Effective Organizational Management
Fast scaling up is best understood as meeting unique challenges of effective organizational management that characterizes fast expanding programs. These relates to:
A. Ensuring effective decision making by an ever expanding work force. The following features of ASA policies ensure effective decision making in the face of its fast expansion:
- ➲ Minimize decision errors through minimal decision making load on new and less experienced employees by the reliance on simplified and standardized service procedures;
- ➲ Simplified administrative and accounting approval and decision making process;
- ➲ Unambiguous indicator-based performance review;
- ➲ Quick and close-to-field problem solving;
- ➲ Responsive, not participatory decision making.
B. Managing organizational and staff learning. ASA employs the following four policies to bring this about:
- ➲ Minimize information carrying and analysis load;
- ➲ Limited needs of complex group/institutional development skills;
- ➲ Guided decision making based on a manual;
- ➲ Officer presence in the field
C. Management of resource acquisition. Two of ASA policies are crucial in this regard, namely
- ➲ Strategic viability and positioning on the basis of cost-efficiency and not on novelty;
- ➲ Tapping existing non-political institutional resources.
Chart: Number of Clients/Members
Chart: Number of Borrowers
Chart: Loan outstanding in Million
D. Management of organizational development. Developing organizational capability in the form of technology, systems and culture, constitute a great challenge in a fast expanding organization. ASA adopted a multi-pronged approach to organizational development that reduced demands of complex organizational development process. The followings are the outline in this regard.
- ➲ Absence of complex group development;
- ➲ Start simple and grow elaborate;
- ➲ Market competitive staff incentive policy;
- ➲ Insulating staff from social pressures.
ASA program policies can be seen as responses to effectively manage the above four demands of effective organizational management. These policies, thus, constitute a managerial agenda for scaling up in fast expanding programs.
Key Strategies for Rapid Growth
MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS KEY ACTIONS TAKEN IN EACH
Decentralized and simplified staff recruitment procedures and short duration on-the-job staff training. Staff recruitment process is decentralized at field level.nnStaff selection process focuses on mediocre qualifications but potential for rigorous fieldwork. No written examination are taken for hiring rather hiring undergo through group interview by judging physical fitness, presentation, quick and appropriate response, attentiveness etc.nnNewly recruited staffs are undergoing a 9-days on-the-job training at the field office. Each new staff is assigned with an old lion officer for hands-on experience.
Guided operation based on written working manual All sorts of administrative and program policies are documented in details in a working manual, which is kept at each field office.nnAll approvals as per this manual are deemed as given requiring no reference to or permission from the higher authority.nnComplete division of work among all ASA staff level.
Cost effective and decentralized operation/ management system. Field office structure and expenditure is structured and standardized with a cost ceiling for all sorts of expenditure.nnDelegation of administrative and program related decision-making power to the field office.nnFiled office used as an office cum residence and is equipped with minimum, simple furniture and collective use of all utilities and facilities.nnSimplified and self-maintain accounts and MIS system without provision for an accountant and MIS personnel.nnNo separate office setup and secretarial staff for mid level supervisor.nnQuick loan disbursement and fund transfer from surplus to deficit areas by field level staff due to decentralization.
Targeting optimum number of clients per loan officer and supervisor. Number of clients per loan officer is fixed based on financial viability of the operation and working area.nnNumber of loan officer per supervisor is also set accordingly.nnAll working days in a week is used for field work.
Breakthrough Strategies to Growth and Cost Reduction at Different Stages
TITLE START-UP ACHIEVING SUSTAINABILITY MAJOR REACH
Breakthrough Strategies Single focus program, which concentrates on providing financial services. ASA operation does not mix with other non-financial services.nnEstablishing branch as a centre for providing financial services with very simple and small structure. Small and simple branch structure allows filed offices to locate close to clientsu2019 homes.nnSimplified and easy non-conventional record keeping, accounting and MIS systems without provision for an accountant and MIS personnel. Cost effective and decentralize operation with reduced overhead and administrative cost.nnFast formation of groups of eligible clients and fast provision of loan. Maximum utilization of loan fund through daily loan disbursement and immediate transfer of excess funds to other branches or central office.nnIncrease of clients and loan portfolio per loan officer. An ASA branch becomes financially viable with in 9 to 12 months of operation.nnFast expansion of ASA program. Within 7 years of its micro-credit operation, ASA reached a million clients.nnCost per unit of money lent constituted a very cost effective micro-credit operation in the world.
by Stuart Rutherford with Graham A.N. Wright and S.K. Sinha