L04 - Be able to prioritise business tasks Flashcards Preview

Business Exam - 25/05/18 > L04 - Be able to prioritise business tasks > Flashcards

Flashcards in L04 - Be able to prioritise business tasks Deck (26):
1

Workload

Employees have a limited number of hours within the working day
it is necessary to prioritise tasks to decide what needs to be completed first

2

Conflicting demands on time

- Employees, in particular senior managers, have their own tasks to carry out but their role is to support and advise others
- May cause conflicting demands on their time e.g. a manager needs to prepare for a presentation to the executive board next day but a direct report is struggling to deal with a customer complaint and requires help
- Managers need to decide what should be priority

3

KEY TERM - Direct report

A subordinate to a member of staff

4

Importance of meeting deadlines

- Internal/external tasks are both examples of tasks that may need to be prioritised over those that do not have an imminent deadline
- Large projects will often have interim deadlines as well as a final deadline, interim deadlines are planned so that if met the final deadline will also be achieved
- Instances where interum deadline may not be given the same level of priority as the final deadline, resulting in an increased workload as the final deadline approaches

5

KEY TERM - Interim Deadline

Projects can be broken down into smaller tasks/targets each of which can be allocated a deadline. These deadlines in completed on time will help meet the final deadline

6

Factors that influence task prioritisation - Urgency of task

An urgent task will need to be dealt with immediately

7

Factors that influence task prioritisation - Importance of task

tasks may have different order of important, this must be determined upon who/what the task is for e.g. if a presentation needs to produced for a new client this is more important than an internal meeting to review past performance

8

Factors that influence task prioritisation - Length of time

- The length of time may influence the order in which tasks are completed e.g. shorter tasks may be completed before a longer task so that the longer task can be concentrated on
- Completing shorter tasks may leave insufficient time on the longer tasks so it needs to be assessed first

9

Factors that influence task prioritisation - Significance of originator

e.g. peers, line managers, customers and third parties such as suppliers
e.g. a serious complaint from a customer needs to be dealt with immediately, if a colleague has also asked for accounting information they should be told that this will be provided once the customer has been contacted

10

Factors that influence task prioritisation - Interactivity of tasks

- Some tasks can only be started once others are complete e.g. a job advert cannot be designed before the job description has been agreed.
- Find out whether other tasks urgently depend on the task requested as being completed

11

Factors that influence task prioritisation - Suitability for delegation

- Some tasks can be delegated by line managers to their direct reports, reducing workload and allows the manager to concentrate on higher priority tasks
- Not all tasks can be delegated e.g. a line manager could not delegate the task of approving budgets for next year

12

Factors that influence task prioritisation - Proximity of appointments

- To maximise efficiency it is beneficial to complete tasks in similar locations at the same time

13

Factors that influence task prioritisation - Resource constraints

e.g. if a business aiming to reduce costs may restrict overtime for production line staff. Orders therefore must be prioritised to ensure that customer demands can be met

14

Factors that influence task prioritisation - Time commitments

- If staff need to work together to complete a task then everyone must be available at a similar time.
- The task may not be given the same level of priority by all staff involved but everyone must be willing to commit the time required

15

Factors that influence task prioritisation - Diary clashes

e.g. if four colleagues need to arrange a meeting to discuss IT requirements but two are not available until next week, the meeting can not take place unless a solution was found

16

Factors that influence task prioritisation - Complexity of a task

- In a busy work environment where time is limited a complex may be given a lower priority as shorter, more straight forward tasks will be easier to complete.
- The time must be put aside for the more complex tasks otherwise it will not be completed at all

17

Internal sources - Business objectives

- A business with an objective to provide excellent customer service is likely to prioritise takss that will help it to meet the objective

18

Internal sources - Stakeholders' resources and budget

- Complex tasks may have a long timescale and may require a range of sources
- If funding is not available then the task/project will become a lower priority at the point in time

19

External sources - Changes in economy

- If interest rates rise a business may need to reassess its current borrowing
- If the business relies on loans and mortgages for financing projects this will be higher priority than for a business that utilises retained profit
- A business that buys/sells materials abroad will be affected by fluctuations in the exchange rate

20

External sources - External stakeholders requirements/feedback and availability

- Varies depending on the stakeholder
- Sometimes a stakeholder wants to pass on information that they claim is urgent

21

Date Sources - Numerical

- Informs prioritisation
- If issues are identified with the cash flow then the reason must become a priority

22

Date Sources - Graphical

- Data used to illustrate information such as the results of customer satisfaction surveys
- If an issue is highlighted then a plan must be implemented for a plan of action

23

Date Sources - Tabular

- Information is often produced using a spreadsheet - costings, financial accounts, project timescales and survey results
- If results are highlighted it must be dealt with immediately

24

Priority levels

HIGH - URGENT TASK
MEDIUM - Must be completed but can wait
LOW - Must be completed but other tasks can take priority first

25

Changing deadlines

- Business environment constantly changing, this means priorities may change
- Time to complete a task may be longer than expected

26

Delegating tasks

- Tasks with different levels of priority must all still be completed