A large part of your managerial work is ensuring you and your team complete all your projects on time. That means determining and delegating tasks while helping your team reach the finish line together. It also means providing your team with the resources they need to work efficiently and productively – all while staying on top of all your other responsibilities. It’s a tricky balance, but this guide to how to manage team tasks will help you keep your head above water.
- What is team task management?
- What benefits does team task management have?
- Who benefits from team task management?
- Best techniques for team task management
- What to avoid in team task management
- How team task management differ
What is team task management?
Team task management is the process of creating a detailed plan and schedule of tasks for a project and outlining how your team will complete them. It involves setting deadlines, allocating resources, and making decisions on how to best divide tasks among your team while keeping your processes and colleagues on a clear timeline.
To streamline your task management processes, try using task management software. With these platforms, you can facilitate team collaboration, track next steps and deadlines, and overall lighten your managerial workload.
What benefits does team task management provide?
Team task management helps you efficiently, productively work with multiple people to complete a project. Playing an active, guiding role in your team’s work processes, establishing a clear schedule for your team’s tasks, and monitoring progress all help you:
- Prioritize tasks. Task management can give you a clear vision of which tasks your team should complete first before moving onto others. It can help you properly delegate task assignments and clearly define your expectations for how the work should be performed.
- Increase team productivity. Getting your team on the same page about tasks, processes, and deadlines helps everyone put in their best work. As you manage your employees through their tasks, you give them a framework in which they can perform at a pace that works for everyone involved.
- Foster collaboration. You and your team members are working toward the same, shared goal. Team task management clarifies your path toward getting there together, leading to a more collaborative team. Especially robust task management strategies often involve project discussions in which information, ideas, and approaches are shared to improve your problem-solving and decision-making.
- Make the most of your time. Managing your team’s tasks makes for a more efficient team. With effective team task management strategies, you won’t accidentally assign two people to the same task or have two teams conducting repetitive work, a problem that can be serious when big deadlines are looming. You’ll stand a stronger chance of hitting deadlines.
Who benefits from team task management?
Team task management might sound like it’s all about the team, but it impacts more than the people involved in your day-to-day work. Teak task management benefits:
- Managers. Task management is highly advantageous to you as a manager. Creating specific plans and guidelines takes some of a project’s weight off your shoulders and evenly divides it among your team. It helps you get a clear look at the steps that need to be taken, due dates, and which employees are responsible for assignments. That’s way fewer distracting thoughts floating around in your head.
- Employees. Managing your employees’ tasks sets defined expectations for each of your team members and holds them accountable for meeting those standards. With set deadlines and to-do lists to reference, your team can work independently while being sure they’re contributing to the team’s success.
- Clients. A major way to keep clients happy is to deliver their products in a timely fashion. Because team task management prioritizes tasks and sets timelines for completing them, your clients are more likely to promptly receive their deliverables. The result is strong client relationships that keep the work coming.
Best techniques for team task management (Do’s)
Let’s say you have a big goal ahead or need help getting through the hundreds of tasks on your company’s to-do list. In either case, knowing how to guide your team through your objectives can make your workdays much more manageable. The list below provides several tips for effectively managing your team’s tasks and setting an easily navigable path to your goal.
- Create clear goals
- Visualize deadlines
- Determine priorities
- Know what you need
- Stay organized with each task
- Clarify expectations
- Track your team’s progress
- Keep employees organized
- Be flexible
- Use team task management software
- Review the process
1 Create clear goals
Identify your team’s main objective, and make a task list for your team to complete. As you make your list, be specific and include only tasks that contribute directly to your goal.
2 Visualize deadlines and timeframes
Figure out how much time each task will take to complete. Set deadlines for each task to keep your team on track. Order your task list by deadline to make tracking progress easier.
3 Determine priorities
Which tasks are needed to get the project started? Which tasks will require the most work? Answer these questions to determine the level of importance for each task. Tasks with the earliest deadlines and highest priority should be at the top of your list.
4 Know what you need
Make notes on the tools, resources, research, and information each task requires. Consider any obstacles that could arise during each of these processes, and create alternate plans to address those concerns.
5 Stay organized with each task
Keep your team’s documents in one place. Helping your employees keep their schedules uncluttered and easily accessible can help everyone stay up to date on their progress.
