Management training topics fall into four main categories: People Management, Process Management, Project Management, and Personal Management. Each category relates to a fundamental aspect of “management”, a complex term which has many meanings. In its most fundamental sense it is, according to management guru Peter Drucker, “The application of knowledge to produce results” and "getting work done though others". When considering a possible topic, link it to an organizational benefit by identifying which of the groups it falls into.
Needs and capabilities
Balance organizational needs with individual managerial capabilities to define which topics are appropriate for training within a specific organization. The skills gap between the two may be addressed with management training.
This is a complex area. Key topics include supervisory and communication skills, and performance management. Many of these topics can be broken down further into sub-topics, for example, “goal setting” may be a separate training module within performance management. Increasingly managers are also expected to demonstrate leadership, so this a topic area of growing importance.
These are skills relating to the technicalities of delivering outputs. This is a wide-ranging area which may include quality, logistics, marketing, finance, and information systems. Relevant topics are likely to be highly industry-specific and may be very specialized in content. It is not necessary for supervisors to know all the detail of each operation but they must be trained in how to manage the overall process.
These topics relate to the delivery of specific, often time-bound, tasks. Training may be required in specific project management systems, planning, budgeting and matrix management. Many Project Management topics may overlap with those under People and Process Management.
Supervisors also need to be able to manage themselves and their own workload. Training may be required in time and stress management, and assertiveness. Other topics such as presentation skills and report writing may relate to the wider topic of "communication". Training needs for personal management often emerge from a supervisor's Performance Management Appraisal.
Tailored and Timely
Management training topics need to be closely related to the needs of the business and the individual manager at any point in time. Once identified, training needs should be met as soon as possible to ensure effective delivery of desired outcomes.
- Drucker, P., The Practice of Management, 1993.
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