Operational Management: Flow Process Charts and Network Charts

Flow Process Charts and Network Charts

In every organization whether the state corporations or the business environment, there is a way that things follow each other this is in the efforts of ensuring that there is quality in the processes. Flow charts and network diagrams are used to define the way that some process follows so that the desired end can be reached in the most effective way for the good of the client and the benefit of the organization. The police force is not an exemption; flow charts and network diagrams are sequential diagrams that define a project.

They show the activity involved in every stage as well as the required resources in terms of time, personnel, and funds. These are charts that are made to define the processes that are undertaken in a project. They are unique in the sense that they offer alternative routes that can be followed to have the final products. The final product is to be produced by following a certain path along with the network. The best path followed is the one that will be efficient in terms of cost and the time used. The flow chat has an “if” aspect whereby the occurrence of a certain function will be determined by the proceeding action. There are some activities that can be performed concurrently to reduce the time that will be used to finish up the project. On the other hand, there are other activities that must be done after others. All these are defined by flow process charts and network charts.

The operations manager’s work is to understand the processes and allocate the required number of resources to a certain activity. It also assists him in prioritizing especially when he does not have enough funds this is so because some activities can be deferred to a future date without affecting the completion of a project. If a certain project is delaying the process, then the flow chart can easily show the area and assist the management in addressing the problem. The expertise required to complete a project is another thing that the flow chart will show (Wheelen & Hunger, 1998). This is because the stage of production reached will be defined and in all stages.

Police have numerous activities that must be completed to effectively handle their duties. They include recruitment, training and purchase of weapons. If the department is faced with the above three tasks, the flow chart will determine the way activities will be done. The available option is that it can be

Buying weapons———————recruit—————-train

Or Recruit —————————–buy weapons——-train

The follow of things show that there are things that can either be done after or before other. Training cannot be done before recruiting. In case there are little finances, the department can decide to recruit and buy the weapons at a deferred date since it can wait just a bit. After the process has been made a success the institution can then offer quality services to its clients.

Activity Sequencing and Workload Scheduling

The police force comprises of various projects that are aimed at ensuring that they fulfill their mandated goals. Like in the business sector, the projects must be well coordinated. A project is a finished product of an ally of activities. These activities may be at an individual level but the main aim is the completion of the project. There are activities that must follow or precede others. There are others that must be done at a particular time because of various reasons special to them.

The operation manager is thus mandated to ensure that the activities follow a certain sequence for the successful completion of time within the required time frame and in the most efficient way (Morgan, 1980). For example, when the police are registering a crime, there is the way that this must follow; there is the report that the arresting officer will make as well as the suspect. There is a sequence that this must follow through. The workload of a certain activity should be well understood to assist the manager in the allocation of the required time and resources. The target of the project is the completion of the entire work but it’s dependent on the timely completion of all activities. The activities are interdependent and interlocking.

There is a tendency that the failure of one department/ activity translates in the failure of other. On the other hand, if one activity is completed so fast then there will be idleness of resources and strain on others since they must flow with the others for a successful project completion. Because of uncertainty, there are some projects that may demand for an additional resource; either in terms of personnel or funding, thus the manager should have a plan of the activity that can be delayed to focus on the demanding one (Anon, 2006). To ensure that the objectives of an activity and the overall project activity is attained, then Total Quality management must be put in place; Total quality management consists of competitive moves and business approaches aimed at producing successful performance, it is managements “game plan” for running the business, strengthening a firms competitive position, satisfying the customers, the stake holders, share holders and the staffs. It aims to develop the way into which all those that are a party to the business get satisfied. It aims at going a step further and satisfying the customers beyond their expectations. This is attainable when the management has planned the activities well.

The quality of the service that the police give should be evaluated to ensure that they are of the acceptable level and limit. Where there is a problem should then be addressed.

Plan Operation to Meet Stated Objectives

A police force requires both human and physical resources; weapons and other facilities. An English saying says “failure to plan is planning to fail.” As much as an organization has the required resources from the people to the physical resources, nothing can be attained if the resources are not organized and planned in such a way that a production can happen. The success of the management is to a great extent measured by how well it is going to organize the available resources to attain quality and efficiency in its operation.

The issues of the number of the police and equipment required start from the police administration to plan the kind of expertise that they need in the force, then go to the market and look for the kind of people that they are qualified for the task. After the various expertises have come in the organization the other task is how to blend the employees so as they can complement each other and yield high results. Motivation strategies adopted will influence the kind of outcome that the forces will attain. The project should be planned and the potential that is available in the company analyzed. The resources should be available and the time frame defined. Each activity will require a wide planning by the management and micro planning by the activity or project manager.

For the police to be able to effectively undertake their duties they have morning parades and preparations, this should be organized. At each activity level, the objectives that must be fulfilled by the project should be defined to ensure that no area fails the project. Let’s take activities in a police setting; there are morning run, then drill classes, and law classes. The operation manager should ensure that there is the tutor to wake up in the morning to lead the morning run and the call out. He must have the required equipments and expertise to this. Drill should have a tutor as well as law classes. This is the work of the management to ensure that the resources available are planned well for a smooth running of activities (Münsterberg, 1973).

Manage Resources Capacity and Movements against Demand

Services that are provided by the police are mostly involved in a direct interaction or phone communications of the police and the client. They are services that affect area of life and thus the need for competent staffs cannot be over emphasized. Some are routine duties and others are incidentals. Resources are always limited and are provided in bits. The management has the responsibility of ensuring that the available resources are well managed to attain the goals of the organization well. Priorities should be given to those processes that cannot wait and ensure that the delayed activities do not hinder the completion of the project in time.

Time itself is another non-renewal resource that should be managed alongside human and psychical resources. Generally there are two way of misusing resources, this is by underutilizing them or over utilizing them. The resources available should be utilized in such a way that maximum benefit can be gotten from them without overusing them. In a police administration, the management should ensure that there are adequate numbers of police that are patrolling a certain area. This is dependent on the security situation in the particular area. Some cases require an immediate response and thus when allocating duties this must be put in mind (Smith, & Mazin, 2004).

The physical resources that the company has should be well utilized since they are the ones that lead to the level of technology to be adopted at each stage and should be planned. Which assets to buy and how, and which ones to rent will be a crucial decision that affect the cash flow of an organization. Weapons are some of the equipment that are available in the police force, the technology that have been employed at one particular time should be that that is above what the criminals can get access to. It must be superior. After the weapons are bought, they must be well controlled to ensure that they are used only for the right purpose; there has been incidences that police weapons have been used to commit crime, this are instances of operational failure.


Anon, 2006. Project Management. Web.

Morgan, G. 1980. “Paradigms, Metaphors, and Puzzle Solving in Organizational Theory”, Administrative Science Quarterly, 25: 605-21.

MĂĽnsterberg, H. 1973. Psychology and Industrial Efficiency. New York, Arno Press.

Smith, A. S. & Mazin, A. R., 2004. The HR answer book: an indispensable guide for managers and human resources professionals. New York: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn

Wheelen, L.; Hunger, J, 1998. Strategic Management and Business Policy: Entering 21st Century Global Society, 5th edition. Reading, Massachusetts and Harlow, Addison Wesley.

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