To what extent do managerial tools influence the managerial actions taken by managers? Part 1

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Every measuring instrument slightly distorts the measurement. This is fairly obvious to any electronics engineer, I learned this in my 1st year of college. Therefore, when constructing online managerial tools on the platform, I kept this principle in mind and designed them in such a way that they affect the manager’s activities as little as possible.

How did I achieve this effect?

Here I will present my approach to what every manager does. I have written many times that we don’t know what a manager really does, so it is very difficult to answer this question. However, the difficulty is that we don’t know in detail what a manager does, but if we were to approach it in general – a manager solves organizational problems.

Just as a doctor solves health problems, a mathematician solves math problems, an electronics engineer solves electrical flow problems, so does a manager solve organizational problems. It can be said that every profession is precisely there to solve a certain class of problems in our lives.

An organizing problem is the first of three pieces of the puzzle that determines the construction of an artificial manager.

And therefore, in order to build an artificial manager, one must first record how a human manager solves organizational problems. This will give us the knowledge of how an artificial manager should do it. This is a complete analogy to the profession of a barista – if we preview how he prepares coffee, we will be able to build a robot – in the simplest case, a machine like the one standing probably in your office building, from which you can buy various drinks prepared at the time of purchase.

The second piece of the puzzle is managerial technology. This is a way of solving a particular organizing problem. For example, such a technique is the Gantt technique for venture planning, that is, solving the organizing problem of having to do a complex task, but not knowing what, who and when to do it in detail. Another managerial technique is the brainstorming technique (for solving organizing problems like “I have no idea”).

However, the managerial technique and the existing problem alone are still not enough. A third and final piece of the puzzle is needed. It is the managerial tool.

A managerial tool is some object, may be physical (a whiteboard with pens) or virtual (an Excel table), which is necessary to use a managerial technique to solve an organizing problem. For example, we must have an Excel table in order to use the break-even analysis technique for a given product to solve the problem of how many units of that product to sell at a given price. A managerial tool exists separately from the person of the manager – the manager can go away or die, and the tool will continue to exist. It is different with a managerial technique – this one exists only if the manager exists and wishes to use it. Of course, the organizing problem lives its own life and is independent of the managerial technique and the managerial tool.

So let’s go back to the question: how do we register the managerial activities he performs using some managerial technique and managerial tool when he solves an organizing problem?

The answer is very simple: let’s build a measurement tool into the managerial tool, so that the managerial tool measures what the manager is doing. And this is how I conduct my research on how to build an artificial manager.

In my next post I will show the results of my research in this regard.