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tasks and the time lines you have complete them

Tasks and the time lines you have complete them


Before you begin


1D Use business technology to manage tasks




2C Identify and report variations in service and product quality




3C Use feedback to identify improvement opportunities


3D Facilitate continuous learning

© Aspire Training & Consulting v

Prepare workgroup plans

In your role as a manager, team leader or supervisor, you will be responsible for planning your own work schedule as well as that of your team to ensure that the team’s goals and objectives are met. Depending on the size of the organisation you are working in, you may be involved in planning at an organisational level. In this case you will be directly involved in linking your team’s responsibilities to the overall goals and objectives of the organisation.

Definition of terms

Workplaces use different terms for describing how people work together and what they have to achieve. Below are some commonly used terms and what they mean.

└A work schedule can be referred to as a work plan, an operational plan or simply a plan. These words are used interchangeably in most

workplaces in Australia. A work schedule or work plan details the tasks and responsibilities involved in achieving a specific objective. A work plan can cover one person’s, a team’s or a whole department’s responsibilities.


The planning process

1 Establish realistic and measurable goals, objectives and targets.


Implement your plan.


Check progress against the plan to make sure that your original targets and time frames are being adhered to.


Organisations use a range of team plans to achieve their team and individual employee goals. Here is an outline of three strategic team plans.

Workgroup or team plans

Team manager plans

└Your own plan should detail your overall goal, objectives and targets and how you expect to achieve them. This includes your major areas of

└Whereas the organisation’s strategic plan should focus, motivate and inspire its employees, your own work plan should help you focus and

keep you motivated towards your own work goals and targets. Your goals

You need to set time lines, allocate resources and discuss outcomes for

each of the tasks. This should be done at a team meeting when tasks


© Aspire Training & Consulting

Develop work priorities

└Access any information held within your organisation that records the services requested of your team over the past 12 months. This will

help you predict client needs for the next 12 months. You can also use purchasing data to determine purchasing patterns, which will help you schedule cyclical tasks and anticipate client demand.

Know your market

Your understanding of the market that you operate in will help you when you are devising the work plan for the team. For example, if you have a good relationship with your clients, they may tell you when your competitors approach them for business. With this knowledge, you will be able to plan your strategy for keeping the client and you will also be able to report the competitor’s activity to your manager and other colleagues who could be affected.


Your understanding of your team’s goals must be clear enough for you to know what you should do to help achieve them. Consider your unique role and the responsibilities that correspond with the role to help ensure that your team reaches its goals. You must have a clear understanding of the role of your work group in the organisation.

Mission or vision

At the broadest level, the mission or vision of an organisation is a strategic goal set by the senior management of the organisation and encapsulates what the organisation wants to achieve.

They tend to cover five main areas: cost, quality, quantity, time and safety. Targets must be measurable; that is, you must be able to express them with a quantity, dollar, time or number measure.


© Aspire Training & Consulting

Kirk is the team leader of five legal secretaries. The team looks after the administrative work of three partners in a law firm. The firm’s partners pass work to Kirk who then distributes the work among the five secretaries. Usually, all work from a particular client will be given to the same secretary.

Kirk’s draft work plan for his team includes the following objectives:

Kirk is holding a meeting with the partners to determine the priorities of his team’s objectives.

He discusses with the partners the range of administration tasks the team has been undertaking in recent months, including preparing draft contracts and keeping up with the correspondence between the firm and its clients involved in the deals.

continued …

© Aspire Training & Consulting


Questions to ask when devising contingencies

• Which tasks will be affected by the risk?

• How can we realistically stop this risk from occurring?

• Who will be responsible for carrying out the tasks?

• How will we know that we have overcome the risk?

Competing work responsibilities can generally be resolved in a number of ways:

• Re-allocate the tasks to a team member who has the requisite skills and is available.


© Aspire Training & Consulting


• Sales plan

• Reporting plan

• Team and individual learning goals

For example, if you were planning to overcome a budgetary risk, you would most likely

The following is a work plan and its corresponding contingency plan. Work plan

Milestone Task Responsible Risk Time line

Annual report
dispatched to
all shareholders

• Format all
contributions into the annual report template


14 August
15 August

continued …


© Aspire Training & Consulting


However, it is important that you use technology as a means to an end, not as the end itself. Your responsibility is to develop your work group’s plan and monitor the team’s progress towards achieving its objectives, not to spend time learning computer programs and using technology.

If you are focusing on perfecting the different features of your personal organiser in preference to completing your responsibilities within the work plan, you are unlikely to be contributing to your team’s achievement of its objectives.

Computers and computer applications

Your computer can be a powerful planning tool.

© Aspire Training & Consulting

Topic 1

Plan and complete your work schedule

Activity Tasks Time line

Determine recipients of the mail-out.

16 August


If your organisation has an intranet, you may be able

Calendar and tasks features are powerful planning tools and can be used as your personal schedule. It is a good way of keeping track of your appointments, meetings, tasks and the time lines you have to complete them in. You can record details against specific dates and times and set reminder alarms.

