“My staff are able to manage themselves more effectively through efficient task scheduling, workflow, calendar sharing, project management, delegation and feedback.”

Who has to do it? Task Allocation and Accountability

Accountability
Bullet  A Task must always have a Responsible Person or Group
Bullet  Transparency and Collaboration breed Accountability
Bullet  Group Tasks and Task Auto Escalation

 

A Task must always have a Responsible Person or Group

Once the team agrees on the 'WHAT needs to be done?' aspect of a task, and we are clear as to 'WHO needs it done?', it is time to make sure that we all agree on the 'WHO HAS TO DO IT?' question. Generally this is a no-brainer; If the client asked for Sally, then its her task. The problem comes in when its not a no-brainer, when the client said 'Can SOMEONE please call me back about....' That's easy too, you say - its the managers' job to decide. But appointing a manager is costly and now we just create another bottleneck in our operations. And we are also telling our people that they need supervision, and can't think for themselves.  

By allocating a task to a person in Streamline (any person - just try it - he will protest if he is not your man), we are telling the whole team 'Guys, Johnny will be looking after this'. Everyone sees this, as the issue is visible to everyone. The onus is now on Johnny to either do it, or convince us that he is not the best person to do it (he might be too busy, out of the office at that time or untrained). Notice that, conveniently forgetting is NOT one of the options - the issue gets forced, because the system keeps it alive. Then the task gets re-allocated (with the initiators permission). But it still stays OPEN, until it is conciously closed! The point here is; no one can ever say 'I thought YOU were doing it', or 'That was never discussed with ME..' or ever 'I didn't even KNOW it was required'. The transparency and accountability of a task is unrelenting, but don't worry, people soon get to grips with being accountable... or they go elsewhere.

It is for this reason that we also do not allow users to edit tasks. You can add to it, rephrase your position, apologize, but you cannot 'unsay' what you said. So be nice!

 

Transparency and Collaboration breed Accountability

Accountability in some people comes naturally, however, with others accountability only happens when they realise they have no choice but to follow through on their projects, tasks and activities. In a transparent business, people can’t hide behind excuses because their peers, team members and managers will know!

By setting up your business so that all members of the team know who is doing what, how far they are and when they are done, you create transparency, accountability and feedback (quality control) that will ensure that work gets done!

 

Group Tasks and Task Auto Escalation

We have agreed that a task always needs a responsible person.  So, what if we are still figuring out who that person is going to be? Who looks after the task then? This introduced the concept of GROUP TASKS.  When we roll out Streamline in an organization, all users are joined to one or more 'groups'. A group is typically a functional or geographic collection of users, such as the 'Accounts Department', or the 'Cape Town Branch'. Now, when sheduling a task, you might not know precisely who should be doing it (as you might not know who is available, capable, or willing to do it), but you will probably have a good idea as to which department should be dealing with it. A client on the phone unhappy with his account? Schedule the Accounts Group. A client wanting help? give it to the Support Team.  A complaint? Give it to management. Etc.

By giving the issue to a group, all the members of the group can see it, and it will often be resolved long before the group manager can even decide who should be handling it.  If not, we can set Streamline to automatically escalate it to the group manager or any other person or group.

The elegance and ease with which Streamline facilitates Task Allocation and Routing, as part of the communication cycle, has to be experienced to be fully appreciated.

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