The Secret Sauce for Task Management for Teams
Written by Ralitsa Golemanova
Are you already a fan of the collective flow for teams? Because here at Swipes, we definitely are. We have a strong hunch that achieving the mythical flow state in your team is the key to making teamwork work.
So we thought, why not break down the key tips for creating that teamwork magic, basing them on the main prerequisites for achieving personal flow?
And since we had no argument against it, that’s exactly what we did.
This is the first article of our new five-part series on different conditions for getting yourself and your teammates into a collective flow. It can immensely help your team work better together, achieve more and be more satisfied as individuals. We’re talking happiness at work here.
Let’s start with a much needed analysis of how to get better task management in place. Improving on the basis, that is, the way that people formulate, distribute and complete tasks lays the groundwork for successful and satisfying collaboration.
So, what is the secret sauce for task management for teams, you might wonder?
If we follow the ten prerequisites for personal flow set out by Prof. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, we get three secret ingredients to smooth team task management: you know what’s expected from you, you have the skills and abilities that match the type of challenge and you see the clear path to take the task from zero to completion.
Do not miss our next blog post. Subscribe for our content updates newsletter.
#1. Knowing what’s expected of you
For any job to get done in the right way, you need to know what the task at hand actually is. And when we place this in the context of teams, you have to have another important piece of information: what your teammates and managers expect from you to base their work on.
That’s why transparency is key here. You can’t go running around researching opinions and expectations because it’s a waste of time and will probably give you the name of the weirdo in the office.
Instead, your team should have a streamlined process and a clear system of creating tasks with enough clarity and context. This means that when you get assigned something, you know which project it belongs to, its priority in terms of time, its overall importance in the frame of the project, the steps you need to take to achieve it and the parameters that you’re expected to meet when delivering it.
Standardized tasks and task titles, tagging and visualizations of the process are handy methods for getting that clarity. Efficient communication channels are important as well, so you can always consult your teammates about requirements and directions.
And let’s not forget here that knowing how your work fits into the big picture gives a great sense of purpose and even group belonging. Seeing your personal tasks in the framework of the overarching objectives of the team is truly inspiring. So transparency functions well not only for stimulating the understanding of the requirements and the successful completion, but for boosting personal motivation and team spirit.
#2. Matching people’s skills to tasks
Good. So you have clear task assigning and enough knowledge about the job at hand.
But are you sure it’s not too difficult of a task for you to deliver exceptional quality work? Or maybe it’s too dull and outside your interest areas? And if either of these is the case, do you know how to go about it?
The next condition for getting into the flow state is that the tasks you get need to match your skills and abilities. If the challenge is too big, the stress level is unnecessarily high, while the guarantees for doing a good job are not in place.
In the same time, if the job does not tingle your personal drive for achievement, there are good chances you’ll fall asleep while doing it, or just slack through it to tick the ‘complete’ box.
What we’re getting at here is that the activity you’ll engage with has to feel satisfying and effortless, while not being monotonous and boring. Striking that delicate balance is the very basis of achieving flow as an individual.
#3. Clear path to achievement
And of course, even if you know what the task requires from you and it’s just the right type and level of challenge for you, there’s always the question how to get it to completion.
We come back to the need for clear processes in teamwork. Naturally, it’s much easier to achieve your goal when somebody has paved the way for you through numerous repetitions of success. Clear deliverables with subtasks are needed, as are effective and proven methods to be followed when working on them.
Efficient team collaboration embedded in your communication platform can be of great help here, as it can host the organizational memory of your team, as well as the templates or starting points of your work.
Plus, in an interconnected world as ours, it’s inevitable – and beautiful – that our work depends on other people’s work. That’s how we can transcend our limited imagination and create grand innovations together. But this means that when we set off to work on a task, it’s necessary to know what others have to contribute, so that we can complete our job successfully. Only then we can say that we can follow a clear path to achieving our goals.
Having these three conditions in place – clear expectations, matching challenges and successful methodology – means each of your team members has the needed backing to get into the flow where the activity at hand is satisfying and effortless.
Ultimately, this helps people get fully immersed in what they do. And we all know how pleasant – and productive – that is.
What’s the secret sauce that you use for improving task management in your team? Our comment section is craving your creative recipes!