Friday, March 27, 2009

The Measure of Management

The desire to classify the types of managers came from research for my Ethics Vs. Honor post. In working on that post, I recognized that different types of people view ethics and honor differently. Along those lines, and related to the Leadership Vs. Management debate, there must also be different types of managers. This begs the question, "how do different types of people view management," and directly from there, "what are there different types of management?"

How do you classify the types of management? The typical classification is based on the nature of the various types of managerial control. I have included these below. The key differentiator between leadership and management is that nature of leadership is people and the nature of management is things. Since all Things can be measured, I also felt it was a useful exercise to develop measures for each type of manager.

I have already posted one interesting side effect of this analysis: Leadership = Management. No matter what type of manager someone is, their overall duty is to generate more value from their resources then the resources' separate value. The whole must be more then the sum of the parts. This is remarkably similar to the measurement of teamwork. Hence, the previous post.

Project Management

Control: Project Managers control tasks. Tasks have a beginning and an end.
Measurement: Project Managers should be measured by their affect on scope creep, i.e. a net positive combination of scope, cost, schedule, and quality, i.e. you can have it fast, cheep, or good; pick two.

Operations Management

Control: Operations Managers control ongoing processes. Resources contribute to a flow of activities that generate a stream of results.
Measurement: Operations Managers should be measured by their affect on a flow of resources, i.e. a net positive combination of resource cost and value added by these resources to the finished products.

Capital Management

Control: Capital Managers control assets. Assets provide support to the processes and tasks of an organization.
Measurement Capital Managers should be measured by how the assets enable the generation of value for the organization, i.e. it costs less to maintain then the value it contributes.

Other Types

Obviously these are broad classifications. There are a large number of names of types of managers, e.g. Program manager, Facilities Manager, Financial Manager. If you consider the three basic types above as a triumvirate, you will see that each of these various instance types can be located somewhere in this triangle:

An easy example to look at is Program Management: Program Managers are responsible for an ongoing flow of projects. Therefore Program Management is a combination of Project and Operations Management. A more complex example is Crisis Management: Crisis managers must be able to react quickly to an remediate an extreme external force of change. In order to be able to do this, the must create and maintain contingency plans and resources. So, they are part Capital Managers. Also, they must be able to complete a task, i.e. resolve the crisis. Therefore, they are also part Project Managers. The fact that a Crisis Manager must act under extreme duress and under short deadlines masks the nature of their control.

Change Management

It is fair to argue that Change Management does not fall in the triangle. The argument is that all managers are responsible for Change. "The only constant is change." My position is that since Change is a responsibility, Change is a a leadership activity. Change is different then change management. Since "The Change" is a task, Change Management is a type of Project Management. More on Change in a future post.

I can see additional post possibilities coming from this discussion. Are there these types of management because there are these types of people, or vice-versa: a chicken or the egg causality dilemma. Also, do people become these types of managers because they are these types of people, or do people become these types because they are brought up under these types of management: a nature versus nurture debate.

To help me get this post organized, I originally posted this question on LinkedIn. Donald Davies, Juan GarcĂ­a, Charlie Tian, Harold Hunt, Pravin Upadhyay, Gerry Scullion, Bernard Gore, Mukund Toro, and Bryan deSilva contributed to the discussion in the Question and Answer forum. Anthony Reardon contributed to the discussion in the group, Leadership Think Tank.

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