Property Management – Commercial Management

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Property management is an ever growing need as more and more people are now opting out of buying homes due to aspects such as the increase in mortgage prices. Renting is now becoming the more popular way of gaining property. It is because of the fact that more of us are now renting property that that need for property management has grown so much. It should be noted that property management requires time, intelligence and good attention to detail as well as management qualifications.

Property management is the job of looking after the properties that people rent out. This is the same for residential and commercial property. Whatever type of property you have as long as you are renting it; you will be able to get the help of property a management team.

Property management companies have the responsibility to deal with multiple responsibilities and aspects of the management and ownership of real estate. The duties of a property management company is to negotiate and stabilise a relationship between the landlord and tenant. The duties performed by a property management company are pretty much the same if your property is a residential or commercial but here we are mainly going to be looking at commercial property. Whether your property is an office block, a retail store or a bar/restaurant the duties that a property management team will perform for you are:

o Collecting rent

o Handle your letting

o Asses potential tenants

o Administration services

o Maintenance of the property

Commercial property management is an essential aspect of the property market if you want to increase the appeal or value of your property. It will allow you to get on with your renting business while the management company gets on with the day-to-day running. The extent of the service that is provided by a property management team is as flexible as you want it to be; it can be used as much as you need it to be.

A professional commercial property management service maintains and raises the level of occupancy, which enables a steady income. This is because a property management company keeps your commercial property in good condition in order to bring in business for the landlord. Your commercial property needs good curb appeal. This is achieved through keeping the structure, landscape and parking elements of the property in a clean and welcoming condition.

Your commercial property needs to be kept in good condition in order to attract customers to use your business. You need to ensure that your property is in good condition to attract businesses to set up shop within your property.

If you have invested within the property market then you will want to ensure that you are getting the most from your investment, which is where commercial property management can help you. By keeping a well run and well maintained property you will generate interest within your business and therefore attract more custom.

If you would like more information about what a commercial property management team could do for you get in touch with an expert company today.



Stress Management In The Workplace: Handling Work Stress

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Stress management in the workplace is a reality that most of us have to face for one reason or another and coping with it is key to long-term career success.

Some careers are more stressful than others and some companies and managers you work for might provide you with more stress than you’d otherwise like.

Having some stress can be helpful because it can provide motivation that allows you to work with a bit of a sense of urgency and purpose.

When stress in the workplace reaches a high level and carries over to your personal life in a negative way though, this is a sign that you need to do something to properly manage it so that it doesn’t spiral out of control further.

Here are some suggestions for successful stress management in the workplace:

    1. Try to address issues that might be affecting your stress level that you might not readily think of, especially the ones you can change. Do you drive 1 hour to work each day and feel beaten up by the time you get into the office each morning? Are there ways you can lighten your workload? Do you need to learn how to say “no” to certain requests from time to time? Look for ways of changing how you to things especially ones you have some control over.

    2. Look for ways to improve your time management. Often, stress is a result of simply not having enough time to complete everything you need to do. Stop wasting time talking with colleagues and making personal phone calls, stop surfing the Internet for personal reasons, and eliminate other time wasters. Shut your office door if you have trouble with people walking in and distracting you or find a quiet office where you can work undisturbed if necessary.

    3. Find some sort of athletic endeavor to take part in. I like working out at the gym but you might find jogging, playing squash or taking yoga classes will help. Try something athletic that gets your mind off work. Start by going for a walk at lunchtime just to get out of the office for a bit.

    4. Don’t neglect your personal life. Remember to try to find the proper balance between your work life and your work outside of work. Try when possible to leave work at work. A separation between work and personal life is paramount.

    5. Carefully consider whether or not you are in the right job. If successful stress management at work is just not possible and if you yearn for your time with a previous employer when things were better, maybe you’re in the wrong job. Do you like what do you or is it simply a job to you? If it’s simply a job there might be other jobs that are less stressful that are better suited to your personality.

Stress management in the workplace is critical to your long-term career and long-term health. When stress management is simply not achievable through change, consider consulting a doctor for a medical opinion in case you are suffering from more than just stress.



