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The Four Functions of Management

Every organization in existence big or small, from the military and government to the small business on main street implements the four functions of management.

Management is defined as the process of working with people and resources to accomplish organizational goals (Bateman & Snell, 2009). This definition of
management leads to the four functions of anagement. They are planning, organizing,
leading and controlling. These four functions play an essential role in any organization’s
success, growth and profitability.


The current economic climate poses new threats and creates new standards that people in the workforce have to adapt to the challenges in order to be successful. The four functions of management is a tool to effectively ensure the success of an organization. The federal government isn’t any different from businesses on main street who strive for success. In any organization, there has to be managers that are willing to supervise and be accountable for the people trying to the complete the goals or mission statement of an organization. Those managers have to be efficient and effective in executing the four functions of management. These functions will not be effective unless all four are
implemented, as each function has a vital role that focus around each other.


Planning is identifying the goals to be accomplished and the steps to be taken to achieve those goals. The federal government takes into account the knowledge, skills and abilities of personnel, the supplies and materials needed, factors such as the situation today and situations that may occur in the future. They identify a project manager who is
the supervisor for the team. The project manager puts together a document called Plan of Actions and Milestones (POA&M). This is the blueprint or the focus for the project from the planning stage to the final end product.


Organizing is gathering all the resources necessary to complete a specific goal as defined in the planning stage. Organizing would be the project manager putting together the team that would work on the project, as well as the supplies and equipment necessary. She would set the regulations and guidelines as well as the environment in which the
team would work. She would give the team the tools for success.


Leading is motivating, encouraging and communicating with personnel to be high performers. The project manager must have excellent communication skills to be able to convey all the tasks and jobs to the team with a deadline. She is the person involved in
the everyday contact with the team, she knows her teams personnel assets and should know how to motivate, give guidance and bring cohesiveness to them to complete the daily jobs with the ultimate goal in mind within the specific timeframe.


Controlling is to monitor and make changes as necessary. In my opinion, this is the most
important step of the process. The federal government has very strict regulations that
must be adhered to on a daily basis. Failure to adhere will result in disciplinary action or
even firing, especially if the problem leads to injury or death (we call it slip, trip or fall)
The controlling factor is the step in which the project manager has to be accountable to their supervisors. Such accountability may be the use of supplies or materials, the personnel issues within her team or any issue that could lead to questions of quality and safety. The project manager has the ultimate responsibility to ensure all the team
members are in compliance with federal regulations, guidelines and budget constraints.


ISBN: 0471391824 Author: John R. Schermerhorn, James G. Hunt, Richard N. Osborn
copyright © 2004 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.