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):


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


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


KEY TERM - Direct report

A subordinate to a member of staff


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


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


Factors that influence task prioritisation - Urgency of task

An urgent task will need to be dealt with immediately


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


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


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


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


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


Factors that influence task prioritisation - Proximity of appointments

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Date Sources - Numerical

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


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


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


Priority levels

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


Changing deadlines

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


Delegating tasks

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