Task Forces In Project Management

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A complete, all-embracing, self-contained project team can be impracticable to organize in a manufacturing company owing to the nature of the facilities and machinery required. Many of those facilities represent considerable capital investment and, together with their human operators, cannot be allocated full-time to a single project, no matter how urgent the demands of that project might be. the facilities must be shared among all the projects and other work being undertaken by the company. Project managers cannot therefore be given direct line authority over any of those shared manufacturing functions, and a matrix organization of some sort might be indicated rather than a pure team.

There are occasions, however, when the strong project focus and fast internal communications of a team are preferable to a matrix. To take just one case, suppose that an important project is running extremely late and is in dire need of a rescue operation: in other words, there is an existing or impending crisis. In those circumstances, the company’s management would be well advised to consider setting up a task force to finish the remainder of the project in the shortest possible time. But the problem remains of how to deal with common manufacturing facilities that must continue to carry out other work.

A task force solution is possible. It depends on seconding managers (or their senior deputies) from all the relevant departments to form a task force dedicated to executing the project. A leader for this task force must be found, preferably from within the company. This person must possess determination and a positive outlook. He or she should also be experienced in the project management arts: if not, it might be prudent to engage an external consultant to provide urgent on-the-job training and guidance.

The task force members will communicate more effectively and make better and faster decisions if they can be located together, away from their usual offices or workplaces. Better still, they should be provided with a dedicated office that can be used as their project “war room.” The result should be a powerful and effective management team with the expertise and authority needed to give the project the best chance of success.

Although the project might still depend on the use of resources and facilities shared with other work, the seniority of the task force members should ensure that all critical project asks get top priority. Suppose, for instance, that a machine shop is represented on the task force by its manager or a deputy. Then, when a critical project task requires the use of the machine that is used heavily for other work, the project task force leader is provided with a direct line of authority over the use of that machine through the senior machine shop delegate who is serving on the task force.

An example of a management project where a task force approach can be beneficial is a company relocation project. Consider, for instance, an insurance company that wishes to relocate its central city offices to a provincial town. Apart from the obvious questions of where or whether to relocate, there will be all kinds of problems to solve, such as predicting how many staff will decide to move and how to support them, how to compensate staff who decide not to remain in employment, ensuring continuity of service to clients, and so on. A task force that includes managers or senior delegates from the human resources, information systems, claims, sales, and other company departments should be able to work collectively and privately to arrive at a project solution, arrange for communication of the intentions to staff, and then implement the project.



Learning Management Systems – Conducting a Needs Analysis

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You are certain you need a learning management system for your organization. Something has prodded you to get going on the search for the perfect system: delivery of e-learning courses, tracking of mandatory training or a desire to have a more comprehensive education program for your employees.

Where do you go from there? A needs analysis is the correct answer. For even though one particular need has raised its head, you will want to define the specifics around that function and you should take the time to see if there are other functions that your organization could benefit from within a learning management system.

Your needs analysis does not have to be a formal academic process; you can complete a simple, quick and easy one for your organization that still gives you the required information.

A needs analysis is also a great way to start the change management process and begin to develop champions for the system by allowing individuals to feel included and to get excited about the possibilities. As you survey people, make a list of those that you might want to have on your implementation steering committee or use as project champions.

A. How do you go about a needs analysis?

1. Start with yourself. You are biased for sure, but probably have ideas about what the system should do, how it should deliver e-learning and other functions that might be useful to the organization. Draw up a checklist of items. Divide the items into must haves and would be nice to have. You can use this checklist to interview others and add items to it as they are suggested to you. Make sure you differentiate from others what are their particular Must Haves vs. their Nice to Haves.

2. Information Technology. You’ll need to survey your IT department to find out several items: a. What systems are they likely to support? Windows, Linux, Open Source? b. Do they have any particular security requirements? c. Which authentication systems will they support? d. Don’t forget to ask about their learning needs as well. e. What other systems can the new LMS integrate with? HR and/or Financial? What are the requirements for integration?

3. Human Resources and Learning Departments. These departments will have needs related to education, on-boarding, tracking of mandatory courses and performance evaluations. They are your best source for getting a handle on what the learners of the organization need and the level of employee technical capabilities.

4. Employee sample. Your HR and Learning Departments can help you generate a small sample of employees through out the various departments of the organization. Don’t forget that it is likely you have to explain, or even show an online sample to many of these employees. At LearnSync we often demonstrate Moodle to our less technical survey sample individuals and show screens shots of other systems.

