Assigning tasks often fails for many of us. We assign tasks and they don’t get done. Or the quality of the work is poor. Here are some best practices for assigning tasks that will help you get tasks done faster with better results.
Clear Task Subject
Write a clear subject line for each task so you can tell at a glance what the task is about. This should be short as it is only a title. The description will hold deeper information.
Detail what you are looking for in the task. Specify what outcomes you are looking for. If you have a specific way you want the work done, include this. I know this seems to take too long, but the extra time you invest in making the task as clear as possible will save you many times that time in being interrupted with questions or having to fix work that is done poorly because the instructions aren’t clear.
Who is Responsible?
Specify who will be doing the task and make sure the task is assigned in their task management system. Choose the right person for each task.
Determine a priority level for each task – usually low, medium and high. This lets your staff plan their work day to ensure the highest priority work gets done first. No more than 10% of tasks should be designated high priority.
Have a clear, realistic date when the task is to be complete.
Include links to any documentation, resources or training videos that will help them complete the task.
Make sure the employee knows how they are to report results. Many task management systems have this reporting built in so you can get automated reports. A good task management system like Teamwork will let you pull up all the tasks by assignee, priority, project, tags and other filters so you can easily see the status of each project or employees work load.
If you need help choosing a task management system that is right for you, contact me. I can also design custom task management systems to work with your specific needs.
Where To Go For Help
In addition to the instruction links above, let the employee know who they should go to if they need help completing the task. This might be you, another staff member who has the expertise or an outside resource person.
Assigning Tasks – More Resources