Span of control What's your maximum span of control? |
What's the maximum number of people you can manage?
This question can be answered in many ways. We'll try a very simple intuitive quantitative approach, to calculate your maximum span of control.
First we'll define a simple model by describing two extreme cases:
Case I: Individual management
Suppose:
In this case practice has proven that you can manage between N=10 to 15 people, depending on how much attention each team-member demands and how the individual tasks are structured. The 'load' (L_{i}) a manager experiences in this case is defined linear to the amount of team-members [N].
L_{i} = IA x N |
With: IA = Individual Attention = the % of his total-working-time a manager has to spent on individual team-members to achieve the defined goals.
R Examples: Supervisor of a telemarketing-unit; Head of a sales department.
Case II: Mutual management
Suppose:
In this case the 'load' of the manger increases quadratic with the number of team-members, according to the next formula:
L_{m} = MA x N x ( N+1 ) / 2 |
With: MA = Mutual Attention = the % of his total-working-time a manager has to spent on relations with and between the different team-members to achieve the defined goals
R Examples: Manager of a product development project; Manager of a marketing department.
Your team !
In practice, managing a team consists of a combination of the two cases described above.
We now may define the total 'weighted' workload L as the sum of L_{i} and L_{m} .
L = L_{i} + L_{m} = IA x N + MA x N x (N+1) / 2 |
The variable L can now be seen as a intuitive Span of Control variable (SOC).
Calculate your workload now!
Example 1
You have a team thats consists of 5 members (n=5).
You're spending 20 % (=IA) of your time on individual coaching..
50 % (=MA) of your time is spend on managing groupsprocesses.
Your weighted span of control is now calulated as 8.5, wich is well manageable.
Example 2
You have a team thats consists of 10 members (n=10).
You're spending 20 % (=IA) of your time on individual coaching..
40 % (=MA) of your time is spend on managing groupsprocesses.
Your weighted span of control is now calulated as 24.0, wich is not well manageable.
Example 3
Suppose you're the CEO of a large company with 5 other boardmembers (N=5).
You're spending 10 % (=IA) of your time on individual coaching.
60 % (=MA) of your time is spend on managing the complex structures between the different businessunits of your company, that your teammembers are responseable for.
Your weighted span of control is now calulated as 9.5, wich is not reasonable.