One major responsibility when leading a team is task allocation to each person on the team. This requires making decisions about who is capable of performing specific tasks for a successful project.
To make these decisions effectively, the team leader must make judgments concerning:
- One or several tasks that must be completed
- Which employees in the department is able to complete the tasks
- Finding the best fit to achieve project goals
Generally, this means the team leader needs to combine people and tasks. Maintaining proper staff levels is also important when allocating work assignments.
A team leader will often have a set of tasks when allocating work to different members of the team. Each tasks must be assessed to determine:
- What tasks need to get done?
- What deadlines are necessary for each task?
- What tools or equipment do team members need to get tasks done?
Typically, a project requires one task to be completed before work can move forward. Therefore, assessing the importance of each task is crucial to planning work allocation in advance.
Assessing the Team
Knowledge and competence level of team members will ensure the project is staffed accurately. In some situations, the team leader can use a skills matrix to have a visual of the variety of skills on the team.
Not only does it present a visual of similar skills, but the matrix will also identify what is missing. This assessment of team skills makes task allocation easier to accomplish.
This presents a useful way of considering what each team member does well. Otherwise, the team leader runs the risk of underutilizing certain skillsets. Assessing the team provides a better picture of areas where professional development is useful to prepare them for the next project.
Additionally, team leaders can also identify certain skills team member do not need to learn. The company will save training dollars by not training more employees than necessary to perform certain tasks.
Using the best person for a task is always a sensible thing to do. However, a company could have only a certain group of people doing repetitive tasks. Obviously, they become better at what they do, but others will never learn.
This requires some creative juggling for a team leader. On one hand, he or she wants to avoid boredom from repetitive work. On the other hand, he or she wants to make sure unskilled team members are not resentful when their skillset never expands.
Involving the Team
Motivating the team can be as simple as involving them in decisions such as how work is allocated. Team leaders can also ask if members want to learn a new skill before starting on a new project.
Morale is boosted when the company shows an interest in their professional development. In addition, cross-training can also guarantee that coverage is available for different tasks when others take time off from work.
Getting the team involved in making decisions helps to develop high-performing teams. The direct link to better performance is stronger productivity numbers that feed the bottom line.
Every team leader wants to manage a team that consistently meets project targets. Because of this, some might be hesitant to ask for input from subordinates. But, involving the team does not change the way decisions are made about tasks and timelines.
The leader still looks at different tasks and available skills on the team. However, the leader gets buy-in from members to agree how best to allocate skills and resources.
Collective decisions foster discussions on how the team will arrive at the best decision for the project. This increases enthusiasm and motivation where team members draw on their experience to ensure the project’s success.
Work Allocation is about Managing Tasks
Working towards a positive outcome for a project is about two primary things: carefully managing tasks and the people who are expected to do the job.
Companies can generate extra revenues when tasks are assigned and completed within a given time. Allocating resources properly become the building blocks to a successful completion. Otherwise, it becomes impossible to meet target goals.
Beginning with a solid plan, team leaders have a visual of what it will take to work on the project. This plan also serves as the blueprint to utilizing the right resources in the right place.
Even with limited budgets, team leaders can manage a team better when the right people are trained and skilled to perform different tasks. Planning allocations before the work begins means half of the work is already done.
All that is left is for team leaders to explain, motivate and include team members in the final decisions. This lessens the chance for misuse or waste. Instead, leaders can select who is the right fit.
Tiny budgets can become enough to complete projects without cost overruns. Team members are motivated when they know their skills and experience is valued. Most importantly, the entire team works towards a successful outcome.