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    Self Assessment Review of Management Skills

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    The purpose of the Project is to give you the opportunity to explore the applicability of the Module to your own life, work, and place in space and time, and to see how the otherwise academically rigorous presentation of a topic may, with more or less work and/or trauma, become "up close and personal". This is done in a number of different ways -- sometimes cumulative papers, sometimes practical hands-on experimentation with a tool of some sort, sometimes reflections on a place of work or life. The common thread is personal application, aimed at demonstrating a cumulative knowledge and understanding of the course's material.

    For this course, the Project will take the form of encounters with online personal management assessments, aimed cumulatively at constructing a personal inventory of your management skills and a plan for improving those skills. You will complete an assessment of a relevant set of skills and/or situation diagnostics, focusing on your strengths and identifying any weaknesses that may have been revealed through the assessment and/or your personal experience. You will then be asked to create a plan by which you can "grow" your strengths and shore up your weaknesses. By the end of the course and the project, you will have a personal management profile and action plan. You'll also be reflecting at various points about the different metaphors being employed and their utility to you in understanding how you work and your relationship to the places in which you do so.


    The first assessment instrument that you'll be using is called the Management Skill Set Assessment, by Alan Chapman. You'll find it at http://www.businessballs.com/managerskillsetassessment.pdf. It's a pretty straightforward instrument that breaks out some 22 specific managerial abilities -- most if not all of them explicitly or implicitly oriented toward the well-structured, basically hierarchical organizational pattern most clearly associated with the "machine model" of organization.

    These "abilities" are actually functions -- activities of the sort needed to keep the machine well-oiled and smoothly purring.
    Please note that to describe them thus is not to criticize or diminish their value in any way. All organizations are machines, at least to some degree, and being able to do these things is always better than not being able to do so. And many of these functions are also as conducive to the smooth operation of the-organization-as-brain, or the-organization-as-organism, as they are to the-organization-as-machine. Actions are actions; they take on meaning only in the context within which they are being carried out. So understanding your facility in these activities will be of significant help to you in whatever kind of organization you find yourself and however you wish to regard it.

    The exercise calls for you to form an assessment of yourself and then to, if at all possible, confirm it with another person. Here are the instructions given at the end of the sheet:

    Use this to assess your competence in your current job, or for your next job. Initially score yourself out of 10 for each skill in the self-assess column for the job concerned. Then validate or revise your scores in discussion with your boss or someone who knows you. Put these scores in the '2nd view' column - this is your actual assessment. At the same time confirm with the other person the importance of each skill (A, B or C, A = most important) for the job concerned. Your development priorities are therefore the lowest scores in the most important skills.

    When you have completed the assessment, to the degree that you are able to, think about it for a bit; then prepare a short paper describing the following (please attach a copy of your assessment sheet to this exercise when you send it in; the Excel version can be helpful here):

    a brief summary of your experience taking the assessment, noting anyone else who was involved and what you did

    the areas that emerged from the assessment as your particular strengths, as shown on the assessment instrument that
    you're attaching

    any areas that emerged from the assessment as areas in which you would like to strengthen your competence, also as shown on the assessment instrument that you're attaching

    anything that surprised you about the results of this assessment, if anything

    what specific steps you could take to strengthen your overall managerial competence -- be as specific as you can, in the interests of getting the most value from the exercise for yourself

    your overall opinion of this instrument as a measure of personal managerial competence -- what it measures well, anything that you believe it does not measure well or at all

    It is really important that you get a second opinion about your skills from someone who knows you, preferably in the work context. If for some reason you can't get a second opinion as part of this exercise, be sure that you explain well why it's not possible. Just ignoring this part of the exercise will cost you part of a grade.

    SLP Assignment Expectations

    You are expected to deal with these issues in an integrated fashion, rather than treating them as a series of individual questions to be answered one by one and left at that.

    You will be particularly assessed on:
    Your completion of all the steps in the exercise
    Your inclusion of the actual instrument or results, where requested
    Your understanding of the purpose of the assessment, both what it tells you and what it does not tell you
    Your ability to interpret the results of the assessment in terms of your own experience, either to confirm or to question the results
    Your ability to derive from the exercise ideas about improving your managerial understanding and/or skills
    The clarity and quality of your writing

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    Solution Preview

    The assessment sheet is completed and attached.

    My current position as trainer is one that mostly involves organizing, though some
    managing does occur, in gaining the assistance of others when developing training programs. I
    must also manage other workers in the learning environment, during training programs. The
    Management Skills Assessment was completed first by me, then by the program coordinator I
    often work closely with. This individual works closely with me nearly every day and is familiar
    with my work habits, style, strengths and weaknesses.

    The program coordinator tends to have slightly more confidence in my management
    skills than I do, though I believe I have a general awareness of my weaknesses. The lower
    ratings for the financial and budgeting skills are no surprise to me. The person rating me
    selected lower scores in this area as well, while rating the skills as moderately to ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution reviews and applies the results of a self assessment for management posiitions