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General

The key business management method underlying TASKey TEAM software is discussed. First the need for the method is described, then the method is outlined, and finally TASKey TEAM software that makes the method easy to apply is mentioned.

The differences between projects, tasks and actions (ToDo's) are very important.

  • An ACTION (usually measured in hours and minutes) is the smallest logical unit of work (i.e., it cannot be sensibly broken down into smaller components). Examples of actions are: appointments, calls, attend a meeting, ToDo's (such as reply to a letter).
  • A TASK (measured in days and weeks) is a logical grouping of actions to achieve a goal. Tasks require the management of information, progress, resources and people.
  • A PROJECT (measured in weeks, months or years) is a logical grouping of tasks to achieve a team longer term goal. Projects require the coordinated management of information, progress, resources and people.
The Need

Managers around the world have been asking for a simple method to obtain the key information they need to make timely sound management decisions. They appreciate that managing tasks, projects, teams and individuals in times of change is very difficult.

Managers need:

  • Essential decision making information in a usable form
  • Information when they want it (at a time that suits their workflow)
  • Real-time information (so decisions are timely and relate directly to what is happening)
  • To see trends developing (such as cost or time blowouts, teams not performing)
  • Information to manage cross functional teams doing many projects and tasks
  • To be notified of any changes that are likely to affect them

Team Members need:

  • Direction from management
  • Essential coordination information to do their work effectively
  • A means of automatic reporting so they can focus on doing the work
  • Real-time information (so decisions are timely and relate directly to what is happening)
  • A consolidated ToDo list of all their actions for projects and all tasks
  • To be notified of any changes that are likely to affect them
Current Management Software

Current management software focuses on:

  • goals and strategies; or
  • projects and tasks; or
  • team management; or
  • time management; or
  • personal information management.

To satisfy the need, a software solution must seamlessly integrate and link goals, strategies, projects, tasks, teams, time management and personal information. Individuals ultimately do tasks so there must be unbroken links from organization goals to each individual’s actions and back.

 

Key Challenges for a Method

For a method to succeed, it must integrate Task, Team and Individual needs.

Task Needs:

  • a vision (goals, objectives and assumptions) breakdown framework
  • a task/project breakdown (directly related to the vision framework)
  • key information for complex tasks
  • actions (ToDo's) for each task
  • record time spent on each task
  • real-time progress updating
  • activity based costing

Team Needs:

  • a purpose (goals and objectives)
  • identify individuals who need to work together (the team)
  • actions (ToDo's) for each team member
  • real-time progress updating
  • clearly understood relationships with other teams

Individual Needs:

  • a display of all relevant tasks and their interrelationships
  • a list of actions (ToDo's) required for each task
  • a consolidated list of actions for all projects and tasks
  • reporting confined to showing actions (ToDo's) completed

In addition, ALL the functions of management (goal setting, planning, organizing, leading, monitoring, communicating and coordinating) need to be addressed.

 

The TASKey Method in Brief

The TASKey Method integrates and satisfies the Task, Team and Individual Needs detailed above. Unique team management elements easily coordinate many individuals and teams doing many projects, task and actions in any organization structure(s).

Key steps in the method are:

  1. A goal and work break down approach provides a master framework of relevant tasks. A bar chart shows planned and actual timings plus progress. (Task need)
  2. For each task, a key information template is provided to capture key information, including team composition, responsibilities and actions to be done. (Task and team needs)
  3. For each individual, a consolidated ToDo list of all their actions for all their projects and tasks is created. (Individual need)
  4. When an action (ToDo) is completed, the task key information and bar chart progress are updated to provide feedback. (Task, team and individual needs)

Practical Solution to Increase Productivity and Reduce Stress

The TASKey Method offers a practical solution to provide managers and team members with the essential information they need to be more productive and less stressed. It integrates goal management, planning (including assumption based), coordinating, time management (individual and team) and practical team dynamics from general management with scheduling from project management.

 

Software to Make the Method Easy to Apply

TASKey TEAM software is used to apply the TASKey Method easily and consistently. It keeps track of projects and tasks, key information and the relationships between people doing the work. Then it gives instant access to relevant key information (action plans) and provides each user with a detailed ToDo list of the actions they need to do to contribute to all their tasks and projects.

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