Tips11: How to Set Tasks in a Way That Makes Sense to the Team and Is Efficient

Project Sprint has a cycle of confirming the tasks that came out of the meeting at the end of the meeting, and reporting the progress of the tasks up to that point at the beginning of the next meeting. As explained in the section on Holding a Meeting, when describing a task, you should clarify the following at least;

  • Specific action to be taken

  • Person in charge

  • Due date

However, if this is the only way to describe the task, there may be cases when the task progress is reported, such as "It was not what we expected" or "It will not be completed forever. This is due to the fact that the person in charge of the task does not know what to do, or that the person in charge or the deadline is set incorrectly in the first place. The root cause is that there is a misunderstanding among the team members and the tasks are not defined correctly.

Therefore, you can prevent such misunderstandings in advance by considering and clarifying the following elements as well.


This is a description of why the task needs to be done.

Since the task will eventually lead to the ideal state of progress (achievement of project goals and milestones) or the ideal state of teaming (alignment of role expectations), it is effective to write down the purpose while being aware of how each task is connected to achieve it.

By writing down the objectives, you can easily determine who should do the task (the person in charge) and when it should be done (the deadline).

Estimated Output and Estimated Work Time

This is a description of the specific image of the output that will be produced as a result of completing the task. The output is the result of the team members completing the assigned task (see Tip 3).

For example, if you have a task to create a document, you can say, "The document should have ~~ slides, and the headings should be well-crafted. The text and figures can be dummies." This makes it easier to check whether the output is in line with the objective. In this case, if the purpose of the task is "to use for rehearsal just before the presentation," the output will be insufficient. You don't necessarily have to go for perfection as long as you can achieve your goal. Instead, be aware of the need to ensure that you produce the minimum amount of output.

It is also effective to clearly state the estimated time to complete the task in order to match the image of the expected output. In the case of the aforementioned task of creating documents, if one person thinks the task will only take one hour, but another person thinks it will take four hours, it is highly likely that there is a difference in the level of creation.

Furthermore, if through these tasks it is determined that the granularity of the task is too large, break the task down into smaller pieces to ensure that the output is large enough for each meeting.



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