5. Finance: No, not for the dollars for your budget, but to find out about their learning requirements and desired LMS functions. But hey, while you are there, get them excited about the possibilities and you may find them working for you and that budget!

6. Employee Wellness/Safety Departments: Safety or health related departments usually have major training needs and will have very specific functions they require for tracking of the training.

7. Other departments: Wherever possible survey a sample of every department in your organization with at least an email or phone call, to discover the various needs. If you don’t, you will likely find that once you have purchased and installed your new LMS, someone from those un-surveyed departments will show up asking why the system doesn’t have this function or why they weren’t consulted about this.

B. A few items to look for in a good learning management system.

Development tools: do you require your new LMS to have built in course development tools or will you use external tools and upload the finished courseware.

User interface: how friendly and easy do you require your system to be? Even with the most sophisticated user base, a user friendly interface will get you more uptakes.

Template design: Are you going to standardize your e-learning? Does the system allow for this?

SCORM: They all claim to be SCORM compliant but is it really? Specifically, will it upload and correctly run your generated courses and your historical courses without major adaptations? Will the vendor allow you to test this prior to purchase?

Tracking: What kind of tracking system do you need? Graded, completed, finished?

Reporting: What kind of built-in reporting system does the LMS have or can you integrate your own reporting system (Crystal Reports, SQL Reports etc) with it. What kind of reports do your end users require? This is a very important area to question your users on prior to purchase as research has shown that many LMS failures occur because of the reporting capabilities. Your organization may want to know the ROI on learning, how many courses, who took what, by division or area, corporate wide etc. This should be a major area of your needs analysis.

Notifications: Do you need the system to notify users of anything – for example” certification expirations, new courses loaded, and evaluations?

Compliance Tracking: Must your system track compliance for specific training (eg: fire safety annual review)?

Classroom registrations: Some LMS’s will not only deliver your e-learning material but also allow you to setup classroom registration processes and track completion of classroom/workshops within the system, giving you a centralized education history.

Registration tracks: how complex do you want the system to be? Some systems allow you set up complex registration tracks for programs. Example – you can create a program of 7 courses but learners only have to complete 5 of the 7 and 2 of those are mandatory. Beware of these kinds of features – do you have the resources in your department to handle these setups? If not, consider living without them for the short term and adding them in later.

Asynchronous, Synchronous, Blended Learning: Will the system allow for all of these will fully facilitated online teaching? Whiteboards, chat rooms, discussion threads?

Web 2.0: how will does the LMS integrate with Web 2.0 features and do you require them?

Expansion: Can you start simple and add functions as you require them or have the funds/resources to do so?

Hosting: Do you require a system that will be installed on your network behind your firewall or can you consider a hosted solution? It is often much cheaper to go with a hosted solution and many vendors offer this option.

Security: single sign-on, individual passwords, open registration?

Integration with other systems: Do you have other systems that you will require the LMS to work with such as HR systems, financial, Content Management? Or can your LMS operate as a standalone system? Consider all the implications of this -” if it can standalone who will create the user accounts (rather than having them pulled and updated from your HR system).

Internal or External: First, will your employees be able to access this system from home or only on your network? Second, do you require the LMS only for internal employee training or do you have external training needs such as customers? If so, can the system support 2 or more separate domains?

Domains: You’ll also want to consider the domain question if your organization is large or very diverse and you’d like separate areas for separate departments or agencies of your organization.

Service: What kind of support will you require? End user? Administrative. How much does each department want to take on with the new LMS and how many functions will they leave in your department?

There are other questions that you may need to ask in your needs analysis. Doing an Internet search can help you uncover additional items. You will also add items from your survey respondents. Once your needs analysis is done, you compile a list of Must Haves, another of Nice to Haves and start your evaluation of the many available Learning Management Systems.



Top 5 Project Management Tips

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Project management is ideal these days – especially if you need to get a lot done fast. Whether you are juggling a busy job, multiple jobs, or simply a hectic schedule, the ability to effectively manage your time and the projects on your plate will allow for increased productivity. Therefore, mastering the art of project management is essential. Here are some tips to help you succeed in your project management endeavors.

