Consider these five criteria when distributing work to your high-performing team.
Another key task as the leader of a high performing team is how you distribute and balance work across the members of that team. It needs to be done fairly. Note, I didn’t say equally. Work allocation needs to be done fairly because you want perceptions of equality and you want people to work on things they’re good at but also that they’re excited by.
There are five criteria to think about as you think about distributing work.
First, for priority. Priority needs to drive everything. It’s based on the teams and the organizations goals. If a project is a top priority and somebody’s available to do that work they get that work, and you need to allocate it appropriately.
Second, consider the skill set of the people where you’re thinking about distributing the work. If they have the right skill set, you’re going to get a high quality result. This also prevents people from failing. You’re giving them something they can be successful with.
Next, consider availability. All things being equal in terms of priority and skill set, who is free to do the work? Who has the bandwidth? You should not be shifting resources from one project to another when you have available resources to pick up that new project. If you start shifting resources around between projects when you have available resources elsewhere, you’re going to lose momentum on that first project, and that project might fail.
Next, you have to think about the development opportunity this project might present for that person, because that’s how you’re going to take your team to the next level of performance.
The last consideration is, “Does somebody have an interest in it?” If someone is really interested and really passionate about a project, you should let them take it on. They’re going to be really motivated, excited to do it, and hopefully their performance will follow. One caveat here: Make sure people don’t just gravitate to the work they enjoy doing and they stay away from things that they’re not comfortable with because they’re going to end up getting pigeon holed and they’ll be very narrow in their focus.
If you think about all these considerations as you distribute work across that team, it’s going to ensure that you tackle the highest priority projects with the resources who have the right skills to do it. It’ll be balanced in a way where you’re going to execute the project and develop your people at the same time.
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