When do you release your Tasks?
Tasks need to be released at the correct time, to the proper resource, and be confirmed to be successful.
This article presents 3 essential steps that are needed — before the Tasks are started.
1. Task Scoping & Definition
The high-level work breakdown structure (WBS) created during the planning stage a of a project is usually sufficient to create preliminary task definitions.
Regardless of who creates them, (and I’ve seen Program Managers as well as Schedulers create them), preliminary definitions are insufficient for work to be started on the Tasks.
After a preliminary definition is created, the next step is to have a resource, who is a good candidate for the task, confirm the Task definition.
2. Resource Confirmation
Resources are the ones who work the Tasks — and they are in the best position to validate the definitions.
Task assignment without asking the Resource to validate the Task is disrespectful, lacks teaming psychology, and places the Task at significant risk.
Resources need the opportunity to read the Task definition before the Task is released. Questions need to be asked — the requirements and definition of done need to be clear and thoroughly understood.
This process can result in determining that a task’s scope is too large, or that there are dependencies needing to be completed before the Task can start, and flushes out other issues to resolve before releasing the Task.
The process is complete when the Resource confirms that:
a. The Task requirements are clear
b. The Definition of Done is clear
c. The Task dependencies are completely defined
d. And, that they have the skills needed to complete the task
3. Task Estimation
Following the Resource Confirmation, a good estimate can be made of effort required to complete the Task. The estimate needs to be made by the Resource who confirmed the Task definition.
There is much more to be discussed on the actual releasing of a Tasks — this is however, beyond the scope of this article. Here are some key points for future discussion regarding the releasing Tasks:
- The Project Schedule defines the release date
- The Resource is not allowed to work more than 1 Task at a time
- The Resource is given advance notice of the pending release
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