Lead Out

One of the best ways to ensure that you are succeeding in project management is to lead out. Those that fail to successfully project manage their lives or responsibilities often follow the crowd or wait for others to tell them what to do. Instead, a good project manager will analyze a situation and take charge. This is what natural leaders do. If leadership does not come naturally, it is important to work on stepping out of your comfort zone.

Develop Skills

In addition, specific skills are beneficial to project management. For example, those that are more organized often have an easier time managing their projects. The same is true with those that can communicate effectively. It is important that you develop the skills necessarily to effectively manage the different projects you are undertaking.

Learn To Solve Problems

Next, when it comes to projects, remember that nothing ever runs completely perfect. Instead, learn to solve problems. This will help you in the long run. Problem solving skills go a long way when it comes to project management and the best managers seem to know and understand how to effectively solve problems that come their way.

Delegate

In addition, it is important to learn to rely on others. A good manager understands that he or she cannot do it all by themselves. Instead, they need a good team by their side. Surround yourself with this team of people that will allow your projects to run smoothly. You will be glad that you have people to rely on throughout the project that can help you successfully complete each part.

Take A Class

Lastly, consider taking a class. There are a variety of different Project Management Courses that teach individuals how to effectively manage the projects they are in charge of. Most of the time these classes help individuals develop skills and they teach problem solving methods. All of this knowledge is invaluable and will only help an individual grow as they seek to be successful.



Job Sites in USA

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There are several ways to find the best job for you. You can find jobs online and also through advertisement on newspaper also through media. Some of the top sites through which you get the best jobs you are looking for are given below. If you are looking for the best jobs in USA then you have to go through the following websites that provides you the best jobs. Many sites that are available allow you to search for a job through job title; profession and state. Many jobs sites contact you by mailing you.

Most of the sites allow you to upload your resume into their database, by doing so hiring person can find you if you suits for that job.

Here are some of the sites that provide you the best jobs in USA. These site provides you those services which you want to do and enjoy your job.

Monster.com

Monster.com is one of the best job sites leading career management portals. Sites of US provide vast number of jobs in the USA. This site also provides you the quality services and tool with which you can find the job.

CollegeRecruiter.com

This site is mainly for college students, graduates and also for those students that are in final semester of their graduation. This site also provides employment and business opportunities. You can post your resume to this site if you are in search of job.

HotJobs.com

This site Yahoo’s Hotjobs.com helps you to find the job in the industry sector. You can directly post your resume when you sign up. You can also save your personal searches.

DirectEmployers.com

This site is a syndicate of employers here the companies post almost 24,000 of jobs for the job seeker. This site process directly with the employers there is no need to post your resume.

Job-adviser.com

The job-adviser.com is also best sites for job here you find all types of job. You can also find jobs regarding your career and this site provides you job assurance.

Job.com

In this site over 2 millions of resume have been posted over this site. They allow you to search the jobs according to your requirements and salary. You have to access additional services when you sign up this site.

CareerBuilder.com

This site provides largest no jobs in the USA. You can receive an email and also they have other resources for employment.

Career.com

Career.com is the first recruitment site. Here you first sign up and after that you upload your resume before you can search for job. After register email is send to you.

There are also many jobs sites america that provides the best jobs for you.



You Have to Know the Territory

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These comments are directed at what I call “operational managers.” You know who you are: the people who make large organizations “tick” and move forward. You manage the processes and the resources that enable the rest of the organization to get its work done smoothly, efficiently, and without interruption.

You are the HR, IT, facilities, and financial operations managers who keep the wheels turning, the clocks running, and the core business processes humming. You sit right between the senior executives who demand productivity and strategic focus on the one hand, and the large numbers of employees who just want to succeed on a daily basis, on the other.

As we look ahead to 2012 each of you is faced with enormous pressure to perform day-in-and-day-out (on multiple dimensions) while simultaneously designing and driving numerous change initiatives. You often feel caught between the proverbial rock and the hard place; it’s not easy to split your time, attention, and energy between today and tomorrow, or among all the stakeholders who are competing for that time and attention.

But that’s only part of the challenge. Every operational executive I know lives at the center of at least four critical organizational relationships, each of which has its own priorities, its own expectations, and its own challenges.

