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Most popular management tools


Management tools

Is having the best management tools the key to success? Analyzing the most used management tools by companies gives an insight into what really matters in today’s business world.

Among the Top 10 management tools from Bain & Company for 2012, the following instruments where mentioned:

  1. Strategic planning
  2. CRM
  3. Employee Engagement Surveys
  4. Benchmarking
  5. Balanced Scorecard

The top continues with Core Competencies, Change Management, Supply Chain Management, Mission and Vision Statement.

Looking back at studies from previous years, we can see that Strategic Planning has occupied the first or second place since 2000. This illustrates the importance of having clear long-term objectives. However, in order for the strategy to produce positive effects, it should be communicated to each employee, so that everyone knows the purpose of their job and how they can contribute to the achievement of  these strategic objectives.

The second place is taken by the Customer Relationship Management, as building and maintaining a connection and constant communication with your consumers can bring substantial benefits on the long term. Such initiatives can be very costly and the results are not immediate, but in the future they can impact profitability, brand image and market share.

What seems to have gained a lot of attention in 2012 is the Employee Engagement Survey. Companies are no longer focused just on customers, but also on the employees’ satisfaction. Studies have showed that the performance level of engaged employees is a lot higher than employees with less commitment towards the company.

Benchmarking has been a popular management tool in the past years, as measuring your performance without comparing it with what happens in your industry doesn’t offer a broad image of the status quo. It is also helpful in setting the targets for your key performance indicators.

Initially designed as a performance management instrument, the Balanced Scorecard has become a strategic planning and management system. “It translates the mission and strategy of the company into a set of a comprehensive set of performance measures that provides the framework for a strategic measurement and management system.” (Balanced Scorecard Collaborative, 2005, Online)

The top 5 management tools seem to be balanced regarding what is relevant to monitor. It has instruments focusing on both the external (customers and competitors) and the internal environment (planning, employees and performance tracking). But the real challenge regarding management tools is to make these instruments functional and to get value from it.

Thus, the answer for the above question is that the key to success is not having the best management tools, but the best management of these tools!


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