Last week a colleague asked me how I ensure that delegated tasks are completed on time. Embarrassingly I had to confess that there was one important task that I had allowed to drift. I am accountable for it, so it’s my job to ensure that it is done.
I have a system for tracking tasks, but I hadn’t followed it in this case.
Normally, I add a task to my electronic to do list, beginning with “FOLLOW-UP”. (All tasks in my list begin with a verb in capital letters.) Then I set a date to review progress and it appears on my daily task list for action. Somehow, an important task had not been captured.
My conclusion? The system is decent, but could be improved.
From today, I’m going to set my follow-up dates to be a Monday. The intention is to start the week with an assurance that things are on track. Hopefully, if something has slipped through the net, it will come to mind as I’m updating other tasks.
I hope that my team will get accustomed to this routine, and for complex multi-stage tasks, I’ll expect them to provide me with an update on Mondays.
Do you have any suggestions that would help me, and my colleague, improve in this area?
(Photo by Ben Christen @flickr.com)