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Date: 2024-02-22 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00003068

Management
Management in the Telecenter Sector

Accounting, Key Items and Management Information ... Focus on what is important

COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess

Management in the Telecenter Sector ... Accounting, Key Items and Management Information ... Focus on what is important

Telecentre Management ... Accounting, Key Items and Management Information

Management is about making decisions ... and good management makes performance as good as it can be. Management information comprising accounting and key item data are tools that help managers make good decisions.

Some of the best managers I have worked with seem to know what is best way before the data are collected and processed into reports. They don't get their information from the formal information system ... but they still understood the key facts, and made their decisions accordingly.

Accounting information is a big part of good management information. Knowing where the funds come from and how the funds are spent ... what things cost ... is important information. But accounting data needs to be linked to the important things that make for the success or failure of the telecentre. Good managers know as much as it is possible to know about everything that impacts the telecentre. This is not just technology, training, sales, accounting, people, market or community needs but it’s about everything surrounding the telecentre and its impact.

But getting more and more data is counterproductive. Management information is the least amount of information that ensures that the good decisions are made and in good time. More and more data just increases the costs of the data, slows it down, and does little to increase the usefulness or value of the data.

Management decisions may be different depending on the aims of the operation. But the underlying data and management information to make good decisions will be somewhat the same. How much do things cost? What activities are are being done? What results are being achieved? Are the resources available? Is the operation going to survive? How can things be improved?

Quite often data will show that a lot of resources are being used for activities that have little value. If this is framed as management information, then decisions can be made to allocate resources to better use. Such changes can improve performance significantly.

Getting data is not an end in itself ... it is a step to getting better understanding of the way things behave and getting better performance. It is a step in building understanding, and getting at value in the least cost way.

The metrics of cost, price and value are very important both in day to day management and for strategic management. Day to day helps to keep the telecentre open this day, week and month. Strategic management helps to keep the telecentre open for a long time.

Telecentres need excellence in management in order to make sense of great challenges. Perhaps, more than anything else, telecentre managers need to have a very profound understanding of what is of value in the community they serve, and how the amazing possibilities of modern technology can help.

I have an optimism about telecentre possibilities because the underlying costs of modern technology are incredibly low. The strategic challenge for management is to figure out how technology can be deployed affordably and valuably for communities where infrastructure is absent.


The writer is a Co-Founder of the Transparency and Accountability Network and its CEO. www.tr-ac-net.org peterbnyc@gmail.com
By Peter Burgess- NEWYORK
Writter in 2006
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