Taskage™: Addressing the Difficult

Jun 05, 2020

LEADER'S FIELD GUIDE

When a project drags on, it may be too complex! What should leaders reassess, renegotiate, and reestablish to bring difficult efforts to a close?


Are you afraid you might be looking at the same mission critical projects next quarter? Trying to figure out why you or your team can’t get essential efforts accomplished? I wondered too, and coined the term Taskage™ to describe the negative associations professionals have with significant unfinished activities. To successfully dump the ‘baggage of the task’ we must understand what causes us to dread specific efforts.

There are 6 different Taskage™ categories: Too Expired, Too Hard, Too Risky, Too Pricy, Too Compulsory, and Too Urgent. ~Michelle Sugerman

Let’s focus on Too Hard. If a project is too difficult, that means it may take an excessive amount of time and/or effort to complete. For example, Taskage™ or the baggage you feel is the dread of getting started or the strain of not knowing how to finish or implement. We get frustrated because we may lack the training or process required to be successful. Maybe we think, “I don’t want to be the one stuck trying to figure this out. It’s just too complex and I don’t even know how to break it down or ask for help.”

Why the prolonged procrastination?

  • Sometimes we get attached to components that are currently too demanding– these items become nice-to-haves rather than have-to-haves and are incorporated at a later date!
  • Sometimes we lack knowledge or experience to complete a specific deliverable– perhaps it’s time to call in reinforcements!
  • Sometimes the complexity of an effort develops over time– we must pause to reassess or confirm the original goal or purpose!

Leaders must help determine if it is really too difficult to execute on an effort. If it is NOT too difficult, renegotiate timelines and break the effort into smaller parts. Unfortunately, it may require some exploration in order to get a better idea of what tasks may truly need. Schedule and then prioritize additional training. Define reasonable subtasks and reestablish realistic deadlines. Even if our task is, “Define reasonable subtasks and reestablish realistic deadlines,” we are getting closer to addressing the difficult.

Here are a few things to think about:

  • What is still simply too difficult to include in the project going forward?
  • What do you need in terms of resources (time/money/talent), information, or training to flesh out the next steps of your challenging project?
  • How can you break your complex project into smaller blocks of work?
  • Review the to-do list; continue only with tasks supporting the current priorities.

Next Steps: Give me an example of your Too Hard Taskage™… What are your POGs? What’s your project status (Red, Yellow, Green)? Time to earn more about the powerful Taskage™ Assessment created by a certified project manager– yours truly.


by Michelle Sugerman • Leading Synergies, LLC • © All Rights Reserved

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