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Can a fuzzy controller, which is input and output equivalent to the one obtained in step 3, be achieved by changing the membership functions only and keep all the 3 scaling parameters unit? If the answer is yes, how?

Fine tune the fuzzy controller by using as many as possible means including increasing the number of the membership functions and the rules or even change the structure of your controller. Is the fuzzy controller likely to beat the PID controller in this case in terms of rise time and overshoot?

Design and fine tune a fuzzy controller for the airplane pitch control system with disturbance such that the closed-loop has the shortest rise time and less than 10% overshoot as uniformly as possible. Place the centre of the output membership functions of the linguistic values unevenly over its universe of discourse if necessary.

Achieving an Input and Output Equivalent Fuzzy Controller

Performance management is an essential part of an organisational operation. It is implemented to get things done according to the set organisational objectives. The freshly hired professionals or the experienced also may not realise the operational objectives that their presence is serving. On the other hand, management recruits the professionals assuming that the skilled employees are the helping hands in the fulfilment of operational objectives (Van Dooren, Bouckaert and Halligan 2015). However, there may be an evident gap in terms of employee’s competency which is needed for the fulfilment of the set objectives. Competency may appear similar to the skills; however, both differ to each other. Being the skilled professionals mean that there are potential skills in professionals. However, skills alone may not be sufficient enough considering the organisational goals. The organisational goals may indeed require a different utilisation of the skills that employees possess. This simply explains that there is a need for an alignment of skills with the organisational objectives, so that, employees are able to attain the competency level (Gerrish 2016). This study is aimed at understanding the performance management in context to the learner’s chosen organisation which is Rashtin LLC. The sector in which the company operates is also being covered. The study progresses with the help of the performance management theory.

Performance management in my organisation is processed under strategic guidelines which are made for three years. It is the same process being followed every year that the organisation accomplishes a work plan meeting the targets as mentioned in the strategic plan. I personally contribute to the work plan by strategically planning my contribution under the governance of the set personal targets within the Key Result Areas (KRAs). All planning is done in the line of the strategic plan. Once the KRAs are approved, they are collected together to give it a form of a document. The document is then signed by me and my supervisor. The signed document is then submitted to the Human Resource Department. Such process constructs a performance management contract. Every employee has to follow the same procedure.

The end of each financial year marks the conduction of performance appraisal process. It falls in the month of December every year. This is also conducted at the time when my contract of service is about to end. The appraisal is done during that time does also impact on whether I am held back for another contract agreement. I am supposed to submit weekly briefs, monthly, quarterly and semester reports during the financial area. Such reports contain the Key Performance Areas and the relevant progress for it. Such reports do also contain the challenges that I have faced during the execution of the work plan. Moreover, it also highlights the initiatives such as communicating with my supervisor.

Fine Tuning a Fuzzy Controller for Airplane Pitch Control System

Performance appraisal is conducted with the help of a questionnaire (See to Appendix 1). I appraise myself and give the scoring. My supervisor checks that and appraises me also accordingly. Grades range from A to E (‘A' stands for excellent and ‘E' for below average) are being awarded on my achievement in context to the targets of Key Result Area. Following areas are being covered in the performance appraisal process:

  1. Performance
  2. Personal & professional skills
  • Areas of development
  1. Score
  2. Comments, Future Suggestions and Assessor’s  Overall Rating
  3. Comments of reviewers

An interview is an essential part of the performance appraisal process. This is being done to review the feedback from my supervisor and ways to implement it. Being a manager, I also follow the same process. A review of the feedback ensures that appraisal process is fairly balanced.

  1. A or B: 3-year contract, 2 salary notches
  2. C: 2-year contract, 1 salary notch
  • D: 1 year contract, no salary notches
  1. E: immediate dismissal

The performance management cycle based on the examination being done in 2.1 above looks like as the follows in Figure 1 below:

  1. Plan

The planning process is well constructed and is being designed for a span of three years. The targets are well designed in the KRAs. I am also involved in both setting up the individual targets and the planning process.

  1. Act

The system is designed in such a way that it identifies the performance challenges. I am constantly involved in giving feedback to my supervisor for issues which I feel a potential barrier to meeting my targets.

  • Monitor

My performance is evaluated against the set benchmarks. Some areas have unclear and undefined KRAs. This is because those areas of work are qualitative in nature and not quantitative. I expect only a few of my deliverables as receiving the appreciation and evident long post the financial year.

  1. Review

The sequence followed in the performance management process does not go away along from that suggested by (Liang and Langbein 2015) (See Appendix 2). Performance appraisal and the regular reports supply the monitoring tools. The role of a supervisor is also included in the planning process for performance and development. Appropriate people are being given the responsibility to take care of the appraisal process. They do it following the guidelines of the organisational structure. The system also takes care of remuneration, financial reward, and employment.   

