Management, the practice of guiding people to a desired goal, is the combined understandings of both psychology and philosophy. The goal is successful completion of a task or goal. As you would find on a certified project management course and training.
Management originated in England in the courts of royalty, and was therefore called the servile or military professions. As Tapier said, “When you start to take decisive action to put in motion the things you are to accomplish, guidance is no longer a question, but a necessity. It is the better part of wisdom, to follow a man who has decided what to do, than to rely entirely on their skills and urge, and tend to take no decision.”
An important advance of management came when observational psychologists observed behavior with a fascinated and detached standpoint. Most observers handled the observers with some respect, mostly for their past experience and their technical knowledge. In contrast to observers, the greatest management thinkers of today are analytic managers. They quickly changed the way they thought about management from one of following people to one of getting people to take action.
These new managers were looking at the problem as a project that would affect not just one entity, but many that bore its impact. They quickly saw the goal of getting us from where we were to somewhere else: somewhere cool, clean, beautiful, efficient, and productive. In their head, they had pictures of a city of skyscrapers surrounded by sweltering vents and incandescent lights. They imagined cities of glass and steel, glowing skyscrapers running along sleek, windy streets, and crosiers twinkling under the whirl of magnificent corporate jets that nodded in tandem as they taxied over busy city streets.</p> <p>They tried on their simulations of this new world, and discovered that working efficiently in their simulations would require one to understand three things about every aspect of our past and present systems.
To be in the Information Age, we need to understand that our environment is decidedly Leadership, Management, and Industrial Age. Our organizations, homes, schools, and cities are tools acquisition places posted to see what we have and what we can gain, production places in which we create meaning. The constructed environment that our homes and schools provide, in our repurgished and ageless project management practices of today, requires us learn to manage them in ways that take the best of materials and technologies into consideration tomorrow’s needs. At the end of the day, artifacts are creations of people who are in charge of making them work.
The environmental issues brought to the project management purpose are immense, but at the threshold of the path, they are less significant than the item that surfacing them: the capital invested in factories, infrastructure, transportation assets, and housing. The biggest environmental issue may be the cost of resource acquisition, whether land or inventory. Looking at resources involves looking at them as a project to be approached as a solution to a problem, rather than more of an annoyance to be sidetracked as an afterthought of management.
Structuring the environment makes it difficult for any measure of success to be achieved. When the structure and environment provide barriers to what may have been a more meaningful and productive process, the solution must be much more complex than the subject of tomorrow’s report.
Other Organizational Qualities besides Information
Organization is the whole collection of people, information, equipment, and facilities that produce organizational behavior and effect organizational objectives. If you turn the Toyota Production System into your example, organizational qualities are more than the value of resources. They are approaches that influence what we do, how we do it, and what we learn from our experience on the way. Some organizations go to great lengths to design their structures that provide an optimal environment.
Human Resource (HR) organizations play an important role in the ability to design and achieve effective structures and processes. The organization, however, and project management function as much to manage resources as individuals, and the information generated by people must be stored, retrieved, and analyzed for information for the next project.
One of five critical management competencies is the ability to transform project and activity data into actionable information. The United States, Webster’s, Risk Management Society, and most other types of annual project management professional organizations do not insist that project and program information be developed and made available to those who want it. That information is powerful only as it is disseminated, interpreted, and used.
The use of the word information is a buzzword that does not exist in the management literature. Unfortunately, all this “information” creates another plethora of project and program management issues that are designed to get information into the hands of those who need it. The problem managers have is that when enough information is gathered, it becomes difficult to ensure that the information is clearly related to both the current project and the future project.