The idea of management tools is interesting to explore. For thousands of years, people have been managing other people. The concept of organizing humans together to achieve a common goal is as old as time. Businesses have taken an involved approach to management. Every leader has her own individual concept of what good management is. Through experience, learning and mentoring; supervisors in all industries have their own management philosophies. With an influx of technologies in the business world, it’s a wonder there hasn’t been a management tool to help managers manage.

Salesforce.com and other CRM tools do a fantastic job of managing the relationship of a customer and potential customers. Generally, sales representatives love the system because it allows them to manage their own book of business. If you’re a (good) salesperson who’s making hundreds of contacts on a weekly basis, it’s difficult to organize that information. CRM helps to keep that information in line. Managers love CRM tools because they can keep track of their sales reps’ productivity. They can run reports and make good decisions because they know they have accurate information. It’s a win-win for the entire department.

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If you Google “management tools”, you’ll find trends and techniques for management. There are countless articles on strategic planning, balance scorecards and benchmarking. But there doesn’t seem to be an actual software in place to help with the overarching initiative of management. Technology is designed in theory to make our lives easier, so you would think there would be a popular management tool out there to help managers with these efforts. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find anything.

Organizing people to achieve objectives is one of the main roles of management. Whether it’s departmental or organizational, every facet of business has goals needing accomplishment. Typically, leaders generate strategic imperatives and do their best to communicate their vision to the rest of the company. They’ll then assign tasks and strategies to their team members with the hope of executing their broad goal. This systematic approach is obvious, but isn’t always completed. We often see pitfalls in the execution phase.

After employees are tasked, how do managers monitor progress towards the goal? How is performance measured? CRM does a great job of tracking productivity for sales, but there are so many other functions inside of an organization besides sales. These other departments should be held to the same level of accountability as the customer-facing individuals.

We tend to assign things out and task team members without a formal process in place for managing execution. It’s not micromanaging, but rather tracking results and monitoring performance. Having management tools in place to automate this process should ensure that the goals we’ve set out to achieve are actually accomplished.

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Preston Lyons
Preston Lyons
Preston runs Sales and New Business for AchieveIt. Preston is a world-class napper; a skill he developed as an undergrad at Georgia Tech. He’s also an avid history buff and loves reading anything related to WWII.