Management strategies and techniques change over time largely because businesses themselves and the societies that they operate in change as well. What was considered a good management technique years ago may be considered a poor or even counterproductive management technique today. Fortunately for managers and students of management, new styles of management are analyzed and experimented with in great detail. Following are three modern management techniques that are currently being used successfully.
Perhaps the most notable modern management method, Six Sigma is based around the idea of reducing defects to a low statistical level. This results in cost savings by reducing waste. Users of Six Sigma strive for manufacturing near-perfection—only 3.4 defects per million. Rather than relying on simply meeting quality standards, Six Sigma pushes companies to increase their quality standards to a higher level.
Total Quality Management
Total Quality Management is much like Six Sigma in that it seeks to lower costs by lowering the rate of defects. However, Total Quality Management is geared more as an overarching business plan that relies on adhering to internal quality controls across multiple departments, whereas Six Sigma is more about applying external standards on a single process. Total Quality Management also encourages an increased cooperation among separate departments.
Knowledge management can be applied to any sort of business project that requires the involvement of more than one person or department. The idea is that knowledge generated by separate teams or divisions working on the same project may not be useful to that specific team, but will ease the work of other teams. A separate team or individual is responsible for gathering the information and knowledge of these teams and parsing it into a general repository, such as an email list or a message board.