Coordination requires the knowledge and understanding of the objectives of an organization by all, not by just a few, at the top as it envisages the integration of all the parts functioning in an organization. The best coordination occurs when individuals see how their jobs contribute to the dominant goals of the enterprise.
Coordination means synchronization of efforts. Without following the principles of hierarchy and specialization, it is not possible for any organization to work effectively and efficiently. In public sector, too, government machinery consists of a number of departments, services and agencies which are further divided into administrative units to facilitate the various tasks of the public sector organizations. To keep harmony in the functioning, coordination is inevitable.
There may be three main areas where coordination is required:
- To prevent overlapping, conflict and inter-departmental frictions.
- To enhance ability of the individuals to see the things from a broader perspective.
- To ensure that right people are available at right places with resources in right quantity in an enabling environment.
The definition of coordination by different experts emphasizes upon execution of activities in a harmonious and unified manner or the functions of the organization in a way that each of its parts may contribute maximum to the whole. Simply, we can say that the reciprocal relationship among the different parts of an organization permeates across the board.
The difference between coordination and cooperation must be acknowledged. How much cooperation there may be, it would not yield desired results without coordination. Cooperation means the readiness for the performance of something without taking others into confidence. As in such a way, overlapping friction and waste of resources as well as time are eminent, so, for coordination to be effective, some certain principles are as under:
- Timely starting of activities as a work proceeded without coordination in a timely manner will impede the output of the organization.
- Coordination must be done directly without the involvement of third party; otherwise misunderstandings and waste of knowledge would be the end result.
- The principle of reciprocity means that in all the areas each organ of the organization works in a coordinated manner so that they may complement the activities of each other at the time of final outcome.
- The work of the organization never ends; particularly in public sector, it necessitates that coordination efforts should not be halted at any stage as its life is dependent upon the life of the organization.
The focus during the coordination process should be balanced one because if an undue weight is given to any area during coordination, it will affect the other activities in a similar proportion. The coordination activities must not be piecemeal since it involves time schedule for doing different activities followed by allocation of certain amounts of time to make an activity effective and efficient. One of the most difficult phases is the coordination of departments and independent agencies in relation to common responsibilities. It requires institutionalized means in the form of:
- Interdepartmental meetings.
- Coordinators/focal persons
- Regional councils
To ensure uniformity, standardization of procedures and methods is a must in removing multifarious tendencies and overlapping. Without effective communication in a proper and timed manner — from top to bottom and vice versa — it is not possible to iron out difficulties in achieving the objectives of an organization. In this pursuit, informal means like personal contacts, relationship, social courtesies and good leadership qualities help in removing the difficulties generated by acts of overlapping
In public sector, there is a dire need to focus and ensure coordination in a timely and effective manner to avoid friction, overlapping, waste of time and resources. The periodical meetings held in organizations that directly interact with common man should also take note of these aspects so that an effective level of good governance be achieved.