As the semester and a year-long project reach an end, I can’t help but draw parallels between MGMT 300, MECHENG 700, and good ole’ MikesBikes regarding what I’ve learnt. We are consistently given assessments which are their own hellish version of a ‘trial by fire’ but only a select few courses contain an explicit learning potential. Perhaps the sadism had a purpose other than a singular drive to break a student’s spirit and rebuild them from the ground up. I certainly had doubts on their intentions until recently. It was only then that this week’s problem presented itself. Overcoming deadline time-pressures and juggling objectives were the obstacles to encounter and move past.
Drucker (2005) mention that people work and perform differently. Due to this and a myriad of other reasons, teaching skills to solve the problem of time-management is next to impossible. Only practice and self-reflection improve these abilities. That may explain the condensed assessment calendars which necessitated the need for getting a gold medal in the time-management Olympics. Fortunately, it did lead to something that I’ll carry with throughout my career. The ability to compartmentalise and prioritise is essential to a soft-skill toolset for any professional. Despite the differences in roles, everyone in an effective team must know what to prioritise and how to divide a task into smaller and manageable deliverables. Utilising this development in managing my team as the CEO during this week’s rollover only supported this revelation. Schwartz (2007) make the bold statement of disparaging multitasking despite many executives seeing it as a necessity. I’m inclined to agree as in my experience with projects, dedicating resources to complete a high priority task often results in better outcomes rather than undermining productivity.
These skills aren’t limited to the dimension of time. Prioritising tasks and decisions based on values of a company given sparse resources is just as essential. Drucker (2005) discussed the choice of running for short-term results or long-term with an underlying motive being the values of a company. Financial analysts believe that businesses can be run for both simultaneously while successful managers know better according to the article mentioned. The simulation readily attests this claim. Factory capacity, available cash, and the number of released products all needed to be juggled in increasing the all essential SHV of our firm to keep the shareholders' pockets full and their faces lit up with happiness.
Knowing the strategy of time-management, prioritising and resource management are only effective if the sense of mind to use them is available. Learning this the hard way involved occasional all-nighters as blood pumped through a caffeine system and then making actionable decisions on project deliverables. Decisions of a company require more intellectual acuity. Schwartz (2007) state that people taking more control of their emotions can improve the quality of their energy, regardless of the external pressures they're facing. Management is a skill not taught but refined at university.
Drucker, P. F. (2005). Managing oneself. Harvard Business Review, 83(1), 100–109.
Schwartz, T. (2007). Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time. Harvard Business Review, 85(10), 63–73.