Exemplar responses to Chartered Manager Application questions: 1. Looking back over the last 18 months, explain the contribution or influence you have had upon your organisation’s performance. Please ensure that your answer makes reference to the management activities and skills that you have used My primary responsibility over the last 18 months has been to provide technical leadership on international opportunities for my company this includes all aspects of bid management. This work has required me to: • • • • Prepare business cases for proposed work including costs/benefits analysis, developing key performance indicators, planning, scheduling, costing, resourcing and managing the supply chain; Build and manage technical teams including setting team and personal objectives, carrying out appraisals, motivating teams and managing performance; Manage stakeholders including international customers, senior management and team members. This has involved expectation management, customer facing communications and providing training to support organisational change programmes; Contribute to hands-on development of the technical work including producing technical artefacts as part of the delivery process. My contribution has had a direct impact in delivering benefits to the organisation in the form of winning new work, innovative approaches to delivering work in a cost effective way, facilitating improvement of technical competencies through new training programmes and the associated cost savings. 2. Describe how you have applied the learning gained from your recent studies to inform and improve your managerial practice. Please ensure that you explain what you have achieved as a result of applying your learning From my recent studies I have been able to improve my managerial practices in the following areas: • • • • Planning and implementing projects and applying management theory (eg. Covey) to give more weight to a business case; For example, considering internal and external influences through the use of PESTLE and SWOT analysis has provided better management of risks on my projects; Improved personal management through better focussed communications to aid working relationships and achieve project aims and improve my professional standing. This has helped with stakeholder management and improved senior managements confidence in my capabilities; Measuring and demonstrating success though the use of critical success factors (CSF) and key performance indicators (KPI) and impact analysis. This has enabled me to better focus project resources and effort and demonstrate success in a measurable and meaningful way; Better understanding and confidence in managing financial resources and understanding financial statements (eg. balance sheet, profit & loss, cash flow). Improved understanding of budgeting assumptions such as marketing, supplier prices, employment costs and environmental impacts. Better understanding of the cost of money through NPV analysis of payback; I believe I have achieved better confidence in my management capabilities and in the fact that I am operating correctly; this has enabled me to advance my career through finding another job. 3. Considering the CMI Code of Practice, describe your recent management performance from an ethical perspective. Explain why is it important to ensure that your behaviour and that of your team members is acceptable in terms of the standards of the wider society in which we operate • An important ethical consideration is ensuring that I treat staff in a similar way and do not discriminate unfairly between them. I try to work to empower all of my team members, to give them sufficient autonomy to enable them to take decisions and be flexible and innovative. To succeed at this I support their development, I coach them and wherever possible use an inclusive leadership style enabling their participation. I encourage an open door policy making sure that they all know I • • welcome feedback – positive or negative – and if mistakes are made rather than identifying blame I use them as a learning opportunity for us to improve future practice. I am privy to a lot of confidential information; personal information relating to staff and commercially sensitive information pertaining to my own organisation and our clients. I ensure that this is safeguarded at all times. For personal data I uphold the principles of the Data Protection Act and regularly review our processes are sufficiently robust. Commercially sensitive material which is kept electronically is password protected. Another dimension of ethical performance which I try to think through at all times is the impact our use of resources will have upon the environment. Working with international clients and customers would in the past have meant a lot of air travel to visit them. Understanding the issues of global warming and the personal responsibility we must all take I review all meeting requirements and ask myself if the communication could be achieved as effectively using video conferencing. If I needed to address issues which were either ambiguous or emotional, then from an ethical perspective I believe my presence at meetings outweighs the environmental considerations. 4. Describe your planned learning over the next 18 months to further develop your management & leadership skills. Please provide at least two examples of planned learning, detailing what activity you will undertake to develop yourself, when and how they this relates to your role/development need I will be starting a new job in April 2012 and it is important to develop my management and leadership skills and make a positive impact for my new employer. Areas I intend to concentrate on include: • • • • Learning the full organisational structure and organisational alignment. I will do this by meeting members of the senior management team and aim to complete this in my first 2 months. Understanding Company policies and procedures – ensuring that I fully understand my new employer’s standards and how they relate to me and my new team. I will start this prior to taking up st my post by reading the documentation that has been sent to me. To supplement this, during my 1 month I have also arranged a series of meetings with the HR Director. Knowledge: Legislation is constantly changing. I need to be updated in a number of areas of legislation, in particular European Directives. I will be attending a seminar in June, run by a specialist legal firm that my company has a relationship with and will be receiving regular written updates from them to keep abreast of changes. I regularly use the CMI resources and will continue to do so, including book borrowing and reading from the articles. This is a good way for me to keep up with management developments – on-going activity.