Critical Relationships

  1. With your boss and other senior executives;
  2. With your functional peers in HR, IT, Facilities, Finance, etc.-all the areas that you have to coordinate with to provide the organization at large with a fully productive and satisfying work environment;
  3. With your own staff and with all the service providers who you have contracted with, whether it be payroll services, building operations management, cleaning and janitorial services, or an IT data center; and
  4. With your professional peers in other organizations (they are your important sources of ideas, Best Practices, professional identity, and peer recognition).

In the midst of this very messy and tangled map of your personal “territory” it is often difficult to remember what really matters. And it’s incredibly challenging to treat this “web” of relationships as an opportunity for influence and achievement, rather than as a bunch of fire hoses pushing you every which way all the time.

Taking Charge

So here’s my New Year’s Resolution for you. Take charge of your own future by concentrating on just three questions for 2012:

  1. What is the essence of my job? (how do I maneuver within this complex web, balancing all the competing demands?)
  2. How do I define and communicate the value of what I do? (to all the stakeholders, but particularly to the C-Suite)
  3. What tools and skills do I need to collaborate with my functional peers? (and to lead both my staff and my service providers)

Of course, there is no way I can answer those three questions for all of you. However, I’ll try to offer some general advice for how to think about the questions, and where to go for help.

1. What is my job?

First, don’t forget that my diagram leaves out the most important stakeholders of all: your organization’s employees and customers. It’s your customers who purchase your goods and services and provide all the rest of you with income and investment capital. And it’s the employees at large who you and all the other infrastructure staff are provisioning with the resources they need to produce those goods and services and satisfy those customers.

As a start on thinking about your own job, embrace this definition that came from Corenet’s CRE 2010 project a full decade ago: “supporting work wherever and whenever it takes place.” Or consider this definition of “workplace logistics” that I have adapted from the U.S. military:

Workplace Services provides employees (and some non-employees) with the right work environment (physical, technological, and organizational) at the right time and the right place for the right cost, enabling the organization to achieve its business goals.

Notice that neither of those definitions focuses on buildings, or even on workforce policies per se. But both emphasize the workforce’s need for resources, access, and support no matter where the work is being done.

Second, recognize that your job is all about turning those four critical relationships into levers of power-levers that enable you to:

  • clarify expectations and accountabilities (in both directions for each relationship);
  • agree on performance goals and success measures (again, both for your and for the people on the other end of each of the relationships); and
  • mark and report progress throughout the year

Third, recognize that there is no way you will ever be able to satisfy everyone in your personal “web” simultaneously. In fact, the art of balancing competing demands and expectations is really what modern management is all about.

Not only that, but you also have to balance today’s operational demands with tomorrow’s strategic imperatives. Having to choose-or compromise-between the urgent (today) and the important (tomorrow) is another existential element of living in the complex, dynamic world that we inhabit in the 21st century.

No one can make those choices for you, but seeing your job through the lens of choices and balancing acts can at least help you make informed choices.

2. How do I define and communicate the value of what I do?

Again, there is no generic response to this core question. However, my purpose here is to remind you that value is the ultimate measure of success. As you define goals and agree on performance objectives with your boss and with your functional peers, always remember to link what you are doing to the business. It’s not enough to talk about reducing costs or increasing customer satisfaction; it’s essential to be clear about how those accomplishments contribute to the business’s overall success.

In fact, if you are lucky enough to work in a growing company, reducing the cost of your facilities, or of your payroll or technology platform, just might be completely counterproductive. Know what the company needs from you, and find ways to measure and report (in simple terms) the progress you are making towards the results that matter.

3. What skills and tools do I need to be effective?

Each of us brings a unique set of experiences, perspectives, and capabilities to the job every day. And if we are learning and growing along the way, the skill set and toolkit gets bigger and more valuable every day.

I believe the most valuable thing you can do as you consider this third question is to remain open to new ideas, new tools, and new approaches all the time. Learning and applying new techniques is a lifelong pursuit.

(c) Copyright 2012 The Future of Work…unlimited. All rights reserved.



Change Management – New Risks and Challenges

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Change management in organizations is about to be faced by a new critical challenge. Over and above the fact that on average 18% of staff are actually actively working against the interests of the company, and another 61% don’t really care (1), the current escalation in financial and social pressures are making change programs twice as dangerous to proceed with.

