The importance of breaking down tasks
On the short time I have been working at Swapps, I have realized some curious situations. Sometimes there is a big task in a specific project, and I mean a big task that will take approximately two days. When the assigned person takes this task, he starts working normally, but if he is assigned to another “little” task (which will take maximum half an hour), whenever he cans, he will stop doing the current big task and start doing the little one. Why is this continuously happening? Well, I guess is something about human beings, we like feeling that we progress a lot, and tasks in a project are not the exception.
If you think, it feels better saying you completed 10 tasks in a day instead of just one right? you feel better, you think you’re faster and more productive, don’t you? I think this is the main reason of why this happens. As a project manager, your job is not only assigning tasks and testing them, you also have to keep your team members happy and comfortable while they are working. For example, some people like having a lot of tasks which will occupy a whole month so they can organize their time, some others like having new tasks everyday, so you have to learn each team member’s way of working, in order to make everyone feel comfortable. A common situation I have found among all my teammates, is that they prefer solving little tasks, rather than the big ones, actually, when they have a big task they normally leave it until they HAVE to obligatory take it.
So, knowing this, what is the best thing to do? well, don’t you think those big tasks can be broken down into smaller ones? of course, yes! that simple! just take the big tasks, like the one that will take more than a day to be made, and break it down into smaller sub-tasks, this way you guarantee that the task will be made in less time, you can test each sub-task assuring quality required and your teammates will be happier and more satisfied with their own work!