- How Do You Gain Power from Completion?
- Believing in the Task or Project
- Proper Assessment of a Task or Project
- Managing a Task or Project
- Accountability in Completing a Task or Project
- Take the Blinders Off
- Time Is of the Essence
- Organizing a Task or Project
- Should a Task Become an Official Project?
- Operations Manager or Project Manager?Who Are You?
- Managing Processes Versus Reporting on Progress
- Power Tools for the Manager
- Power Tool Summary
Time Is of the Essence
Time is a vital resource within any organization. Many studies have been published that can quantify how much time companies waste each year and how much that can cost, not only in money but also in inefficient use of resources. One area that can be difficult to manage is human resource efficiency. It is a common fact that resources are not created equal and people will have both strengths and weaknesses. The manager hires human resources based largely on a skill set that shows strengths that can be used to perform required job functions. As these resources are in place to perform their required duty, they are sometimes called on to participate in other things such as additional tasks, projects, or team meetings. This can have one of two effects on a resource:
- Opportunity—The resource is capable of performing the normal task and enjoys the opportunity to participate in other assignments, further developing the resource and improving his job satisfaction. “They enjoy it.”
- Punishment—The resource wants only to perform his required duty and feels that he should not have to be involved in other tasks or projects. This resource might or might not be capable of performing extra tasks and will see this as an increased stressful work environment. “They hate it.”
In most cases a manager will present these opportunities by asking for volunteers, to get those most likely to embrace the opportunity and not see it as drudgery. The warning here is to not forget that this resource not only is performing her regular duty, but is taking on extra work and will need to have guidance in modifying her work schedule to include additional tasks. This is where problems can start and managers can either gain power or lose it.
Managers might come out of a meeting with an action item list and start throwing resources on new tasks just to get things started. Managers engaged in these new tasks or projects can get overly focused on completing those tasks and forget that these resources have their regular job to perform. Managers still have an operation to run and need to schedule these resources according to what the operation can afford. When these resources are off of their normal job, the organization suffers as a result. This is offset by what the resource is contributing on the special task that will benefit the organization. So as a net result the resource’s time and completion of assignments is in balance relative to the bigger picture in the organization.
If too much time is spent on the special tasks, morale might decline because people get their satisfaction from performing their normal job.
There is a threshold that people will have in the balance of their normal job versus time spent on a special task that yields a certain job satisfaction. With some, too much time on the task takes them away from their normal job and they cross over the threshold and begin to resent the task for taking them away from their job, resulting in lower job satisfaction. On the other hand, there are people who thrive on the special task assignments and want to get away from their normal job to get the satisfaction they desire. They want to be on several tasks and avoid their normal job as much as possible. This might or might not be good for the organization or the resource. This topic is covered in Chapter 5 , “Managing Your Resources.”