Achieving objectives by planning and managing work effectively

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Introduction

In 5 years time, I wish to be a Senior Engine Systems Designer in Formula One. The type of company is likely to be a Formula One racing team. The organisational objectives will be to win races and become world champions; my personal objectives will be to become the world's best engine systems designer. The relationship between these will be that the organisation will set objectives for the employee to work to, so therefore the employee must set personal development objectives to coincide with the organisation's objectives.

According to Beverley Williams1 'Organisational, or corporate, objectives need to be set in order to establish the direction and aims or goals of the organisation. Every single member of staff needs to be aware of the organisational objectives and to understand how individually they play their part in achieving them.'

With reference to the job description (appendix 1), person specification (appendix 2) and self assessment (appendix 3) here follows a personal development plan to reflect my current skills and weaknesses:-

Goals

Key Tasks

Resources required

Date for completion

Date for review

Improve Communication Skills:

Public speaking

Write reports

Presentations to groups at university

Microsoft PowerPoint

September 2010

October 2010

Reading more articles to see how reports are written

Magazines

Journals

Books

Ongoing

Review every month

Spend more time in the library

Ongoing

Review every month

Develop Team Working Skills:

Gain confidence

Group work

Take on difficult tasks

Volunteer to be rugby kit executive

Ongoing

September 2010

Get involved with formula student

2013

Review annually

Enhance Planning Skills:

Organisation

Organise files and lecture notes

Folders and dividers

Memory sticks for backup

August 2010

September 2010

Improve Written Skills and attention to detail:

Be able to write reports well

Spelling and Grammar

Writing Reports

Microsoft word

August 2010

September 2010

Proof Reading my work and checking it for grammar

Microsoft word

August 2010

September 2010

Attain Good knowledge of racing car components and systems

Learn key components of the car

Magazines

Key components

Visiting car plants

Visiting Trade shows

Formula student

2013

Review annually

Achieve a High Level of Proficiency in CATIA V5

Learn to use catia V5 to a high standard and design prototypes

Catia V5

High Spec PC

Attend Workshop

2013

Review annually

Most of the above tasks will be completed whilst attending university, but to reach my full potential I need to be looking outside the box and attend events, volunteer and self learn to achieve the objectives. For example to improve on my presentational skills I could enrol on course such as 'Successful Speaking Skills'3 but this would cost £105.75 for the one day, so therefore I will have to look for a cheaper alternative. One option would be to search for online tips on presentational skills, a site such as 'ehow.com' has given me lots of advice for instance 'Record yourself presenting' 4 although he quotes 'If you don't have a video camera use a sound recorder' 4 I developed a method of using the webcam on my laptop to record myself presenting.

Another key task is to attain good knowledge of racing car components and systems, my main way of learning and developing this is to get involved with the formula student programme5, this will give me an insight into the technical areas of design and manufacture of a race car, it will also help my team building skills and the way the car has to be presented, this will help my presenting skills.

To review the plan I will be attending the formula Renault series at Silverstone in September6 and attending the autosport international racing car show7 at Birmingham NEC in January.

Task 2

Achieving objectives by planning and managing work effectively

To achieve objectives effectively, you must first work out what your objectives are. Without planning or managing work, people work hard but don't achieve their goals. To achieve their goals this report will look in depth at three areas which will help them become better leaders. These are how to plan and manage work, how to develop productive working relationships and how to ensure a healthy, safe and productive working environment.

How to plan and manage work?

One of the main methods to plan and manage work is time management tools such as a time analysis sheet (see appendix 4). Without this if you do not have good time management it could lead to stress, unproductive days and last minute rushes to meet deadlines8. The benefits of using such methods allow you to achieve control over activities - proactive rather than reactive and complete important tasks on time. Another method which could be used is to draw up an action plan and to rate jobs in order of their priority. As Brewster explains 'Most of the planning you do as a manager is simply a matter of thinking systematically and using your common sense. Every plan contains three key ingredients: Objective - what you need to achieve. Action programme - the specific steps required to achieve the right objective. Financial impact assessment - the effect of the action on sales, turnover, costs and, ultimately, profit.' 9 As we all know the average day doesn't go to plan, just when you're in the middle of something an interruption occurs, so it is important to allow for some spare time to be included in your plans to allow you to catch up when the unexpected happens. To summarise: start off with a long term action plan, identify main objectives and schedule these into daily tasks leaving contingency time to deal with unplanned issues as they arise.

