The Design Manager - Essay Example

You have recently been appointed as the Design Manager for a company, with the mandate to establish a new design office for a team of people comprising of both electronic design engineers and embedded and PC software programmers. You are interested in establish a high performance team and ensuring a high retention rate for these key staff. 1 Team Management System In this first part, I describe the Team Management Systems that can be used to develop a productive team. It is important therefore to create an atmosphere where members of yours team see that they can win both individually and collectively.

Ask them what the team does well and what it does badly. Then invite them to develop plans to improve in all the areas mentioned. Initially it may not be easy. There may be all sorts of external problems over which the team feels it has little control. The important thing is to identify these problems and then start to develop ways and means by which they can be solved. There should be a team effort, with all members contributing rather than everything being left to you as an individual. The manager’s job is to conduct the orchestra, not try to play all the instruments.

When you see positive results, let people know. Indeed, share both the failures and successes. Once the team can see what is happening they can begin to make changes to improve their performance. Above all, your job as the manager is to give your team permission to win. Let them know it is important to you. Let them know that they can succeed, and involve them wherever possible in the process of leading a winning team. 1. 1 Meetings Al1 managers have meetings with their team. These can be formal meetings or informal meetings 1. 2 Formal meetings

Meetings can be classified in terms of the Team Management Wheel into Exploring meetings or Organising meetings. Exploring meetings are held to share information and look at ‘where are we going? Often decisions are not forthcoming but everyone’s views and ideas are exchanged. Organising meetings are the ones where definite decisions are made and actions assigned. Objectives are set and everyone has a clear idea of what is expected of them. What are your meetings like? Do you have too many Organising meetings and not enough Exploring meetings?

Or is it the other way round? Review your meetings over the last twelve months and see what sort of a balance you have. 1. 3 Informal meetings We have heard a lot about MBWA (management by walking around) and also the ‘one-minute manager’. The main message from these approaches is that managers should try to keep in touch with the detail but without interfering. This is a skill which needs to be learned and practised. Essentially as a manager you need to keep in touch with sufficient detail to know what is going on.

Once you have found out, you can then make arrangements for the matter to be dealt with. The great advantage of regular casual informal contact with people is that they learn how to communicate the key points of importance to you. 1. 4 Outputs All teams have to produce results. However, individual members of teams often do not seem to know what the overall team is trying to do. Consequently we frequently find team members either not pulling in the same direction or not giving their best effort. It is important therefore, to sit down with the team and discuss what the outputs are.

Too often teams start by working on the inputs. They will tell you what jobs have to be done, how many hours have to be allocated, and how much money has to be spent, what the problem issues are and so on. All of these are concerned with inputs. Therefore the whole team needs to meet together to focus on outputs and look at the forces which are likely to get in the way. Once these forces are listed, an action plan to combat them can be developed. 1. 5 Charting results It is important for a team to see how it is performing.

Sporting teams can quickly get feedback: they can tell whether they are winning or losing by counting the score. A work team needs to be able to do the same. Therefore identify the measures by which the team can see how it is performing. Some of these will be straightforward, such as costs against budget. Others may be more difficult to work out, such as overall productivity. Equally, not all teams will have the revenue function against which to chart their income. However, all teams can measure their performance in terms of achieving particular objectives within specific time frame and budget.

1. 6 Team communication The linking task of the manager is to coordinate all the ‘players’ on the team and to make sure that each member knows what the others are doing. This requires some discipline and the planning of regular meetings. It means putting meeting dates into diaries as much as twelve months ahead and keeping to those dates. It means convincing people that these meetings are important and that everyone must attend. It means publishing regular minutes of meeting to all the team members with updated actions plan and progress report.

One of the best ways to develop communication skills in’-t your team is to encourage individuals or sub-groups in the team to give small presentations at meetings. These may be only half an hour long but they enable everyone to get up and show what they are doing and what they have achieved. This not only helps communication but motivation as well. Therefore organise as many presentations as you can on as many topics as possible so that people become well informed. In the process of doing this you will be developing your team members as excellent communicators 2 Motivational mechanics

In this second part, I focus on the theories and research into Human motivation at work that are now a recognized part of classical managerial thought: 1) “Hierarchy of Need ” theory 2) “The Hygiene Factor” theory 2. 1 “Hierarchy of Need” theory Perhaps not theory of motivation has been so influential on the thinking of managers as Abraham Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’. In essence it’s suggests that a person is motivated not by external motives such as rewards or punishments but an inner programme of needs. These needs are arranged in sets. When one is satisfied, another comes into play. A satisfied need ceases to motivate.

Maslow sought to establish some sort of hierarchy of prepotency in the realm of basic human needs, and to comment upon the difference this hierarchy would make to our understanding and motivation. He identified fives sets of needs (see the figures ni?? 1 below), which he saw as being in a dynamic relationship or hierarchy. If a person has an endless supply of bread, at once other needs in dominating the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, yet higher needs emerge, and so on. This is what Maslow meant by asserting that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency.