ENCODING MESSAGE | | | | |NOISE | | |TRANSMITTING MESSAGE | | | | |NOISE NOISE | |RECEIVING MESSAGE | | | | |NOISE | | |DECODING MESSAGE | | | | | | | |RESPONSE | | | | | | | |FEEDBACK | |

Successful communication in groups and organisations is absolutely crucial because it is the ultimate means whereby behaviour is modified, change is effected, knowledge is acquired, and production and goals are achieved. The information can be communicated either in written form, i. e. in the form of reports, letters; orally, by sign or body language, or by Electronic methods, predominantly e-mail. Barriers to Effective Training Not all communication however is successful, and there are barriers to effective communication. The purpose of communication is to get your message across to others. This is a process that involves both the sender of the message and the receiver.

This process leaves room for error, with messages often misinterpreted by one or more of the parties involved. This causes unnecessary confusion and counter productivity. The major barriers can be identified as follows: Communication is a noise barrier to effective communication because it interferes with the accurate transmission and reception of a message. Management awareness of these barriers is a good starting point to improve the communication process. There are four key barriers to effective communication: process, personal, physical and semantic barriers. Process Barriers Every element of the perceptual model of communication shown in fig… is a potential process barrier. Consider the following examples. • Sender barrier.

A customer gets the incorrect information from a customer service agent because he or she was recently hired and lacks experience • Encoding barrier. An employee for whim English is a second language has difficulty explaining why a delivery was late. • Message barrier. An employee misses a meeting for which he or she never received a confirmation memo. • Medium barrier. A salesperson gives up trying to make sales call when the potential customer fails to return previous phone calls. • Decoding barrier. An employee does not know how to respond to a manager’s request to stop exhibiting “passive aggressive” behaviour. • Receiver barrier. A student who is talking to a friend during a lecture asks the professor the same question as the one that has just been answered. • Feedback barrier.

The non-verbal head-nodding of an interviewer leads an interviewee to think that he or she is answering questions well. Barriers in any of these process elements can distort the transfer of meaning. Reducing these barriers is essential but difficult given the current diversity of the workforce. Physical Barriers The distance between employees can interfere with effective communication. It is hard to understand someone who is speaking from 20 metres away. Work and office noise are additional barriers. Poor telephone lines and crashed computers represent physical barriers to effective IT communication. Where a large organisation exists, there will be many grades existing in the anagement hierarchy, so that a structure arises which is a bureaucracy. Hence the transmission of a message may involve a number of hierarchical management grades and thus may lose significance. Geographical distance, or differences in status may also contribute to this; part of the message may be lost; or misconstrued; Semantic Barriers Semantic is the study of words. Semantic barriers show up as encoding and decoding errors because these phases of communication involve transmitting and receiving words and symbol. Effective communication starts with a clear message. Contrast these two messages: “Please be here about 7:00 tomorrow morning. ” “Please be here at 7:00 tomorrow morning. The one word difference makes the first message muddled and the second message clear. Muddled messages are a barrier to communication because the sender leaves the receiver unclear about the intent of the sender. Muddled messages have many causes. The sender may be confused in his or her thinking. The message may be little more than a vague idea. The problem may be semantics, e. g. , note this muddled newspaper ad: “Dog for sale, will eat anything, especially likes children. Call 0208…… for more information. ” Feedback from the receiver is the best way for a sender to be sure that the message is clear rather than muddled. Clarifying muddled messages is the responsibility of the sender.

The sender hoping the receiver will figure out the message does little to remove this barrier to communication. Discussed above are the general barriers to effective communication. The following barriers to communication will have an impact on this project. Personal Barriers There are many personal barriers to communication. A few of the common are highlighted. • Ability to communicate effectively as people possess varying levels of communication. • The way people process and interpret information. People use different frames of reference and experiences to interpret the world around them. • The level of interpersonal trust between people, which can either prevent or enable communication.

Communication is more likely to be distorted when people do not trust each other. Recipients beneath the status of the transmitter may be inclined to interpret the message in the light of their own situations and responsibilities. On the other hand, the superior’s intentions may be misunderstood. Subordinates may also be slow to communicate with superiors or may distrust. McGregor’s Theory X views employees as lazy and managers autocratic, hence a one-way communication is adopted, and a high level of mistrust is placed amongst the employees. • Language: Individuals may misunderstand the meaning of words or the message content may be poorly comprehended because of the way in which it is phrased.

There may be unnecessary use of jargon or words with confusing meanings; • Stereotyping causes us to typify a person, a group, an event or a thing on oversimplified conceptions, beliefs, or opinions. Thus, basketball players can be stereotyped as tall, green equipment as better than red equipment, football linemen as dumb, Ford as better than Chevrolet, e. t. c. Stereotyping can substitute for thinking, analysis and open mindedness to a new situation. Stereotyping is a barrier to communication when it causes people to act as if they already know the message that is coming from the sender or worse, as if no message is necessary because “everybody already knows. Both senders and listeners should continuously look for and address thinking, conclusions and actions based on stereotypes. • Egos can cause political battles, turf wars, and the pursuit of power, credit and resources. Egos influence how people treat each other as well as our receptiveness to being influenced by others. • Listening is difficult. A typical speaker says about 125 words per minute. The typical listener can receive 400-600 words per minute. Thus, about 75 percent of listening time is free time. The free time often sidetracks the listener. The solution is to be an active rather than passive listener. Various steps may be taken in order to improve communication within an organisation. These include: Adopting Feedback: Here the two-way nature of communication is ensured, so that the receiver seeks clarity, and the sender seeks acknowledgement; • Using more than one communication network: Often it is possible to utilise the informal communication network to reinforce the message sent; • Restricting the numbers of communication links in the chain: The shorter the distance between sender and recipient of a message, the less the number of breakdown points in the communication process. Allowing messages to be conveyed more directly to the recipients encourages this aspect. • Ensuring clarity: Sensitivity to the needs of the recipient of the message (relating to experience, awareness, intelligence, perception, etc. ) reinforces the intention to produce a clear message. Summary

Communication is at the heart of many interpersonal problems faced by employers. Understanding the communication process and then working at improvement provide managers a recipe for becoming more effective communicators. Knowing the common barriers to communication is the first step to minimizing their impact. Managers can reflect on how they are doing and make use of the ideas presented in this paper. When taking stock of how well you are doing as a manager, first ask yourself and others how well you are doing as a communicator. Gantt Charts [pic]

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