The importance of writing task descriptions
Mornings allow me to start by accomplishing one thing. Today I am writing task specifications that can be delegated. Then I can get assistance to identify people to complete the tasks.
By defining tasks, we can discuss and then provide direction to individuals. This minimizes unstated assumptions and improves communication. Thoughtful job descriptions and qualifications help people accomplish something of value.
Job and task descriptions facilitate two types of delegation
1. A routine task
If you ask someone to do something routine, it doesn’t start out routine. Training might involve creating a video, providing written instruction, being available to answer questions, reviewing work completed, providing feedback, and ultimately helping the person succeed in completing the task well.
This scenario is hard because sometimes it feels easier to just do it yourself.
2. Tasks requiring specific skill sets
Dividing a problem into specific functions reduces complexity and helps a person understand what is needed. It’s important that a single request be limited in scope, contain needed resources, and specify where the results should be implemented. Questions to answer are: “What will change?” and “What is the deliverable?”
Definitions that provide guidance take time to write out. But without definition, it takes additional time to understand what is requested in the first place.
Finally, a completed task needs to be described so that it can be replicated by someone in the future. This can be via a video or in writing and is part of the task.
All tasks need deadlines. An estimated of completion time provides a benchmark upon which to test expectations. It’s like checking out a library book. There’s no charge to renew, but there’s a cost when you fail to hand it in. With written job/task descriptions, we can hire people as needed to get work done as needed.
By writing tasks and then discussing the written document during a scheduled meeting that has an agenda and shared meeting notes can keep people on the same page. Meeting can be scheduled as needed and don’t have to be long.
My morning walk
This morning, aside from thinking about tasks, this is what I saw.