Committees can be made more effective if managers follow specific guidelines/steps:
i. The objectives and limits of authority of the committee need to be clearly specified so as to keep the activities of the committee in focus.
ii. The committee should have a specific agenda on which to focus.
iii. Members of committees should not devote too much time to the committee and forget their regular jobs.
iv. The results or output of the committee should be specified and clearly communicated to the committee.
v. The size of the committee should be appropriate. It should only be large enough to be most efficient. Large committees may be desired if many different experts are needed and if the scope of the task is wide. Smaller committees may be needed if (i) speed in action is necessary, (ii) if the matter is highly confidential.
vi. The committee should have the right members i.e. the people selected to the committee should be suited for the work. They should be people with the interest of the committee at heart, they should be psychologically compatible with each other and they should be qualified i.e. they are able to provide the needed information.
vii. The person heading the committee i.e. the chairperson should be suited for the position. He is the person to set the mode and to be held accountable for the success of the committee. He should be a person who possesses the following qualities – planning, ability, objectivity, diplomacy, experience and efficiency.
viii. The committee should be provided with the needed or necessary information and resources to accomplish their task e.g. they should have the necessary staff assistance.
ix. The committee should be provided with realistic and reasonable deadlines for the completion of its assignment. Frequent checks on the committee’s progress are also necessary so as to review whether the committee need any extra information.
x. The committee should be asked to provide a final report in writing and the report should be acted upon.
Limitations of Committees:
(a) They are expensive both in terms of time and resources.
(b) Committees often lead to slow decision making especially due to the consultations they need for consensus.
(c) Committees could lead to compromise solutions in a bid to avoid conflicts.
(d) Since it is a group decision making with no one person responsible for the results, members may lack commitment on that account.