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The question that I have in mind is am I an effective operations manager? As one of the definitions of an effective administrator is "(he/she) undertakes the responsibility for achieving certain objectives through these efforts." (Katz, 2000) I have made a huge mistake in last week's rollover and in this week's rollover we had to make my mistake work out for us, which as we all expect a very very challenging thing to do. I have found that this week's reading is quite relevant to become a successful administrator or in my case to become an effective operations manager. 

This week's reading by Robert L. Katz, Skills of an Effective Administrator talks about the Three Skill Approach. Mainly technical, human and conceptual. 

  • Technical Skill talks about "an understanding of, and proficiency in, a specific kind of activity, particularly one involving methods, processes, procedures, or techniques... Technical skill involves specialised knowledge, analytical ability within the specialty, and facility in the use of the tools and techniques of the specific discipline... in our age of specialisation, it is the skill required of the greatest number of people. Most of our vocational and on-the-job training programs are largely concerned with developing this specialised technical skill." (Katz, 2000)

    I guess as as an operations manager in MikesBikes, there aren't really any technical skills involved in doing the job (or so I think), except learning and knowing how to do simple calculations and being familiar with the operations/manufacturing side of the simulation and how it affects other departments. In the real world though, an example that I can think of are surgeons. They need to know how to do things with precision/accuracy since one mistake can lead to the failure of the surgery. They also need to have techniques and years of experience to be great and master what they do. 

  • Human Skill "executive's ability to work effectively as a group member and to build cooperative effort within the team he leads. As technical skill is primarily concerned with working with "things" (processes or physical objects), so human skill is primarily concerned with working with people... the person with highly developed human skill is aware of his own attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs about other individuals and groups, he is able to see the usefulness and limitations of these feelings." (Katz, 2000) 

    I think that most of us would want to have human skill and this applies to any position you hold. I feel that in terms of becoming a good operations manager in the simulation, it is important to have people skills and to understand why people behave the way that they do. I feel that in our teams in general, it is very important to understand and get to know how people in your team works and to ensure that every decision made is run through them. Not only to make everyone feel involved in the process, but also to evaluate why a certain decision has been made and if there are other ways on improving certain decisions. I guess this is how we/I went through that mistake. I didn't have to go through it alone since everyone in my team supported it and helped me in correcting that mistake in a way. 

  • Conceptual Skill "involves the ability to see the enterprise as a whole, it includes recognising how the various functions of the organisation depend on one another and how changes in any one part affects all others; and it extends to visualising the relationship of the individual business to the industry...the success of any decision depends on the conceptual skill of the people who make the decision and those who put it into action." (Katz, 2000) 

    Most of us, like human skill would want to have conceptual skill as well in order to be good at the position that we currently hold, I feel that the ability to plan, strategise and the ability to execute the plan well is key to the success of any organisation or even in our MikesBikes teams. As mentioned, it is important to know how one decision affects other departments, in my case, any decision made in operations and manufacturing greatly affects the performance of the team as a whole. I feel like, I still lack conceptual skill as I wasn't able to foresee what the negative implications are of the decision I previously made, although I felt that it aligned with our strategies, I felt like I really could've done better and could've thought about it more than I did. That decision can be undone, but it's definitely not that simple. I'd definitely would want to improve my conceptual skill so I can better put my strategies into action and be actually successful at it. 

Having technical, human and conceptual skills are important to become an effective administrator or in my case operations manager in the simulation. There's always room to grow and room for improvement and it's never too late to develop these skills. I feel like mistakes are the best way to learn and with that, we'll gain more skills that can be beneficial for us in the long run. I'd definitely would want to improve more and become better at what I do. With three rollovers to go, I do hope that improve and I hope I can make better decisions that will benefit my whole team. So am I an effective operations manager? We shall see at the end of this project. (smile) 



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


  1. I like the format used for your reading, it makes it clear to see your structure of relating this reading to your MikesBikes simulation and clearly separates each idea which is good.

    Whilst I enjoyed your reflection of each area of the reading, I feel that the reading would have been better if you had expanded on your problem initially. For instance, you describe how your problem is about recovering from a previous mistake in MikesBikes yet you don't really reflect in detail on this or analyse how this would help you in future decisions. For example, you say there are not many technical processes as an Operations manager in MikesBikes which I agree with, but perhaps you might want to think about how you could introduce this if you had to e.g. using ratios to compare production costs each week or a methodical checklist of factors such as 'idle time percentage' etc

  2. It is pretty obvious that you put a significant amount of effort into this journal. I think the structure of the journal is very clear making it easy to follow your chain of thoughts despite the length of the journal. You have provided a really detailed reflection on the reading by quoting and explain how such quotes are related to yourself, other students in the course, as well as any team member from any firm in general. The only thing that left me curious is the first part where you mentioned a few hiccups in Mike's Bike but didn't explain the nature of the mistakes as well as how you overcame them. All in all a very exciting journal. Good luck to your team!