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How to Allocate and Control work in your team


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1) What is Team Work Allocation and what terms it operates?

Sometimes it is not an easy task for a team manager to ensure that the work assigned to his team is properly and fairly portioned and allocated among the team members. It is just as in every type of team sport – the coach of a team needs to select the right players for the next game, reasoning from specifics of the next opponent and skills of available players, and identify the position where each of these team members will play to bring maximum of advantage.

Effective Team Work Allocation should be:

  • Fair – nobody in the team wittingly is appointed to some work which he cannot accomplish due to some objective conditions.   
  • Equal – portions or types of workloads are allocated equally, so nobody in the team appears just overwhelmed with excessive tasks (if this is not somehow stipulated and compensated), while someone other enjoys unjustified freeness.
  • Justified – work is always accurately assessed and assigned only to appropriate employees who are approved, expected or motivated as capable of doing it.

The terms used in work allocation include:

  • Allocation: basically it is about delegating workloads to the team members in a manner making best use of the available resources. The best allocation is when work fully fits:
    • Capabilities of team member: he has all powers and instruments to effectuate the allocated work dynamically, seamlessly and on-time.
    • Interests of team member: he feels enthusiastic and motivated about the assignment. He has no pressing competing tasks preventing him from being effective.
    • Ambitions of team member: he is ready to reveal his talents, ideas and strength on this job.
  • Competency: includes a range and depth of professionalism making a person capable of doing certain works. When a person is competent to do certain job, this means he/she possesses the required scope of skills, expertise and knowledge satisfying the requirements for completing that work. Weighing competency of employees is what often done when allocating work in the team. This conception may usually imply the following sub-qualities:
    • Accountability: moral strengths making a person reliable and accurate.
    • Authority: managerial value enabling a person to make decisions, be followed, and act on certain matters without additional permissions.
    • Responsibility: current scope of duties conditioned by formal position and job description.
  • Prioritising: a team member could be already loaded with some working tasks taking his work time and efforts. In order to get free for upcoming workloads he needs to sort out his current assignments with the manager – probably these tasks are less important and can be postponed for a while. Setting priorities helps to clarify if the person appropriate for certain work is really so busy with something else.

2) Action Plan to Allocate and Check Team Work:

Step 1: Plan how the team will undertake its work:

  1. Analyze the work structure and objectives.
  2. Identify and discuss the working targets together with the team members.
  3. Identify and describe tasks and activities needed to attain these targets.
  4. Identify what skills and methods are required to accomplish each of these tasks.
  5. Consider standards or level of expected performance for every task.
  6. Consider how requirements of these tasks match resources available to your team.
  7. Identify individual capabilities and talents that can be exclusively useful on this work.
  8. Consider level and scope of individual competency of every person in your team in regard to the outstanding tasks.
  9. Consider and prioritize the workloads already appointed to the team members to put on hold any items which can discarded or wait for a while.
  10. Summarize ability of certain team members to undertake certain tasks from the list.
  11. Draft tasks and responsibilities to be assigned to appropriate individuals within the team.
  12. Discuss these assignments with the team members to check their readiness and opinions.

Step 2: Organize individual daily work plans:

  1. Estimate amount of time and resources required to get each of the listed tasks done.
  2. Compose special schedule of tasks to regulate general workflow and its milestones.
  3. Allocate tasks to appropriate team members, considering their skills, knowledge, experience, outstanding workloads and desired opportunity for development.
  4. Brief the team on the jobs they have been assigned to, and introduce the performance criteria suiting each of the tasks.
  5. Introduce the work timeline to the team and request the assigned team members to elaborate their individual working plans and solutions to fit the master schedule.
  6. Provide all the necessary management assistance and expertise to facilitate this effort.
  7. Encourage the team members to ask their questions and make suggestions on clarification and specification of their tasks.
  8. Renegotiate responsibilities to add changes to the workplaces and roles where appropriate.
  9. Check individual plans and alter them to fit certain master requirements.
  10. Make sure all allocated assignments are appropriate to interests and competency of the team members.
  11. Make sure all performance standards and responsibilities are communicated and accepted.
  12. Make sure everyone is motivated to do the assigned work.

Step 3: Check ongoing performance of allocated tasks:

  1. Keep control over the progress and quality of the work.
  2. Make sure standard or level of expected performance is mostly observed.
  3. Make sure prompt and constructive feedback is always provided to support team members.
  4. Make sure competency of employees work as it is expected.
  5. Quickly address all problems and unforeseen events.
  6. Support team members in identifying and dealing with upcoming issues.
  7. Ensure motivation and interest of the team members.
  8. Make sure competency of team members get improved.
  9. Provide reserved resources to support completion where justified.

3) Work Allocation and Control with a help of VIP Task Manager:

VIP Task Manager is a product that stands for collaboration between managers and employees, so it allows managers to allocate and control work explained in terms of particular tasks among their employees. Let’s consider simple step-by-step instruction to manage work in this product:

Instruments to be used:

  • Task Tree mode;
  • Task List mode;

Task Tree mode actions (for allocating):

  1. Create work breakdown structure by planning layout of task groups and sub-groups;
  2. Formulate the tasks to be allocated;
  3. Set Priorities of the tasks and design appropriate Statusing (Workflow) to keep tracking;
  4. Set timeframes for each task (Start and Finish dates);
  5. Attach necessary documents and fill Notes;
  6. Assign tasks and groups to appropriate resources;

Task List mode actions (for controlling):

  1. Group tasks by task groups to categorize them visually (or by any other attribute);
  2. Use sorting by Priority to adjust the list so the most important items appear at the top;
  3. Use settings of the Filters to display tasks fitting certain requirements (for example certain time range);
  4. Observe Status of every task to see what step it is currently on;
  5. Check Complete field to control grade of completeness;
  6. Check Attachments and Notes; 

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