12 Apr Process for Planning and Allocating
This QuickLearn provides a useful process for planning and allocating work to team members. There are 5 key steps to planning and allocating work, and they are as follows:
1. Set Direction
The first step in the process is to set the direction for the team, and to agree this with your manager.
This ‘strategy’ needs to be credible – and ideally inspiring – for people to want to follow it. To secure buy-in early on, you may like to engage key team members in the development process.
Once agreed, expect lots of questions which you will need to answer.
It can be useful to think through different scenarios and gain clarification on any issues outside of your control from your manager.
2. Plan and Prioritise
A team has finite resources both in terms of time and budget. Some things in the vision will be higher priority and will need to be undertaken first.
A useful way to prioritise activities is to assess the impact these have on weighted strategy objectives, and of course the resources required to deliver.
You may like to plot activities on an ease of implementation verse benefit matrix and focus on “quick wins” first – these are the easy to implement, yet beneficial, activities.
Finally, break activities down into high-level milestones with due dates which owners can later expand on.
3. Allocate Work
When allocating work to team members think about their skills, knowledge, experience and of course workloads and the opportunity for development.
Once you have planned the allocation of work packages, brief team members on the work they have been allocated and the expected level of performance.
Seek to find out about differences in expectations and working methods of any team members.
Try and be flexible here, and encourage team members to ask questions, make suggestions and seek clarification in relation to the work they have been allocated.
Contract with them in terms of delivery dates, their responsibility to develop a more detailed plan and how you will track and monitor progress – for example through fortnightly 121s and status reporting.
4. Monitor and Support
Check the progress and quality of the work on a regular basis against expected performance and provide constructive feedback.
If there is slippage or the quality is not up to standard, think about what additional support they may require especially in terms of identifying and dealing with problems and unforeseen events.
You have an important role in motivating team members to complete the work they have been allocated and dealing with any conflict effectively.
5. Manage Improvement
Recognition is an important component of leadership and drives internal motivators – so recognise successful completion of activities and feed this back to the team and your manager.
Where there is a case of unacceptable or poor performance, try and identify the root cause and agree ways of improving performance.
Keep a record of the performance of team members and use this information during the performance appraisal process.
There are also certain useful behaviours that can enhance your strategy, for example:
- Make time available to support others
- Seek to understand people’s needs and motivations
- Agree expectations and hold people to account
- State your position and views clearly and confidently in conflict situations
- Plan work to make best use of time and resources
- Take pride in delivering high quality work
- Prioritise objectives and activities
- Show integrity, fairness and consistency in decision-making