With so many things that need to be accomplished each day, it always helps to have all the information needed to complete these tasks. If a task has no context assigned to it or no insight into how to approach it, productivity and morale are going to suffer. To prevent this, you need to properly task out your team’s goals. Here, we’ve provided some practices to help.
Creating the Ideal Task
Many productivity gurus (and assorted other authorities on the subject) have lent their expertise and created a rubric to help do just this:
Step + Detail + Deadline + Context = Task
This rubric Is particularly useful for creating single tasks, as well as individual steps in a larger process. Let’s go into these four components piece-by-piece.
With each task, there is going to be some inherent action necessary, so you need to address what that action needs to be. Does someone need to research something, write something, or simply check into something? Tell them what needs to be done for their goal to be accomplished.
You also need to provide additional information concerning each task for context and clarity. This would include things like:
- The person or department who is responsible for completing this task
- The purpose of the task that they should strive to accomplish
- Why this task is important to the overall goal
- Where any resources can be found to assist with the task and general guidance to help complete it
Once you’ve outlined what the task is, you need to identify when the task should be completed by. This helps ensure that projects are completed in a timely fashion, with certain milestones achieved within a certain timeframe.
Finally, you need to include other pertinent details about a task, including how much time may be spent on it, which project it is for, and what priority level it should have. This gives the person responsible for the task more information as they organize their schedule.
Let’s assume that you want to throw a surprise pizza party for your team, and so you wanted to give one trusted employee (we’ll assume he’s named Bob) the responsibility of ensuring the food was ordered ahead of time. The task you assign to Bob might look like this:
“Order Food for Staff Surprise Party on Friday
Assigned to BOB – Priority 3
*If unable to complete, please inform HR*
- 3:15 – Get credit card from HR and call Pizzeria Porfirio. Place order for three large pizzas with peppers and onion and 75 of their house special chicken wings to be delivered Friday at 4:45.
- 1:00 – Call Pizzeria Porfirio to confirm delivery”
That’s all there is to tasking out a process for your team to follow. There are also software solutions available to make this even easier for you and your team, so long as you keep these practices in mind and completely task out the things you assign to others. The clearer the process is, the more likely it is to be successful.
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