If you are senior management and have done your homework you will already know that 70% of organizational change or cultural change programs fail to meet the requirements of the project targets. Most just fail completely and nothing changes at all. Yet we still pursue change without understanding the basic core necessities of successful change.

Unless you can create congruency between your goals and the goals of the people and management within your organisation, you will be fighting an uphill battle. If you are a student of Sun Tzu’s Art of War you will know that one never enters or even considers such a dangerous position. With the fear that is endemic in the current global economic meltdown and the extra pressures that this places on individuals, the added high internal stress levels for both organizations and its individuals are making any change program very difficult.

So here is what I suggest. Throw out your current plans and review two things.

First review if the change in the way the company operates is really necessary to survive or grow, or whether the project can be delayed for 12 months. If it is necessary, be prepared to spend the extra money to ensure the fight is on your terms.

Second, if you need to proceed don’t employ any Change Manager or HR staff that are not fully aware of effective methods of stress management and cultural change within organizations. As part of this awareness you also need to ensure that your   management  team is up to the  job  as they will be the direct interface with all staff during the project roll out. I strongly suggest that part of the plan be to incorporate a specialist in social engineering with a strong background in stress and trauma counseling to interface with the Project and Change Managers.

Do these things and you will potentially save hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, and maybe save your company from extinction.

I know it all sounds so dramatic, but in these times of economic and social unrest you are sailing on dangerous waters. Don’t set sail with out the necessary safety equipment on board.

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(1) A recent (2006) Gallop Organisation survey showed that in any average company only 21% are actively “engaged” in their work and support the company. Another 61% are “not engaged” or just don’t care about their job or the company. And 18% are actively “dis-engaged” and working against the interests of the company, whether they realize it or not.
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How to Explore Your Options in Government Contract Management

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Are you a superb negotiator? Do you enjoy working with people and developing effective plans? You might discover that the government contract management field is exactly what you’re looking for.

The only thing standing between you and a rewarding career choice is research. Figuring out what interests you and how to turn your passions into real professional opportunities takes a significant amount of effort. So to start exploring the possibilities, try following these simple steps for determining whether it’s the right field for you.

Expand Your Expertise

The best way to enhance your knowledge is to find a field that suits your strengths. Your strengths include personality traits, existing skills, interests, and more. But to determine whether you would enjoy the role of a government contract manager, you need to know whether the essential skills of a contract manager line up with your strengths.

Some of the skills that government contract managers demonstrate include:

  • Interpersonal
  • Communication, including negotiation and writing
  • Math
  • Finance/Accounting
  • Planning
  • Organization
  • Self-motivation
  • Time Management
  • Critical Thinking and Evaluation
  • Teamwork and Leadership
  • Diligence
  • Patience

All of these skills are needed to successfully develop, coordinate, and implement contracts to ensure that goods and services are effectively transferred between clients. This involves working closely with different groups of people and developing contracts that satisfy the contract objectives as well as the parties involved.

Target Your Interests

If you think your talents would make you successful in government contract management, the next step in researching the field is to make sure you’re interested in the typical job duties of managers. These responsibilities can include:

  • Drafting and revising new contracts
  • Managing and updating existing contracts
  • Reviewing contracts for potential problems
  • Developing proposals
  • Identifying and solving problems
  • Advising parties on contract decisions
  • Checking whether contracts comply with government rules and regulations

Prepare for Government Contract Opportunities

Think that government contract management is a good fit? To achieve professional goals that match your strengths and interests in government contract management, pursue the right course of training. Get started by finding a school that offers the focused curriculum and support services you need.

When you consider government contract management degree programs, look for programs that emphasize hands-on experience, technical training, and quality instruction. The skills you develop in a bachelor’s degree program in government contract management, for example, are crucial because they help you learn to work efficiently and independently in your field. Most bachelor’s degree curriculums focus heavily on accounting and management courses to hone your math and leadership abilities.

If you’re an existing professional seeking a career change or advancement opportunities, you might prefer to try a government contract management certificate program. Certificate programs are usually shorter than bachelor’s degree programs and focus on helping you develop industry skills you can use to pursue new possibilities. Explore your educational options if you’re ready to learn more about the government contract field.

*For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other consumer important information, please visit our website at http://www.potomac.edu.



