The Management Cycle

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“But during all this I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Then after certain days I obtained leave from the king,” (Nehemiah 13:6 NKJV)

“I also realized that the portions for the Levites had not been given them; for each of the Levites and the singers who did the work had gone back to his field. So I contended with the rulers, and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their place.” (Nehemiah 13:10, 11 NKJV)
 
One of my personal goals as a leader for the new year is to delegate more. I want to empower others to do more than I could on my own. I must admit in the past when I delegated responsibilities I made the mistake of believing every person involved was a motivated self starter and I rarely followed up with them. The end result is many of those delegated tasks fell through the cracks. 

Nehemiah had a similar incident occur in his leadership after the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. He delegated responsibilities to various individuals to lead the administration of the temple. He left Jerusalem for a while and when he returned he found the responsibilities had been neglected. Nehemiah was then forced to make hard corrections where he “contended” with the leaders.  

Nehemiah’s situation is a good illustration for the usefulness of the management cycle. The management cycle is a set of steps that can help any manager or leader keep projects moving in the right direction. There are many variations of the cycle but the basic steps are Plan, Do, Check, and Act. Here is an example. 

  • If I delegate the leadership responsibility for managing our church website, I will identify a leader and team and make a detailed PLAN addressing who, when, what, where, how, and why. 
  • Next I will commission the new leader and team to DO the steps derived from our PLAN.
  • As they follow the steps I will need to periodically CHECK their work to evaluate their performance and success of the plan.
  • After each evaluation we will need to ACT by either correcting errors, or making adjustments to take advantage of new opportunities.
  • Then we can modify our PLAN, Do the new steps, CHECK our performance, and ACT appropriately again. The cycle continues.

In Nehemiah’s case, the PLAN and DO steps were implemented but the periodic CHECK was missing. The good thing is once he did check on things, he was able to ACT by making corrections. These steps apply to virtually any project or team management situation. Give them a try in your organization for situations where you need to delegate and empower others.

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