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For a second week in a row now we have suffered a set back in our Mikes Bikes rollover. We sat much more focused this week in our meetings and tried to strategically analyse why we had failed last week and thought we had hit the nail on the head with what to improve on, but alas we didn't hit gold again. While sceptical that there is another force playing around in our markets, we are really at a loss as to what to do to stop this steady decline. 

 

While our team has taken on a very team based approach to Mikes Bikes, we do still run our group with regards to the different positions that we have. Seeing as I was late to the course, I was allocated my position, therefore taking on what happened to be one of the key roles without much knowledge. The role of operations manager is one that I understand in concept, however in practice i sometimes feel that I am playing a bit of a hit or miss game. "An administrator is one who directs the activities of other persons and undertakes the responsibility of achieving certain objectives through these efforts" (Katz, 1995, p 91), as operations manager I have a key role in directing the team in all aspects of manufacturing and production and whilst doing so am taking on the responsibility of trying to achieve the goals that we have set for that week and for our overall strategy. However as I stated above, while I have read and re-read the Mikes Bikes handbook, I still feel like I'm lacking the real skill to nail this position.

Why is it that I'm feeling like this? Is it because I didn't have the experience of everyone else of the individual rounds, is it because I have mis read the manual or do I feel like i'm struggling because this game like the real world is so unpredictable and not able to be aced?. Successful administration or execution of a job is based on 3 key skills according to Katz, and I feel that to begin with I am lacking in the first aspect of this  - the technical skill. The "understanding and proficiency in a specific activity" (Katz, 1995, p93) or in my case the lack of proficiency may be contributing to the decline that we have been experiencing.An example of this is when we launched a new product and ended up having 80K of lost sales. While I had done the equations to work out planned production  and worked out everything to the best of my ability I was just stumped when this number came in. How was I meant to have any idea that a new product would have that number for demand?

The way I have begun to deal with this is by using the 2 remaining skills outlined by Katz - human and conceptual to help improve on my lack of technical skill. I have been able to utilise the knowledge of my team in clarifying when things are seeming uncertain and by thinking not only about the decisions that I am making for production but thinking about them in conjunction with the rest of the decisions from other areas of the business. 

 

Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflectionOrganizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36–48

Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administratorHarvard Business Review, 33(1), 33--42.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Georgina,

    Well done on the learning journal I think you did a really good job. I liked that you had a nice balance between the theory and your own personal thoughts and reflections. In terms of Daudelins theory I felt that you did a good job in questioning the actual application of the theory within the Mikes Bikes Simulation. This proves that you are critically analysing the actual usefulness of the content/course, rather than just accepting its relevance.

    While you did a good job at reflecting on the theory, you could improve the journal by possibly further expanding on the concepts that you discuss. While it appears you have a good understanding of it yourself, it may be helpful to the reader if you explain the content further. "An administrator is one who directs the activities of other persons and undertakes the responsibility of achieving certain objectives through these efforts". After this quote it might have been helpful to explain why this is important, or its impact on the rest of the team etc.

    Despite this, I still enjoyed reading your journal and thought you made some really good points about the simulation. The writing style and structure where really good, which made it a quick and easy read. This also helped strengthen your points because your opinion was very clear. Good job (thumbs up).

     

  2. Hi there,

    Firstly I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading your journal. It was easy simply and flowed from one after the other in an orderly fashion. I like how you spoke about your personal experiences and in detailed explained your insights on the readings. The way you were able to questioned specific concepts and relating it to our every day life.

    I can not really critique a journal that pretty much ticks all the boxes but in future I can advise that you try looking at other related articles and refer it back to your main ideas as evidence. Other than that, keep up the good work