Administrative management is about managing information through people. Information is central to all management processes and people are the resources who make best use of that information to add value. Most working professionals and all managers have some element of administrative management in their jobs.
“Evidence of good administration is when you don’t know it is happening!” The Lord Peston of Mile End. Officiating at an Institute of Administrative Management Graduation Ceremony in London he was addressing an audience of over two hundred graduates and their guests. He was impressed by the organisation of the event combining the formality and gravitas of the ceremony with informal social mingling to ensure everyone enjoyed the occasion.
Management of information, whether paper based or computerised, is central to the effective running for any organisation in a competitive global marketplace.
Many administrative processes are repetitive and require to be regularly reviewed. A good administrative manager can add value to the company by challenging the efficiency and reliability of procedures that have been running for a period of time whilst striving to look for continuing improvements and identifying and cutting out any outdate practices. With the speed of change in business today the manager has to value the people who are expected to operate often complex systems.
Whilst ever improving software aids all aspects of administration, it has to be remembered it is just a tool for collection and dissemination of data. The information produced needs to be clear and concise to be of value to a manager. Many quality controls have been put in place by companies over recent years and should not just be viewed as just another “paper pushing exercise”. If controls are not working then it is up to the company to review why the procedure was implemented in the first place. In the drive for efficiency if the implementation of a new procedure prevents the staff member from actually getting on with the job, impedes production or hampers service output, then obviously rethinking the whole strategy is part of the administrative process.
Recent controversial thinking in some quarters suggests that highly trained freelancers and software may replace administrative managers within organisations. With the increasing use of tele-workers and outsourcing by companies the role of the administrative manager becomes even more necessary than ever before. We therefore have to ensure that all administrative managers are given the essential training required to be able to make the best use of their own technical skills and those of their staff to full potential.
The 1990’s saw most office functions being revolutionised by the improvements in information technology. To keep pace with business changes each individual needs to keep their management skills up to date to ensure their continued employability.
Whilst it is very feasible to accept that as more people have access to computers and the need to employ clerical and secretarial support lessens, the role of an administrative manager becomes even more important. They are crucial to the smooth running of any office. Computers will never take the place of a committed well-trained individual who has the empathy for staff of all abilities who make up the lifeblood of an organisation. The more committed and happy the staff, the more productive the company.
All companies and organisations are only as good as the people they employ. If an organisation has to run “lean and mean” then the selection and recruitment of the right administrative manager, who can make the best use of the tools at his or her disposal, is truly a valuable asset. There will always be a necessity for good administration in any organisation, the American government is run by “The Administration”. In the UK there is not a great deal of importance placed on the use of the word “administration”, but which company can be successful without its existence?