Morgan (2006) defines an organization as an institute, group or an association which has a specific purpose and goals. In order for a group to deem itself as an organization, there must be observable elements of cooperation and coordination within the members of the group in accordance to a pre-prescribed format. In an organization, the role that an individual plays must be looked at against the background of the overall effects that his actions may have on the entire organization.
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Most of the activities carried out by people in an organization are designed such that they adhere to organizational routines that are inherent to a well established structure. This paper shall focus on the concept of leadership and direction. To this regard, an analysis focused on the questions that leaders ought to ask to ensure the success of the organization shall be provided.
Leadership and Direction
According to Smith and Hawkins (2004), there are for concepts that leaders should focus on to ensure that their teams work towards successful execution of organizational tasks. They include planning, doing, checking and acting. As Smith and Hawkins (2004) assert, these four factors form the Deming wheel which is a crucial tool to implement if success is to be realized.
Arguably, leaders are in most cases under much pressure to increase their employee’s level of performance which later translates into profits for the business. As such, the Deming wheel presents leaders with an avenue through which they can effectively be able to lead and direct their workforce towards realizing the set goals, all the while minimizing risks that may lead to failure.
How do questions help to ensure that a project is successful?
According to Clark (2010), every leader must ask relevant questions that enable him/her to understand business situations, strategies that ensure success and solutions that mitigate risks.
As such, questions ensure that a project is successful because it is through them, that a viable plan to deal with various situations can be developed, analyzed, implemented and re-evaluated. The questions to be asked are conjured through a brainstorming session in which members of the project team are encouraged to share their views on various issues that may affect the project.
In addition, by asking questions, team members are able to get clear guidelines on how various tasks ought to be executed. This minimizes the margin of error that may have otherwise manifested itself as a result of ignorance, miscommunication or generally; lack of knowledge.
Similarly, by asking questions, members feel as though they are part of the project and that they are all working towards a common goal. This in turn motivates them and boosts their commitment to the organization’s course. On the same note, it is through questions that problems can be solved in a diplomatic and viable way which ensures that conflicts are minimized and the workforce is focused on achieving their set goals (Clark, 2010).
What type of questions must be asked and answered to ensure the project is appropriate for the organization (or the team for that matter)?
As has been mentioned in the discussion above, questions play an integral part towards ensuring successful execution of organizational tasks. In addition, it has been acknowledged that planning is of great importance when it comes to choosing a relevant project. As such, there are some questions that have to be asked before deciding on which project or team best suits the organization.
The two most important questions as suggested by Clark (2010) are: What resources are required to execute the project successful? And: What factors or events may hinder or destroy the planned project? To answer these questions in detail, Clark recommends that the team leader should find answers regarding to the; who (team members and their roles), what (course of action and consequences), where (location), when (time for commencement and completion), how (execution processes) and why (relevance to organization).
By answering these questions, leaders are able to acquire and allocate the necessary requirements, delegate tasks, identify the processes required, monitor the project’s progress and develop strategies that may counter any unwanted risks.
How does a leader know if all the right questions have been asked?
A leader knows if the right questions were asked by observing, orienting, deciding and finally, acting. Arguably, a project should be viewed as a problem which needs solving. Secondly, the leader should gather as much information regarding the problem as possible. Thirdly, the right course of actions should be developed.
Fourthly, a comparison of the alternative course of action should be carried out. Fifthly, a decision should be made regarding the course of action to be implemented. Next, a plan should be developed on how the selected course of action shall be implemented and finally, implementation of the plan. To know whether the right questions were asked, a leader should ensure that the steps mentioned above have been clearly researched and executed in that order.
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This paper has argued that leadership and direction are of great importance to the successful execution of project and team management. The paper has discussed the prominent aspects in present day organizations that make any project or team successful. It has been proposed that some questions are pivotal in the promotion of success in an organization.
An evaluation technique to determine which questions should be asked and whether they were the right questions has also been provided. As such, leaders in their capacities should strive to ensure that they utilize the Deming wheel as well as the problem-solving technique mentioned herein. This will ultimately ensure that the decisions made are always backed by success.
Clark, D. R. (2004). Leadership & Direction. Web.
Morgan, G. (2006). Images of Organization. New York: Sage.
Smith, R., Hawkins, B. (2004). Lean Maintenance: Reduce Costs; Improve Quality, and Increase Market Share. Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.