Without learning, there is no growth. Most businesses shifted their focus to learning and development as they realised that only “learning” can pave the path for innovation. And doing is learning half done. What is the other half all about then? The other half is all about what “doing” leads to.
Streamlining “the doing” part happens through tasks. Tasks are the basic building blocks of any strategy. While most organisations developed in scale, the task list also grew proportionally. Task management systems had to be set up due to the high interdependency between tasks.
Every organisation uses some form of task management system. From excel, gantt chart and emails to ticketing systems. We are not addressing how effective these systems are and how they impact the bottomline. What we are looking at is whether these task managements contribute to long term strategy.
Let’s look at what doing a task results in. It starts before the task starts.
- Objective – Before doing a task, the objective gets set up. Why a certain task needs to be done drives the “how” of the task.
- Requirement Gathering – After the objective, doing a task needs sizing up of the details. What resources – both human and non-human are required?
- Defining the interdependencies – What other tasks are required to be fulfilled in order to do this task? And how many other tasks are dependent on it? That would help put a timeline to the task?
- Standard Or Non-Standard – Is it a standard task? Or is it a one-off task specific to the project? That would define who all need to be involved to ideate about how the task is to be completed.
Although the above processes get ingrained in the operations as basics, there is still no way the task management system evolves with every task. Why?
Because the know-how for every task is assumed to be constant. And that nullifies the scope for spreading the ideas & innovations brought in during day-to-day operations. Those “better ways” to do a task find way into everyone’s minds only when a top-down meeting emphasises on them. That can be very detrimental to the growth culture in an organisation in today’s dynamic environment where everything is real-time including growth.
What if the knowledge that is gathered, explored, tested and refined while doing daily tasks is used to understand the collective intelligence of the organisation? What if this knowledge gets documented and stored so that it can serve as a ready reference to the other teams dealing with task resolution or worse, escalation? What is the several ideas and opinions regarding the tasks & processes could be looked over a period of time rather than a scheduled time-bound meeting for reviewing the efforts?
The fact that you have the know-how as well as a constantly evolving pool of intelligence to tap the realities can arm the strategy makers with so much more power to create long term strategy. The future can be envisioned based on solid grounding of what is happening and how it can be made better.
The task management system these days can provision to tap the intelligence that is associated with not just doing tasks but also resolving critical issues. It will bring in a culture of ideation and brainstorming amongst those who are otherwise engrossed in meeting deadlines and checking off the assigned tasks. Is it not the most crucial element in creating long term strategies & making them successful?