You can also attach all relevant documents and correspondence related to the task in the same place. Make a list of things you need to do during the day or week and use the task list view to monitor and prioritise your daily work. This helps you keep track of your important tasks, categorise and prioritise tasks and will prompt you with a reminder if a task is overdue. You can also allocate tasks to other individuals and groups and track their progress. Some programs arrange tasks on a time line so you can see which tasks are competing for the same time.

© Aspire Training & Consulting

In order to evaluate and monitor your work
performance, it is important that your job
description and performance standards are clearly defined. You can easily refer to the quantifiable, ‘hard’ measures such as objectives, targets and key performance indicators for required benchmarks.

‘Soft’ measures, such as your attitude towards your job, your initiative, motivation and interpersonal behaviour, are not so easily quantified. These aspects should be constantly self-evaluated. They will also become evident in any performance appraisal
processes conducted by your manager and may be the source of much of your feedback.

Key result areas (KRAs) describe the main areas of accountability and
responsibility of a job and provide a framework for your activities. KRAs specify the tasks that contribute to the team’s goals and performance. For example, an office manager or team leader of a large recruitment company might have the following KRAs:

• Staffing levels



Develop work priorities

Forward-thinking managers constantly reassess the direction of their organisations by promoting a process of evaluation and reflection. What are the organisation’s goals and standards and how are these being achieved? Managers need to assess the organisation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This process is known as a SWOT analysis.

In your own job role, you need to evaluate to what extent you are achieving your
performance standards. Reflect on your previous performance appraisals. Is there scope for self-assessment? Is this conducted prior to the appraisal interview? What benefits did you derive from the process?

• Staff feeling that if they admit to weaknesses, their weaknesses may be used against them

• Staff being unsure about whether to provide upward feedback to their managers


You may think you are doing a good job until you are overlooked for promotion. Alternatively, you may underestimate your performance, until suddenly your manager gives you increased responsibility and higher duties in your supervisor’s absence.

Although you may be performing your job to a high degree of personal satisfaction, think about whether it also satisfies and fulfils the expectations of your peers, supervisors and managers?

People enjoy praise, and staff at all levels always respond well to positive feedback and constructive suggestions on their work performance. It is harder to receive negative feedback. However, such feedback can be just as valuable because it challenges you to re-evaluate your personal behaviour, your goals and how you achieve them.

Feedback may be about behaviour; that is, what you say or do. It may also relate to the way you communicate with peers, share the workload and cooperate with team members.

© Aspire Training & Consulting

Topic 3
Coordinate professional development

If an organisation is to realise its full potential, it has to assess the existing skills of all its employees and decide what extra learning and training is needed. To do this, an organisation needs to facilitate a learning culture and provide employees with opportunities for self-improvement.

3C Use feedback to identify improvement opportunities

3D Facilitate continuous learning

Research opportunities for improvement and learning

Although personal development and career planning is the responsibility of both you and your organisation, you often need to research opportunities for improvement and source avenues of learning yourself.

Here are examples of professional training and development activities that can assist in professional improvement and learning.

Professional development activities

Once you have identified and prioritised your development and learning needs, research the opportunities that are available. Find out whether your organisation offers time for you to attend a study course during work hours, and/or provides financial support. Think of creative solutions to your needs. Often, a formal training course is not the answer. Coaching or mentoring from a colleague with expertise in the targeted area may be more beneficial in some instances, as well as more cost-efficient.

As you research, make a note of the courses offered, their duration, cost and what they cover. Are they relevant? Will they help you achieve your work goals? Do they target the specific needs you have? How will the information be delivered – in a workshop, as a seminar or one-on-one? Will you have to attend outside of work hours? Will you receive recognition for attending?

training institutions

the internet


Develop work priorities

Example: application form

Company needs

Estimated costs: for information purposes only

Program or course fees for current year

Study/examination leave days:
Financial support (please specify):
Total $ ................................................................


© Aspire Training & Consulting

└Feedback from customers can be helpful in identifying a skill gap you were not aware of. For example, a customer may complain that

their details are not correct. This may lead you to notice that the customer database is poorly constructed and you will need to make a recommendation to purchase a new customer management software program and learn how to use it.

└Tips, advice and suggestions from mentoring or coaching sessions should be recorded and followed up promptly. They may also include

formal training options.

• supervisors and colleagues

• customers and clients

© Aspire Training & Consulting

Career management model


Stage 1: Self-assessment
• Clarifying issues and concerns


• Cultivating a network
• Seeking and benefiting from mentoring
• Evaluating results
• Selecting career path options


Stage 4: Opportunity awareness• Evaluating career action options


Record professional development achievements

An organisation’s human resources department usually holds a personal file on each of its employees. This file contains confidential information relating to an individual’s employment. It should also keep relevant documentation that pertains to your qualifications and your job.

Your personal file

You should always keep a copy of all your personal documentation that you have provided to Human Resources, your manager or other authorised personnel. Remember to keep your file current. You need to follow your organisation’s policies and procedures for storing your records. For example, the organisation may have a filing cabinet dedicated to holding employee records and documents. It may be your responsibility to ensure that your documents are passed on to the appropriate person to file.

This provides a useful basis for discussion at performance appraisals and

internal job interviews. You may be asked to present or prepare a written report

• report of the activity or transcript

• certificates gained or statements of attendance.

© Aspire Training & Consulting

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