Sociology: Personal and Professional Development 

Part A: Time Management

There are several indicators in the business that prove poor time management within the two teams. Lengthy procedures within the organisation have been great contributors of ineffective time management. Time is wasted while transferring the claims to Joan Smith. That is due to the fact that the whole process is done manually in writing, including manual ledger, and there is no formal way of work allocation. Time is also lost when some team members are allocated with more cases to handle than the others. It means that some members may complete their duties before the others and remain idle whilst their colleagues deal with heavy loads of cases over a long period. There is also time mismanagement when a team member refers a claim to the claimant through writing letters in order to enquire for further information. That can be done through effective channels and not necessarily through writing that takes time. There have also been claims that Alan Briggs is taking a lot of time to counter-sign cheques presented to him by team members. It has also been mentioned that whenever Alan Briggs or Joan Smith are off the office, then delays are experienced due to the fact that Smith is unavailable to sign the cheques and no one can replace Joan on her post. It can be solved by adopting procedures that will be clear in this discussion. It has become obvious that time management is one of the challenges that the business is facing and the following memo will play a huge role in outlining several workable solutions for effective time management. The problem of time management emerges from poor planning, poor task allocation, as well as procrastination of activities.

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Memo

To: Members of Claims Department

From: Senior Manager

Subject: Time Management

Date: -/09/2014

Time management is a critical element in every business setting that strives for improved performance. It has come to realisation that much time is being wasted in the claims department and especially in the daily routine practices. According to this, it is necessary to outline some of the changes that will be needed in order to ensure effective time management within the organisation.

One of the best ways that can be implemented in order to ensure effective time management would be to enhance efficient prioritisation of assignments to workers. The more urgent cases will have to be allocated and dealt with first. Most importantly, it will be vital to computerise the business processes in order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in transfer of information. Use of letters will be replaced by emails and quick chats using the Internet. Those under the team supervisors will have to select a subordinate member who will be responsible for counter-signing the cheques in case both Joan Smith and Alan Briggs are absent. There will also be no need for Joan Smith to post letters after logging the details on the Excel spreadsheet. That should be done automatically through the Internet in order to ensure effective time management.

A system will be installed that will enhance effective prioritisation of claims in order to ensure that such claims are scrutinised and compensated where necessary. Similar claims will have to be categorised in order to ease the burden of handling different cases by different teams. It will also be necessary in future to divide the teams into another team that will be handed the duties to introduce a computerised system within the organisation. The second team obligated with the task of introducing the information system and counter checking the compensation of claims will be required to only perform the counter checking process. Another team of four people will be required to introduce the information system within the organisation. Therefore, computerisation, categorisation of claims, prioritisation and delegation of power and eradication of certain unnecessary procedures will work the best in ensuring effective and efficient time management.

It is only through effective time management that the department will be able to handle many cases within a month. Members of the team should be willing and able to work together and eradicate all the biases that existed in the past. Absenteeism without clear reasons should not be practiced by team members within the department. Members of the team will be trained on how to handle and transfer information using computerised systems. Use of information systems and improved planning will play a huge role in enhancing proper time management in current organisation.

Part B: Team Management

The case is clear that the team is not working effectively and that can be associated to its composition and dynamics. The organisation is facing critical problems in terms of team management. A good example is about the claim processing group where Alan Briggs is the leader and where there exist tensions among the team members. Lack of training is another problem within the team and that has become evident by the fact that both Sally and John have been assigned large deal of claims without considering that they need training, since they are new members in the team. Another problem that has emerged within the team is lack of collaboration. It has emerged that Ron and Billy do not perform their tasks as expected. Moreover, they have poor records of attendance. Group diversity has also caused a great problem within the team. The diversity has emerged in terms of age difference among the team members. Both Sally and John are in their early 20s and are mere graduates whilst the rest of the team members are over 40 years of age. It appears to be a combination of Baby Boomers and Generation Y.

Moreover, performance appraisal for employees has been wrongly done due to the fact that there are similar reports, as well as general box markings meaning that evaluation was ineffectively done. Poor orientation of new recruits into the organisation has contributed greatly to the failure of the new graduates in performance. That has been indicated by both Annie Blyth and Joan Abiola who are fresh graduates and have only served in the organisation for two years. There is also poor communication within the team due to the lack of definition of an effective channel of communication. It can be proved by the fact that there have been several clashes within the claims department alongside Chrissie who is angry with the news that claims department is not assisting her to get a clear understanding of the operating payment system. Chrissie is in need of understanding the whole payment system if only she has to develop an effective design for the system. Resistance to change is also a key problem in the team, since some of the team members are afraid that they might lose their jobs in case the computerised system is installed. Ineffective team diversity has been a revolving issue within the claims department. That has appeared evident in case of Annie, Joan, as well as Chrissie, who seem to have similar qualities which means that there is no diversification of qualities in that team.

Certain solutions should be implemented in order to solve the whole issue of poor team management within the organisation. The initial solution would be proper training and orientation of team members. Training will play a huge role in providing knowledge to the team members before they are assigned tasks within the team. Orientation will also be required for new recruits and especially fresh graduates from universities and colleges. It will ensure that fresh graduates are introduced to activities within the organisation. Certain systems such as payment systems should be well explained to new recruits in order to avoid misunderstandings during development of new systems. Moreover, proper performance appraisal of team members needs to be implemented in order to ensure that correct evaluation and correction is made to team members. Self-evaluation can be implemented in order to offer team members chances to evaluate themselves and become mindful of sectors that need improvement. Management of group diversity through quality management will also enhance the every team has mixed qualities that will ensure increased productivity. Studying of group diversity by the team leaders would play a great role in allocation of members to each group in order to avoid concentration of similar qualities of individuals in one team.

Proper communication channels between the team members should also be a priority in order to ensure that information is transferred effectively and efficiently to every member of the team. Proper communication can be enhanced through defining the most effective channels of information transfer such as team meetings, use of emails and memos to team members. Collaboration can be used by ensuring that teams work together in harmony. That can be reached by ensuring that team members plan their activities and are able to take different tasks that lead them to similar objectives within the organisation. Lastly the resistance to change can be eradicated by informing all team members about the objectives and benefits that will accrue to them and to the whole organisation once such changes are implemented.

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