Key weaknesses:

Following is a list containing some of the weaknesses that the appraisal system in my organisation has:

  1. Much of emphasis is given on Key Result Areas; however, Key Performance Indicators was given the least importance.
  2. There is no such system to ensure staffs giving feedback to managers and the supervisors. This is why I was not being able to give any feedback to my supervisor like how they are working and what challenges I have under their supervision.
  • There is also no such system to measure the lagged results   

The section covers a reflective commentary on one of the online discussions like the discussion on Topic 8 which covers SMART acronym and Key Performance Indicators. Two facets are considered while setting up the targets, qualitative and the quantifiable targets. Quantifiable and qualitative targets can be both times specific. Item 3 gives an example of analytical work with an output which is qualitative in nature. The output has the lagged quantitative results.  It becomes difficult to ensure that targets are Specific, Measurable, Realistic and Time Bound.

Performance Appraisal Process and Weaknesses in the Current System

There can be a different performance management related issue across the different sectors. My organisation, Rashtin LLC, belongs to the private sector and also the Trade Support Institution (TSI).

  1. Private Sector

Private sectors get influenced by the altering behaviour of the external environment. This is for such reason private companies craft the performance management plans keeping a close observation on the national development plans (Camisón and Forés 2015). My organisation is going to start the manufacturing business of tailored-shirts. The manufacturing business is influenced by unstable government decisions on related things like the fluctuating behaviour of raw materials. In a similar way, there can be various factors which influence the behaviour of manufacturing business (Hyatt and Berente 2017).

  1. Trade Support Institutions

Trade support institutions also face the challenge of managing the changing interests of private and public sectors. There is a need for innovation, so that, TSI is able to serve the altering demands. A benchmarking programme is being initiated by the International Trade Centre (ITC) for helping the TSI. The help is concerned with areas like operational effectiveness, improve capabilities, and efficiency. Additionally, this is also to enable TSI to deliver the expectations of governments and their essential stakeholders.  The best practices are catalogued by comparing the leadership processes, direction and resource management practices in TSIs at the global level. The process is done with the help of an established analytical tool. TPO awards happen biennially to reward the best worldwide performance (Mansfield and Reinhardt 2015).

Private TSIs and the key implications are as follows (Ajayi and Muyiwa 2015):

  1. Stakeholder Planning: The different stakeholders including private sector, government, and civil society all have their own expectations. Therefore, mixing of stakeholders is within the scope of TSIs.
  2. Financing: In most cases, TSIs get the financial back up by government grants. In developing countries, financing can be an issue.
  3. Managerial Process: The organisational structure residing in private organisations may affect the decision-making process.
  4. Performance Vulnerability to External Factors: Attracting the Foreign Direct Investment is the ultimate goal of TSIs. It is intended to promote the Foreign Trade.
  1. Performance Management Intervention

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) is one of such Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) which is strategically promoting the exports. MATRADE strategically integrates with the different local producers and promote them at the global level. It collaborates with Agro-based industries, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities for promoting trades at the global level. The early 1990s marked a successful promotion of local producer by MATRADE. It successfully guided the banana growers in entering the Japanese market. They act as an agent and promote the Malaysian trades. The performance is measured in a strategic way and contains features like professional directories, general information guiding the export principles, and feature calendars highlighting the upcoming trade fairs at the national & international level. It regularly sponsors both half-day or full-day programs and seminars also discussing the foreign market updates and other trade information. It also let the local producers know about the foreign market ( 2018).

Challenges Faced by Trade Support Institution (TSI)

It provides Matching Grant Programs to SMEs on 100 percent reimbursable basis. They use this program to develop and promote the specific SMEs for the target foreign market. MATRADE uses BSP (Business Strategic Plan) as a tool to transform the organisational performance to make it client centric, credible and value creation through Trade Promotional Organisation (TPO). Under the BSP, MATRADE implements 6 Strategic Pillars (SP) consisting of 20 Strategic Initiatives (SI). These strategic initiatives take care of the various areas like export promotion & development of exporters, information & communication technology, process improvements and human capital development ( 2018).   

  1. Performance

In 2016, a close to 2,081 Malaysian companies was attracted to the International Sourcing Programmes (INSP). It generated sales of RM10.1 billion in the same financial year ( 2018). In the year 2014, the number of participating members was higher as it stood at 8,072 members. Total sales were equal to RM27.46 billion ( 2018). The comparison shows a decreasing trend in context to the participating members and the total sales. However, the number of participating members is expected to be lower with the success of MATRADE in successive years. The success means a reduction in firms left as being untouched. Hence, the number of participating members will decrease and simultaneously the total sales also.

  1. Stakeholder Satisfaction

An organisation must have a clear vision in regards to stakeholder management and customer service. Moreover, stakeholders who are directly or indirectly linked to it need to feel valued (Scott et al. 2015).

  1. Performance Evaluation

The performance evaluation must be an integral part of an organisation. This can be done easily with the help of feedback. Feedback system must be in a way that both stakeholders and employers are able to provide valuable comments on each other (Wang et al. 2018).