Becoming a Lean Business

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What is Lean?

A manufacturing philosophy that shortens the timeline between the customer order and the shipment by eliminating waste, said John Shook, Toyota’s first and still only American “Kacho” (manager) in Japan.

In 1890, Sakichi Toyoda receives a patent for a wooden loom and the philosophy of “KAIZEN” is born out of the need to compete. Sakichi Toyoda said, No machine or process ever reaches the point where it cannot be improved upon.”

In 1908, Henry Ford invents the moving assembly line and raises the daily wage to $5.00; continuous flow as a production method is created. Henry Ford said in Today and Tomorrow, that the thing is to keep everything in motion and take the work to the man and not the man to the work. This is the real principle of our production and conveyors are only one of many means to an end.”

The Roots of Lean Manufacturing

Henry Ford developed and used some very specific management tools as he built his Model T factory, a tractor factory or two, airplane factory, component factories and a railroad. The management tools he used eventually turned into what is now known as Lean manufacturing. This evolution occurred after crossing the ocean twice and being interpreted and re-interpreted between languages, cultures, among engineers, accountants, toolmakers and dozens of other specially trained people.

Japanese manufacturers, Toyota in particular, adopted Lean in its manufacturing process and spent several decades refining it while Americans ignored it. By the time it started to come back to the United States, much of what Henry Ford had learned, used and published was forgotten. The methods he had used became somewhat rigid and institutionalized, and in doing so became less adaptable to different manufacturing models.

When Lean manufacturing returned to the United States in the 1980s, many viewed it as a one-size-fits-all tool. That tool happens to have great value in the right environment but is not readily adaptable to others – for example, job shops, custom manufacturers and short-run manufacturers.

The management tools Henry Ford developed can be used to implement true Lean manufacturing in a high-variety, low-volume plant just as readily as in a high-volume, low-variety plant. His tools centered on observation and adaptation. While that might mean setup reduction and “kanban” stocking in one plant, it did not necessarily mean that for all plants or all the time.

Responsibility for Health of Business

Ford said that the health of every organization depends on every member – whatever his place – feeling that everything that happens to come to his notice relating to the welfare of the business is his own job. That statement represents a critical management tool regardless the size of any organization or the complexity of its product or service.

In most cases, people doing the work are going to know where the inefficiencies and waste are. If they trust management, they will tell managers about them and together workers and management can do something about it. If they do not trust management, then the company – and more importantly, the customers – will continue to pay for that waste.

Trust is a big word in this context. If an organization has an environment where there has been some mistrust for awhile, there are at least two things that management can do to dramatically and quickly increase trust.

Everyone Wants to Do a Good Job

First, there is a part of normal human psychology that can be used. Almost everyone wants to do a good job. It is part of how people are wired. Individuals gain a large portion of their identity and self-esteem from their jobs, and other people’s perception of their jobs. Here are three simple ways to help build employee self-esteem:

  1. When an employee has an idea of how to make his job more efficient, listen to them. By just this simple act, a manager can signal to the employee that their ideas are important.
  2. Give quick and honest feedback. The employee will then know that the manager did hear and understand the idea. Whether or not the idea is implemented, a manager must make sure the input is recognized.
  3. If the idea is implementing, or changes are made because of an idea, give all the credit to the employee.

Whether a company’s management is in a high-trust or low-trust relationship with its employees, doing these things will increase their job satisfaction and increase their willingness to share those things that happens to come to his notice relating to the welfare of the business is his own job.

Knowing What Is Being Measured

Second, the company must make sure it is measuring the most important things in its operations, like productivity and quality, and that employees know exactly what is being measuring. If employees understand what is important to the company, they will make those same things important to themselves as well.

Managers should talk to employees about measurements that the workforce can influence. It is a good idea to focus on the local results, even if the workplace is part of a large, multi-location company. Concentrate on productivity and quality reports rather than income statements and balance sheets. Employees will see this as evidence that management is focusing on their jobs rather than management bonuses.

Do the men and women who work for most companies feel that everything that happens to come to their notice relating to the welfare of the business is his/her own job? Most likely, they do. The job of managers is to get the employee to tell them about it and then do something about these things that come to their notice.

True Lean manufacturing needs the involvement of everyone coming into contact with the company’s product and its customer.