Monday, June 18, 2012

Inventory of the Parts

        
        To do a comprehensive assessment of your unit I recommend doing three things: take an inventory of the parts, with your inventory list made pair each part with another part and see how each part interacts with each other, and defined the goal of the unit and see what each part needs or doesn’t need to do in order to get the goal accomplished.
         First, I recommend taking an inventory of the parts of the unit.  This can be done by a simply listing some or all of the different parts of the whole. For example, I will use the whole: being a football team and the parts: the individual positions of the players. Using this example, we can list some of the positions of a football team has, which includes: quarterback, wide receiver, kicker and cheerleader.  You’ll see why I included cheerleaders into the mix later on. With the list made the next step would be to define what each position does. You don’t just have to use people and their positions, you can also use part of a machine, device, anything that has different working parts. To define what each position does simply do some research on it, or if it is a team, or device you’re familiar with just go by each part and give a brief description of what each part does or is used for. You can go into as much detail as you would like, but for the sake of time I will write some brief descriptions of the parts I used in the example.  I got the descriptions off of livestrong.com
      
      Quarterback: the quarterback is the backbone of the offense. His job is typically to receive the ball after it is hiked and initiate the offensive play.  He does this by either handing the ball off to the running back or passing the ball to wide receiver, tight end or eligible receiver. On some plays, the quarterback also might opt to run with the ball. 

     Wide receiver: the wide receiver’s main job is to shake off his defender, and get open for a pass from the quarterback. Wide receivers open up the field on running plays by getting their defensive opponent downfield so the running back as a clear path. 

     Kickers: kickers are responsible for kicking field goals when the team is in a range, as well as kicking extra points after touchdowns. They also kick the ball off to start the game or the second half, and after the team scores. 

     Cheerleader: (according to jobdescriptions.com) NFL cheerleaders are a group of girls were members of a professional NFL cheerleading league. They lead the crowd to create a happy and cheerful atmosphere of the football game. Their job consists of a time for practice, of dance routines, and stunts, training camps, games, photo shoots, appearances, and charity events. 

     Again a brief description or a more detailed description will suffice.  It’s your decision on how much information you want or will need at this step. 
        Secondly, the next step after taking inventory the parts to pair up each part with another part and see how each pair interacts with each other. On keeping with the football example we can use a variety of combinations such as: quarterback/wide receiver, wide receiver/kicker, quarterback/cheerleader or any combination of these parts would do.  Once you have described each part, now with some of them pair together you can start to get a better picture of how everything operates.  I’ll start with the pair of quarterback/wide receiver. We see how these two parts interact with each other; the quarterback gets the ball an in turn throws it to the wide receiver. It is the job of the wide receiver to get away from his defender so that he can make a play by catching a thrown ball from the quarterback. What this shows is a more in-depth picture of what each part does.  We know what the two parts will do in the whole of the football team, this one is pretty obvious, but how about something like a quarterback/cheerleader. We know one job of the cheerleaders to create a happy and cheerful atmosphere for the crowds, but how about a less obvious aspect of this relationship. The quarterback is a prestigious position to play as it is the backbone of the offenses and actually is a star anyways, how about paring the quarterback with the cheerleader for a photo shoot to promote the game or the team.  When people think about football they usually just think of the game time, they don’t think about the public relations part of the game.  Would you rather be the team that spends some effort in PR to get the fans excited and promote your team and have a more loyal fans then your opponent?  This would be a more specialized part in the machinery of football. Now, there’s always a flaw if you do not take note of all the parts. Say, you could have the best PR in the NFL, but your kickers and wide receivers could be the worst. This leads us into the last step in this assessment of the parts. 
         The last step is to define the goal of the group and see what each part needs to do in order to get the goal done. By having paired up different parts of the whole, we get an idea of how each one interacts with each other.  The last step is to define the goal or object you’re trying to accomplish, keeping within the football theme, a major goal in football is to make a touchdown.  Starting with the quarterback and wide receiver, we know we need to get them downfield, or throw a long pass, or rush the ball downfield. We already have an idea of what needs to be done. Now if we want to broaden our perspective of things how can the kickers help to accomplish this? Or even the cheerleaders? What this step does is take into account some or all the parts working with each other to accomplish a task or goal. The kickers can help by getting the ball as far down field as possible and help get the quarterback and receivers downfield.  I didn’t have the defense in this assessment, but depending on how much time you want to spend on your assessment is up to you.  For my own time sake I just listed some of the offense and public relations aspects of the football team. There is still the coaching aspect and individual player’s skills that come into play, but the beauty of this system is you can decide how much “magnification of the microscope” you want to use, if you just want to do a brief quick assessment or a lengthy and detailed assessment again it’s up to you. 
      With the assessment we went over how to take inventory of the parts of your unit, putting into list of what you have to work with, to pair up the parts of the unit you do have with another part to see how each unit interacts with the other, to get a better picture of how each part corresponds with another, and you find the goal of the group as a whole and see what each part needs to do in order to get the goal done. Deciding how much work you want to put into this is up to you, making this system quite versatile when you are making plans and seeing where you stand.  I believe being comprehensive in your assessment will give you a leg up on the competition. 

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