Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Solutions To Distribute Work Effectively

I'm sure all you who had experience in student projects have seen problems in dividing, allocating and delegating the jobs to your team members. If there is imbalance in distributing the work then there will be dissatisfaction in the team. Gossiping and complaining behind the team leaders back would soon follow. And that's not good right? Below are some of the things you must consider in making your work distribution as effective as possible.


Planning

In my previous article, "3 Limitations In Dividing Work Effectively" I discussed that human resource is a major constraint. It is important that:
  • Everybody knows their own work well (so they can do the work well)
  • Everybody knows each other's works (so no one will say they have more work than others)
  • Everybody knows the overall collective work that needs to be done (so they are prepared to take some additional work)
  • Everybody aware of the changes and problems that might occur throughout the project (so that they are ok with last minute changes)
The basis behind these points is further detailed in "Laws of Teamworking". You can achieve all this by doing proper planning. I have mentioned the importance of planning so many times. You can download my free planning guidebook here. I have mentioned previously the importance of having the same goal. This is not some fancy-fancy rhetoric like singing one world, one goal, 1Malaysia and etc. This has managerial significances because a team that does not work towards the same objective is not efficient and is under-utilized. That's why I stressed the importance to have ALL team members to be a part of the planning process. When EVERYBODY knows the objective CLEARLY, team members are able to align themselves and their work closer to the team's objective.

Job Description Expectation

It is important that every team member have a clear expectation of what they need to do in the team, and what other team members need to do also. It's important that they have this expectation BEFORE you start work. The reason? So that they won't suddenly complain and give excuse that they didn't know that they need to do so much work in the project. I will share with you a set of questions you must ask your team in the future. Make sure you ask these questions before the team starts working.

Job Description by Objective/Event/Process

When you want to make a team, it is most efficient to create the team with the objective to finish one event/process from start to finish, from A to Z. Organizing work according to a specific job limits that person to that job only. That won’t be good when you need to shift man power to other sections of the project if necessary. It also creates a mental barrier that prevents information sharing between departments. Also, when you give a broad objective you are telling them what is the big picture and the bottom line.

Here are some examples of department names and their objective which I made for an entrepreneurship club I founded:

Education Department: To Educate member about entrepreneurship and create education syllabus for the members
Operations Department: To create impactful and meaningful projects for the club, club’s members and the UPM community
Publicity & Promotions: To advertise and promote the club and it's projects


After this is understood clearly by the team, then you can go into the details. I would like to share with you the document I have created that contains the specific details. But right now I do not want to go so deep in that because I want to focus on basic team managerial skills.

Organize and Streamline Work

Work together with your team to identify and brainstorm ways to increase work efficiency. Like in my previous article, I mentioned about the three departments that should be one department. Read that article as a guideline and use the principles discussed to identify the limitations in the team and think of a better way to group them together.

I hope as a leader and as a team player you can distribute work in a better way.

Be.You.

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