Friday, September 18, 2009

4 Causes of Ineffective Work Distribution

As I mentioned before, one of the elements of a team is work division. It's a tough job balancing needs of the project and the needs of your team. I will be discussing methods and techniques you can use to achieve this balance later, but before that I must share the underlying mistakes and problems that student clubs always make or face in the team.

Different expectation of work - amount, frequency, deadline, quality

Everytime someone fights in a team is because that someone is not satisfied with a team member's work. That happens because that 'someone's expectation is not communicated properly. Not long ago I had someone complaining about a team member who were always not satisfied with his work. My suggestion is to meet that unsatisfied team member and clarify what does she (the unsatisfied team member) want, what is her expectation. Normally, if this is not done, both parties will have different interpretation of what needs to be done. When this happen the conflicting views will create an argument. This is why you need to an expectation setting with your team. You must make it clear to all team members about the 4 issues below:

  • Amount of Work
  • Quality of Work
  • Deadline
  • Work Frequency
Make sure all team members are prepared to face the expected issues discussed above at the agreed magnitude as discussed in the expectation setting session. I will teach more about how to do the expectation setting and what to do if there are differing opinions in the expectation setting in later articles.

Uncommitted People

Even though with all the managerial methods that I discussed, there are always incompetent people in the team. In student clubs they are always the lazy and just for merits students. Be careful with these kind of people. They technically achieved their objective, which is to get merit and they have not much reason to contribute more in the project. The solution is to identify these kind of people in the recruitment interview and the expectation setting session. Then, using your leadership and managerial skills to motivate or pressure them to do a better work.

Different Priorities

Everyone have different objectives and as such, different priorities. Some people put their girlfriend/boyfriend before work responsibility. This is not good. You can have your dates anytime, at worst only your date gets mad at you. But in a student club, a whole project of 20 to30 people can be at risk because you did not do your work. Which one is more important? Some team members also have other responsibilities, like tests & assignments, other club's projects. These other responsibilities can affect their priorities and in turn your project. Again, expectation setting can help to identify potential problems with these people.

Constructing Proper Job Descriptions

Like I said earlier, It's a tough job balancing needs of the project and the needs of your team. A lot of leaders are not trained or knowledgeable how to assign work properly among team members. These are the kind of knowledge that MPP and MTP should be teaching their members regardless of position. Back to the topic, when assigning Job Descriptions (JD) to a team member, these are the basic 3 things you must consider:

  • Time constraint
  • Hierarchy
  • Skill sets

These are a very basic classification of the issues but would be enough for today. I will discuss in further detail later. I just wanted to point out that student clubs don't put much effort in constructing a JD and they don't see the value of taking the time to invest in constructing a proper JD.

I hope you can use these 4 points to help you identify potential problems in your team and take precautionary measures to prevent conflicts in your team.

Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin and...

and show me some love...

1 comment:

  1. Furydose

    Selamat Hari Raya..Maaf Zahir & Batin.. :)



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