Especially for SME’s – 40: Time – Time choosing our tasks to do.

18 May 2022


Mr. Lowe: We described how to knock out two thirds of our time spent in delegatable roles and tasks; this actually means we can manage 3 units of the size of SME’s you are managing! You can safely plan and grow to three times your current size, without losing any grip on effective management.

SME 1: That is an interesting observation.

Mr. Lowe: we should now think about how to make the vital few roles and tasks that only we have to do, more effective. These definitely include the futuristic, long- time roles we have discussed earlier. For doing our must-do roles more effectively, we ask the question, is there any other way of my doing these tasks, processes and roles by which the time taken for completion can be reduced. For getting the answer to this vital question we should use the top two powerful intangible resources namely creativity and time. You will be surprised at the scope of reducing time that exists but has eluded us only because we never looked at our job that way.

SME 1: How to reduce the time we spent on a job, because all of us think we are completing our tasks in the least time, as we are the owners?

Mr. Lowe: You said it! This is the problem with all of us at the top because there is nobody to tell us better ways of doing the job and we never ask anyone either. At the top we are verily a vehicle without brake or at best a truck with a small- car brake! Whatever we do is the best, of course and whatever way we follow is also the best. So, one of our key roles is to develop a number 2 who will say No to our decision, our way of doing things, giving reasons for it and suggesting a better alternative decision or way. If this subordinate talks with reference to our SS1 and SS2 in advancing his logic for a different decision or way of doing this, you should choose him as the one to be developed as your replacement.

SME 2: This is very different from what I do. I select whom I like most and the reason I like most may be because he is very obedient to me and accepts whatever I say unreservedly!

Mr. Lowe: That is the problem I was highlighting.

SME 3: We were discussing the methods to reduce the duration of the job we do.

Mr. Lowe: Yes, any role or process consists of tasks; these tasks may be in series, in parallel and partly in series and partly in parallel with other tasks within the same process, with respect to time. What I mean is some tasks can be done only after completing another task /tasks (series), some tasks can be done simultaneously with other tasks (parallel) and there are a few tasks that can start even if some other task is not fully completed but only partially completed (series-parallel). This very understanding makes us squeeze the total duration or time taken for completion of the process or the role. Because we can think of following the inter-relationship between tasks and give our load to our no.2’s- at least some tasks if not all- that are parallel or series-parallel. In this process we are developing our subordinates as well for taking up higher responsibilities.

SME 3: We can get a lot more of our tasks done thru this method than doing it alone. That is what you mean by effectiveness, getting more done in less time. ………..Contd.


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