About management

The six management building blocks can be regarded as being the most important fundamentals of the management profession. Each building block in fact forms a separate angle when managing an organisation. Before we discuss the specific properties of these building blocks in the following sections, it is important that we discuss at greater length the cohesion between the building blocks from a management perspective.

The core of management is, after all, integral management or, in other words, keeping all building block balls in the air permanently.

       Aspects of management
 

“It’s more important to do the right things, than doing the things right”. A statement by Michael Porter that, basically, indicates that there are multiple aspects when managing to which we must pay attention:

 
  • In the first place, 'doing the right things' is involved. Which results are we aiming for? What is the added value for our customers? (business results.) This is the effectiveness aspect.
  • Then 'doing the things right' is involved. How can we best deploy people and resources to achieve the contemplated results? (business resources.) This is the efficiency aspect.
  • A third aspect is the capacity to learn that organisations have (business rules). Effectiveness and efficiency is only a temporary phenomenon in a quickly changing world. An organisation must be permanently learning and improving to ensure it stays effective and efficient (doing things better).
  • The last aspect that is becoming more and more succinct in particular because of the digitalisation of society, is the question related to where the organisation is at in the many business chains. What is our core business? What do we actually do ourselves and what will be left for others to do (letting things done).
 

We can see that the building blocks can be ordered from a management perspective. Adding chains as an additional building block seems to be justifiable because of the emergence of the network society. Organisation borders are becoming diffuse and partners are becoming more and more a part of the management spectrum. There is, for that matter, no consensus regarding the weight of this aspect: INK does not explicitly identify partners/purchase while EFQM does. In addition, a separate reference model (ISPL; Information Services Procurement Library) has been created for this domain.

Management aspect Building block Oriëntation

1. Doing the right things
2. Doing the things right
3. Doing the things better
4. Letting things done

Resultats
People and Resources
Structure and Culture
Chains

Effectiveness
Efficiency
Ability to learn
Core competences

        Management levels
 

Strategy is missing as a management building block from the above overview. This is due to the fact that strategy is not an aspect that can be “managed”. Strategy is a component of management.

We can find three management levels in most larger organisations:

 

1. Strategical
2. Tactical
3. Operational

Point
Plan
Perform

Scope 3-5 years
Scope 1-3 years
Scope < 1 year

 

The strategy building block matches the strategic management level. Strategy affects all building blocks; in fact, it goes right through them. We can show the relationship in a management framework.

 

The strategic management level is also sometimes referred to as “directing” the organisation. Which results do we want to deliver the coming 3 to 5 years to which customers and on which markets? How do we want to deal with suppliers and chain partners and which position should we have in the production and marketing chain? A new direction is being determined for the organisation. The issues expressly involved with this is what we must do internally to ensure we can attain the new external direction. Which type of people do we need? Which new technological resources do we need and should we adjust the structure and culture? A direction is given on a strategic level to all other building blocks.

The tactical management level also affects all building blocks but from a different approach. Tactical management is sometimes referred to as “setting up”. In the first place, tactical or multiple-year planning (1 to 3 years) is involved. Allocation takes place within this context of people and resources to organisation units that have been given certain result targets that must be met. In the second place, (re)setting up the organisation is involved in terms of (process) structure or culture.

All building block are managed separately (within a term of less than a year) on an operational management level within the frameworks that have been set at the tactical level.