Benchmarking And Improving Management Quality
By defining Management Quality as an organizational concept and applying established Quality methodology to the area of management, a great potential for improvement becomes apparent. This improvement translates directly to business results or other major objectives.
What is Management Quality?
To apply quality concepts and methods to the area of management includes measuring present level of quality, establishing the desired goal and necessary actions, and finally measuring progress. It is not sufficient to address the symptoms, the obvious deficiencies; you must also consider the fundamental values, policies, systems, processes and programs, i.e. quality assurance.
Is Management Quality really important?
Management Quality - is there need for improvement?
Evidence 1. I have conducted benchmarking studies in more than 10 major Nordic and multinational organizations representing industry, commerce and government. On a 1000-point scale for management quality these enterprises end up in the 350-550 interval. The study includes companies with an excellent reputation in the areas of general management and human resource management. The conclusion is that even those that are considered leading edge today have substantial room for improvement -and there are thousands who are lagging far behind.
Evidence 2. Ask any group of employees if, during the last year, they have observed examples of lacking management quality, which have directly and negatively impacted the performance of the organization. Almost all hands come up.
Then ask how many who, during the last three months, personally have had such negative experiences, resulting in decreased motivation or possibility to do a first rate job. About half the group will confirm this.
Evidence 3. Consulting companies have conducted studies, reported in the press, indicating that variations in management quality result in productivity differences as high as 25 %.
Evidence 4. Other calculations show that the value of good management quality, as compared to poor quality, is 1,8 MUSD per year in a marketing group of 10 people. Corresponding numbers for a manufacturing group is 0,3 MUSD annually, and for an administrative group 0,2 MUSD.
Evidence 5. In hundreds of interviews with employees and managers I hear statements like:
"Personnel policy is non-existent in this division. I am not making an effort anymore"
"Decisions are taken and orders are given, but everyone does whatever he likes to do. There is no follow-up, no questions asked."
"You cannot trust top management. Decisions are often reversed, without explanation. I am not motivated to act strongly and promptly", said one manager.
Each of these and many other statements are real-life examples of the negative impact on business of poor management quality.
How good is your Management Quality?
The Management Quality benchmarking mentioned above is a continuous project, all the time open to new participants. The result is a comprehensive review of the management quality of the organization, a detailed list of identified potential improvements, and sharing of best practices with interesting organizations.
You can make a first estimate by making the simple Self-assessment, below.
2.Everyone takes ownership of the company's vision and objectives and of his/her own objectives.
3.Everyone is cost conscious and cost efficient (as if they were "owners" of their area of the business).
4.Everyone has the right competence for today's mission and task and develops their competence for tomorrow's needs.
5.Everyone possesses all relevant information for attaining their own objectives and contributing to those of the company.
6.Everyone demonstrates excellent cooperation within their organization and with other groups and departments.
7.Everyone demonstrates a high change competence.
8.Everyone strives for excellent quality in all respects.
B. WE HAVE AN EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
2.We have consistent goals at all levels and in all parts of the company.
3.We have rapid and efficient means of distributing and collecting information to and from all employees.
4.Participation, cooperation and a high degree of independence are corner stones of our management system.
5.We have a clear picture of our management quality, based on several sources.
C. WE HAVE EXCELLENT LEADERS AT ALL LEVELS OF THE ORGANIZATION
2.We appoint leaders of high quality and development potential, to all levels of the organization.
3.We give new leaders a good introduction and start in their new management role.
4.We give all managers continuous development in leadership.
5.We create good opportunities for our managers to be highly motivated in their task.
6.We phase out leaders who are inadequate in their management jobs.
D. WE HAVE A MANAGEMENT POLICY THAT GUIDES US IN ALL ACTIVITIES CONCERNING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
2. The policy gives our view of our employees.
3. The policy describes our principles for leading and managing the company.
4. The policy describes how we work in order to always have excellent leaders in all positions.
5. The policy demonstrates that we focus on management quality.
6. The policy is well accepted by everybody and the practical application is clear.
In evaluating your results it may be useful to know that very sucessful organizations tend to rate themselves at the 4 level. Most other companies in the 2,5-3,5 span.
How to improve your Management Quality
1. Benchmarking of management quality is a structured comparison with other leading organizations. This process identifies strengths and weaknesses and allows you to learn from the best practices of others. It is an excellent starting point for decisions about ambition and priorities in the continued improvement project(s). This is an ambitious approach, recommended if you believe that you are about to start a long-term development project.
2. A more traditional approach is to start such projects already identified or in plan (e.g. management policy, management review, and management development), but in such a manner that each project becomes a building block, that fits with the other blocks.
Management Quality - what are the first steps?
About the author:
Senior consultant, author, teacher, speaker,
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Senior consultant, author, teacher, speaker,