How to develop productive working relationships?

Choosing the correct leadership style will allow your staff to be more motivated and productive. In contrast an autocratic leadership style, where the leader dictates order without consultation can demotivate staff and make them feel not part of the team. A more popular style is the democratic leadership style where as 'Learn Management 2' says 'A democratic manager delegates authority to his/her staff, giving them responsibility to complete the task given to them (also known as empowerment). Staff will complete the tasks using their own work methods. However, the task must be completed on time. Employees are involved in decision making giving them a sense of belonging and motivating individuals. Because staff feel a sense of belonging and are motivated the quality of decision making and work also improves.'10. To establish good working relationships with managers, colleagues and team members you need a combination style such as John Adair's action centred leadership model. His model is a good style to follow to accomplish and develop a good working team. He states 'Good managers and leaders should have full command of the three main areas of the Action Centred Leadership model, and should be able to use each of the elements according to the situation. Being able to do all of these things, and keep the right balance, gets results, builds morale, improves quality, develops teams and productivity, and is the mark of a successful manager and leader. The three parts of Adair's Action-Centred Leadership model are commonly represented by three overlapping circles.'.11

In order to maintain standards of work and behavior that achieves objectives such as ensuring that the team works well together, each team member knows their role and that every member understands the common goal. Armstrong's sums this up be saying 'One of the most important tasks of team working is to make the best use of the capacities of the team so that all its members will work together well in order to achieve and deliver superior levels of performance' 12.

How to ensure health and safety and productivity in the working environment?

The main responsibility of a manager is to make sure the organisations risks have been assessed, systems are in place and have sensible control measures that are established and maintained. All staff should be adequately trained and competent in their health and safety responsibilities. Another responsibility is to write a formal health and safety policy that employees must read and sign, this should contain information about any potential hazards from chemicals or other substances used by the company. They should also set up emergency plans and provide the necessary warning signs.

A working environment poses many risks, for the safety of the workforce the leader must have an appreciation of the work being carried out. The worker is also responsible for his/her own health and safety in the work place therefore working with the leader a detailed risk assessment can be carried out. All risks have to be officially recorded and most companies use a standard form called a risk assessment (see appendix 5). On a risk assessment form you must first identify the hazard and how this may affect members of the workforce, and then if anything has been carried out and its effectiveness. Also included in the form is what further action is necessary and by whom and when and also if it has been completed.

Following the risk assessment several actions may be required they range from tidying up the work area to major restructuring of how processes are carried out. A full scale maintenance plan may be required and the costs will have to be budgeted for. It may also lead to having to do a COSSH risk assessment or Fire risk assessment which may involve outside resources.

In summary a successful company will achieve its goals by having a well motivated, well informed staff in a healthy and safe working environment. This is only possible if there is a well structured plan and room for development for which a committed leader can implement throughout the workforce.

Appendix

Appendix 1 - Job description2

# 1Appendix 2 - Person specification1

Position Title:

F1 Engine Systems Design Engineer

Job Reference: 

104174758

Location: 

Woking, Surrey

Salary: 

£NEG

Contract Type: 

Permanent

Date Posted: 

05/08/2010

Start Date: 

ASAP

# 2Job Details

Prestigious Motorsport company in Surrey is looking for an Engine Systems Design Engineer for a fixed term contract initially until Christmas.

Principal responsibilities:

• Conceptual and detail design of Engine Systems on a F1 Racing Car such as fuel, hydraulic and cooling systems.

• When required, to assist in design work related to monocoque, bodywork, steering and transmission components.

• Design of jig and tooling components for manufacture and testing of components.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

• Degree in Mechanical/Aeronautical Engineering or similar

• Good knowledge of racing car components and systems.

• Excellent knowledge of metallic and composite materials and manufacturing techniques.

• High Level of Proficiency in CATIA V5

• Proficiency in VPM

• Basic PC skills - word / excel

• Experience within in F1 or similar environment

• Proven experience in the design of engine systems

Personal Attributes:

• Self motivation.

• High initiative level.

• Good problem solving skills.

• Good communication skills.

• Attention to detail.

• Ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines.

