Task Assignment

Our work in any organisation consists of a series of tasks, which might be long or short, one–off or repeated. Most of us want to do a good job in completing our tasks and if we are a leader we want those to whom we assign tasks to accomplish them successfully. What is needed is a process by which the task doer has a clear understanding of the task they are to do, can commit themselves to doing it and so are in a position to accept their manager’s judgement of their performance as fair.

A simple, powerful and useful tool in Systems Leadership is the task assignment model (developed from the work of Elliott Jaques) - CPQQRT

Why does this piece of work need to be done and what difference will it make? (Context & Purpose – CP) What output is wanted? (Quantity and Quality – QQ) What have I got to do it with? (Resources – R) When does it have to be done by? (Time – T)

This is at the centre of a series of processes where the task has to be formulated often on advice from the task doer who may be the expert. There is a process of negotiation when understanding, availability, timescale and resources are checked. The process is finished by a review that recognises the work done, looks for improvements for the future and may lead to some reward.