  1. Performance management & Remuneration

Including remuneration in the performance management system can yield effective results. It can be effective in increasing the rate of involvement of employees (Shields et al. 2015). Moreover, it can make employees realise that they need to contribute to the organisational goals and objectives.

  1. Overall Performance Management

This means bringing every single organisational process at just one track that heads to the ultimate organisational goals and objectives.

  1. Modernisation of Information and Communication Technology

Modernisation of the internal organisation system with the help of suitable Information Technology is highly recommended. It includes the modernisation of performance management framework also. Competency of various fields can be elevated with the help of ICTs. A feedback system is one of such fields that can be made smoother and faster to enable a quick action based on the feedback (Bloom et al. 2014).

  1. Change management

The new performance management system supported with advanced Information and Communication Technology means an introduction to the change process. The change is required to move from existing state to a much developed state. This may result in job losses (Doppelt 2017). It is important that employees are prepared for it. They rather need to be a part of the implementation process.

The success of MATRADE can be the effective evidence suggesting that performance management system is important. MATRADE has been successful in promoting the Malaysian companies and the businesses at the global level. The feat could have been possible because the firm has sufficient support of its stakeholders. The firm has continually tried to remain effective in changing times and have rightly done the same. They were effective in years before 2010. They are successful now as well. However, some issues must be considered for an effective performance management system. Those few issues are organisational culture, motivation, organisational structure and group dynamics.

According to Miner (2015), it is of necessity that behaviours are influenced to have positive results from the performance management system. It is not guaranteed that one who runs for incentives has the same perception of a change process. They might have different perceptions rather. Considering a fact that behavioural change is in direct proportion to one’s perception of the consequences. One may assume an altogether differing consequence of the same process. Therefore, feedback is a critical resource for motivation in performance management. Feedback allows analysing the consequences in rather a different way than the perception of the individual. (Barrick et al. 2015) also suggests that inadequate feedback may produce low motivation and self-esteem. It is, therefore, necessary for Rashtin LLC that all strategic areas are well defined and are aligned to the individual targets. The appraisal system must also have a clear linkage between delivery, remuneration and the reward system. There is a need for incepting an immediate feedback system rather than waiting for the whole one year until the appraisal system arrives (Barrick et al. 2015).   

Organisational culture as described by Zhu (2015) is a system which speaks of the values, norms, assumptions, beliefs and the attitudes that shape the way people think of the change process. It speaks of their behaviour for a performance management system. It is understood that culture impacts the performance management system; however, few elements of such system rather influence the organisational culture. Some of the elements of the reward system can instead be used to influence the organisational culture. Therefore, the various elements in the performance management system should, therefore, be converged to give the organisational culture a changed look which promotes the change process. Hence, Rashtin LLC needs to introduce the talent management and skills development process and link these with performance targets, team constructing, and effective organisational leadership.

As opined by Elsmore (2017), “A hierarchical or functional structure having defined authority for the head of the function is more expected to assist a directive, controlled approach to constructing objectives and reviewing performance”. A well structured process is a good way to encourage an individual participation. It also fosters the performance-oriented teamwork. Rashtin LLC needs to ensure an organisational structure that promotes authority and responsibility among the heads of every single unit.

Group dynamics becomes important when staff reactions are observed against the performance management system (Levi 2015). Rashtin LLC must ensure that groups and teams have the leaders who are able to motivate employees and their perceptions of consequences. Leaders must be capable of helping employees align with the organisational goals and objectives while keeping the internal conflicts low. External influences can include the individual issues that may be the barriers to a change process. Such issues can be but not limited to like personal health and other challenges. Rashtin LLC must have leaders who are well versed with strategies needful in the case when individual needs the support of other team members. Moreover, there is a need for team spirit which has the tendency to give a back up to someone not being able to perform or is not present.

The performance of MATRADE shows that just making a declaration for customer centric approach is not alone the sufficient. There have to be the systems measuring the customer satisfaction from innovations, services, and technological interventions. There must be a clear linkage between staff remuneration and customer satisfaction. Additionally, there must also be a clear relation between the operational objectives and the remuneration & other benefits. The entire management process at Rashtin LLC needs to have a linkage with the client's needs. It means there is a need for quick shuffling between strategies to meet the changing behaviour of customers. Rashtin LLC needs to have a robust method for performance evaluation such as the feedback system. The feedback system must be a two-way process which means both employees and managers can give feedback to each other. This is indeed necessary to establish a learning environment where both managers and employees have the keen interest in learning and improving the point of errors. Reward system needs to be quantifiable in nature and clearly linked to the work delivery & the customer satisfaction. It means that employees must be able to produce tailored-shirts in bulk while also keeping the quality intact to it. The recommended performance management system can significantly help Rashtin LLC in raising its performance standard and also the client service.


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