All of us have types of work we like to do. For some of us it’s checking other people’s work, for other’s it’s researching information and for yet others it’s getting stuck in and getting something done. But because we prefer to do certain things, it means that we often gloss over or neglect to follow all the steps in a process to carry out a task or complete a project effectively.
The Task Achievement Cycle:
One of the best tools around is the Task Achievement Cycle which is part of the Team Management components for TMI or TMP (work preferencing profiles). This is what the cycle looks like:
You can see there are eight steps to the cycle which, if followed, can create a complete step by step guide for effectively completing a task. It doesn’t matter which parts of the cycle you like to do, just don’t forget to do the other steps – or have someone else complete them for you.
What each step means:
1. Gathering and reporting information. Focus on breadth and depth of information and knowledge. Examples: best practice; what other teams are doing, or have done; surfing the web; FYI material
2. Coming up with new ideas. Focus on changing and improving the way things are done. Examples: Brainstorming; mind-mapping; think-tanks; suggestion boxes
3. Exploring ideas with others and getting buy-in. Focus on checking with others before progressing. Examples: discussions with other stakeholders; giving presentations; convincing and influencing. Communicating with others internally and externally
4. Testing out ideas and evaluation. Focus on ‘reality-checking’ before progressing. Examples: pilot programs; prototypes; sample implementation; contingency planning
5. Establishing ways of making things work. Making specific action plans, itineraries, setting goals and targets, checking progress. Who is going to do what and take what role? Examples include charts, deadlines, resource allocations, action plans, SMART goals etc
6. Getting in and getting things done. Focus on consistent delivery of outputs, doing things on time, to budget, according to specifications.
7. Attention to details and fine print. Focus on checking the details, including regulations, company policy and legal information. Extends to any control mechanisms including quality systems and ground rules.
8. Ensuring that what we do is sustainable. Focus is on upholding team values and maintaining our process. Examples include meetings to check how things are going, checking feelings etc and taking time to evaluate, review and celebrate successes.
So try to identify your preferred area of the cycle and look at what you tend to miss doing when you complete a task. This will help discipline you to look at the other steps or have someone else help fill in those gaps. Taking time to briefly review the steps throughout a task or a project can help save embarrassment or costs associated with sorting out a mistake.
How many companies have sent out a marketing campaign and the first time the contact centre staff have heard about it is when a customer calls up for more information – a classic case of missing out step 3 – communicating and getting others on board. Or how about the company that rushes off to sort out a repair problem only to find they haven’t got the right tools because they didn’t do a good job of step 1 – researching exactly what will be needed.
We’ve all been there and done something similar. It’s not about being good at all the steps – it’s about being aware that all the steps are there and need to be included.
If you’d like more information on how the Task Achievement Cycle works or how this can help your team or organisation, check out more information here: http://www.rapidresults.co.nz/wawcs0149931/idDetails=183/TMI-Profiling-and-Team-Building.html