To apply for this position, candidates must be eligible to live and work in the UK

Matchtech Group Plc is acting as an Employment Agency in relation to this vacancy.

Appendix 3 - Self assessment

Knowledge, skills and experience

Accomplished

Action to be taken

Time scale

Degree in Mechanical/Aeronautical Engineering or similar

No

Currently study a degree in motorsport engineering

2013

Good knowledge of racing car components and systems.

some

Subscription to 'Race car Engineer'

On going

Excellent knowledge of metallic and composite materials and manufacturing techniques.

Little knowledge

Continue in studying my degree

2013

High Level of Proficiency in CATIA V5

Little knowledge

Continue in studying my degree

2013

Basic PC skills - word / excel

yes

none

Experience within in F1 or similar environment

no

To achieve a work placement in the industry

2011

Proven experience in the design of engine systems

no

Continue in studying my degree

2013

Personal Attributes

Competence

Proof

action

Self motivation.

Yes

Good work ethic

High initiative level

no

none

Explore ideas

Good problem solving skills

yes

a/s level maths

Good communication skills

some

A level ict

Improve

Attention to detail

no

none

Proof read work, check things more than once

Ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines

yes

Working throughout the summer for a company that are under pressure for deadlines

Appendix 4 - Time Management Sheets

Day 3

Time

Activity

Amount of time taken

Priority Code

Time lost to interruptions

9:00

Write a things to do list

15 minutes

1

4 minutes

9:15

Read E-mails

6 Minutes

2

1 minute

9:21

Find papers for meeting

5 minutes

1

2 minutes

9:26

Meeting

59minutes

1

15 minutes

10:15

Coffee Break

13 minutes

3

3 minutes

10:28

Make phone calls

1 hour 50 minutes

1

37 minutes

12:18

Lunch with clients

1 hour 28minutes

1

4 minutes

13:46

Read E-mails

16 minutes

3

6 minutes

13:58

Work on quotes

2 hours 42minutes

1

36 minutes

16:40

Tidy desk

20 minutes

4

7 minutes

17:00

Go home

0 minutes

1

0 minutes

Day 9

Time

Activity

Amount of time taken

Priority Code

Time lost to interruptions

9:00

Make Coffee

8 minutes

3

3 minutes

9:08

Read E-mails

25 minutes

2

7 minutes

9:33

Ring Clients

1 hour 57 minutes

1

25 minutes

11:30

Tidy desk

28 minutes

4

7 minutes

11:58

Lunch

32 minutes

3

6 minutes

12:30

Review days objectives

1 hour

2

12 minutes

13:30

Meeting

2 hours 25 minutes

1

37 minutes

15:55

Review notes in meeting

23 minutes

2

1 minute

16:18

Tidy desk

8 minutes

4

0 minutes

16:26

Read E-mails

14 minutes

2

1 minute

16:40

Make phone calls

40 minutes

1

4 minutes

17:20

Go home

0 minutes

1

0 minutes

Priority Code:

1 = Most Important

2 = Important

3 = Not a priority but important

4 = Least Important

Appendix 5 - Risk Assessment

Name: John Cowley Task for Risk assessment: Date of Risk assessment: 10 August 2010

Step 1 - What are the Hazards?

Step 2 - Who might be harmed and how?

Step 3 - What are you already doing?

What Further Action is necessary?

Step 4 - How will you put the assessment in to action?

Actions

Who When Done

Slips and trips

Staff and visitors may be injured if the trip or slip over

All areas are well lit

No trailing leads

Major walk ways are lined so no objects are left in there

Remind staff to keep objects out of lined areas

All Staff, Supervisors to monitor

From now on

Leads to be tidied up and trailing against the wall

Manager

13/08/2010

Handling of objects

Staff risk injuries or back pain from handling heavy/bulky objects

Instruction videos

Demonstrations on how to lift

Correct PPE to be supplied

Staff and Supervisors

From now on

10/08/2010

Stress

Staff could be affected by factors such as lack of job control, bullying, etc

Staff understand what their duties are

'No Bullying' policy

Remind staff they can talk to managers and supervisors confidentially

Manager

From now on

10/08/2010

Fire

If trapped, staff could suffer fatal injuries from smoke inhalation/burns.

Fire risk assessment done

Ensure actions from fire risk assessment done

Manager

From now on

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