Week 1

Allow 20 minutes for this activity.

Consider the demands made on you when you carry out your job. Rate each type of demand from 1 (low) to 10 (high), and provide an example in cases where a demand is high. Record your scores in Table 1.2. Then consider the factors that place constraints on what you can do. Rate these in the same way and record them. Provide an example in cases where a constraint is high.

B628 Table 1.2 Demands and constraints

Demands

Rating

Example

Constraints

Rating

Example

Manager-imposed

5

Resource limitations

8

Currently my staff has been reduced by 4 people but we have continued to work on the same number of projects without recruiting. Due to budget restrictions, no hiring is possible till the next year.

Peer-imposed

5

Legal regulations

1

Externally-imposed

3

Union agreements

1

System-imposed

8

Daily and weekly meetings to attend (Daily standups, Sprint plannings, Sprint retrospectives, Sprint reviews, Managers meetings, Developers meetings, etc.)

Technological limitations

1

Staff-imposed

10

– Weekly one-on-one (check-in) with all the direct reports.

Physical location

1

Self-imposed

8

– Streamlining and documenting business process

Policies and procedures

1

Attitudes and expectations

4

Ethical considerations

1

Environmental concerns

1

(Source: based on Stewart, 1982)

References

The Open University (2012) B628/BZX628. Managing 1: Organisations and people, Module Activities, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

List any other sources of information you used.

Activity 4 should provide you with a picture of the demands and constraints you are subject to. The choices you have in your job will be greater when you have few demands and few constraints, although not many managers find themselves in that position. Most managers face substantial demands, but often from only two or three sources. Similarly, most managers have a number of constraints but not in all the areas shown. Activity 4 demonstrates how your context shapes what, how and when your work, and that of your work group, is done. It also has an important purpose in this module too. When you are resolving workplace issues you will always need to consider demands, constraints and choices. You will also need to consider the extent to which you have an influence over some demands and constraints. As you carried out Activity 4, you may have begun thinking about this!

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