6 Clarify expectations
Set expectations for your employees by clearly communicating how and by when each task should be completed. Inform team members if they need to communicate their progress to other employees.
7 Track your team’s progress
Schedule a weekly team meeting with all your direct reports to keep up with their priorities and progress. Mark which tasks are complete, discuss any hiccups that need to be addressed and establish how you’ll move forward with the process.
Use a meeting management tool like Fellow to easily build collaborative meeting agendas to ensure your team is on track and document progress.
8 Keep employees organized
You’ve planned your tasks, set deadlines, and given employees their assignments. Now that you’re more organized, you should encourage your team to be the same. Implement team organization strategies such as to-do lists, micro-tasking, and creating Kanban boards to help employees stay on top of their tasks. You should also encourage team members to check in with each other and share resources. This way, everyone stays on track and accountable.
9 Be flexible
Half the battle of being a manager is knowing how to roll with the punches. It’s common for your plan not to go exactly as expected, and in that case, you’ll need to reassess. Of course, deviating from a set structure can be stressful. Remain calm and collected, and you should find it easier to come up with effective alternate plans.
10 Use team task management software
Make workflows smoother and communication easier by using team task management software. Some tools to consider are Asana or Monday for complex project management and Fellow for organizing check-in meetings.
11 Review the process
As you and your team complete your tasks, you should review what went right and which processes need improvement. To start, encourage the sharing of peer feedback among your employees. Then, use what you learn to make changes that improve the process for the next set of tasks.
What to avoid in team task management (Don’ts)
Organizing tasks, keeping up with deadlines, and managing employees might seem like a lot to handle. But letting tasks get out of hand can make everyone’s workday chaotic and lessen your team’s productivity. To prevent disorganization and keep a smooth process, here’s what to avoid when working through your tasks:
Don’t let your urge to pay close attention to detail cause you to hover over your employees. After giving your team instructions and communicating your expectations for their work, step back and trust that your employees have what they need to accomplish their tasks.
2 Worrying about deadlines
When you make your plan of attack for your task list, the deadlines you set are there to help you plan and organize your tasks. They don’t have to be dreaded, looming dates. Use them as motivation that increases employee productivity.
3 Getting unorganized
Staying organized is just as important at the beginning of the process as near its completion. Don’t get so confident in your employees’ work that you stop tracking tasks and your team’s progress and later find out they’re way behind. It’s much tougher to catch up and reorganize from behind than when you’re on track or ahead.
4 Struggling to focus on your goals
With your sights set on your individual tasks, it can be easy to get lost in small details. While detailed, organized work is important, focusing on the smallest details of a task can result in losing sight of the bigger picture.
How team task management differs from other management types
All management methods ultimately have the same goal – they just focus on different ways to get there. Below are two other management types and some details on how they differ from team task management.
Project management involves handling the different stages of a project from beginning to end and making sure everything as a whole is on track for completion. It includes planning, executing, and evaluating a project while managing a team. Task management, on the other hand, focuses on what’s required to complete an individual task.
Let’s say your goal is to create a new company marketing campaign. Task management involves reaching out to sponsors and confirming their attendance at funding meetings. Project management involves making sure this task and several others are coming together to complete this goal within a certain time frame.
Individual management places greater responsibility on each person working on a project. In this management style, managers allow their individual employees to decide the best way to achieve their tasks and handle their responsibilities.
While managers are still involved in the individual management process, they’re somewhat more hands-off. Instead of actively shaping the employee’s processes and work, managers will simply give individuals what they need to meet the team’s goals in their own unique way. Managers will communicate clearly these goals and allow their employees to conduct themselves as needed to reach these objectives.
Individual management approaches are, of course, quite different from task management. The former gives employees a significant degree of freedom, whereas in task management, team members must follow specific guidelines for completing each task.
Top-tier task management
Managing tasks is perhaps the most important responsibility of any manager. It can also get challenging, as no two people on your team complete tasks in the same way, but the above tips should help you succeed. Just remember to convey your expectations and monitor progress via task management software and regular meetings. And come meeting time, Fellow can help get everyone on the same page with powerful tools for agendas, action items, and more.