Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Task Profiling and Impact of NeMots

Suram February 11, 2021

1. Task Profiling

a) Task Sensitivity Score

Task Profiling – Task Sensitivity Score

After you have completed the team profiling, that is, identifying the right individuals to the right role, you will know who to include in which category. (Referring to the Importance – Influence Matrix). However, we should profile the task requirements as well before segregating activities to the people.  We have two matrices to understand how to prioritize a task (Task Sensitivity Rating Score) and understand if it is worth taking up the task (PICK Matrix).

Many time-management consultants will tell you that you will need to learn to say ‘No’. While it might save your time temporarily, it may have many side effects. Some of them are listed below for ready reference: 

  1. What might seem like an unimportant task to us may be life-changing for those requesting it.
  2. At times, due to lack of time or focus, we may develop a cognitive bias and wrongly attribute it to the reasons
  3. Result in a relationship rift
  4. It could also become a critical task later 

To avoid any subjectivity, we need to find a more logical way of prioritizing the tasks. Even if we have to say ‘No’, we need to have a valid reason for rejecting it. 

Even when no one is asking us to prioritize, task profiling is still an important activity to identify critical and strategic projects. You might not be aware of or have used the Urgent-Important matrix for task prioritization. I too did not know which task to prioritize and how. So, Task Profiling – Task Sensitivity Rating Score has been created by one of our experts in Skillculture which simplifies the way you look at prioritization.

b) Task Profiling – PICK Matrix (Efforts Vs Payoff)

This is in reference to the PICK Matrix Categorization by Bill Smith who created the Six Sigma methods.

The “Six Sigma” methods were created by Bill Smith; they are designed to provide users with tactics that clear away any flaws in specific systems of management or analysis. Included in these methods, the PICK Matrix is a handy tool that helps you decide which tasks are worth completing. Judging on the difficulty and payoff of each task, this matrix boosts productivity and ensures that you complete the tasks that will be most beneficial to you. PICK stands for Possible, Implement, Challenge, and Kill; these are the four choices that the matrix gives you concerning each task.

A. Low Efforts /Good Payoff (POSSIBLE)

Contains the best type of tasks. They are easy to complete, and their outcome guarantees a valuable reward.

B. Lot of Efforts/Good Payoff (IMPLEMENT)

Contains tasks that require a lot of effort, but will be worth the hard work.

C. Lot of Efforts/Low Payoff (KILL)

Contains tasks that are quite easy to complete, but are of small value.

D. Low efforts/Low Payoff (CHALLENGE)

Contains tasks that are not worth the time or effort. Dispose of these tasks as soon as possible.

Whenever you start working on a task, do you assess the amount of effort that is required to complete it? And, it is worth asking yourself: “which one of the tasks can be picked first?” This thought process is important to ensure maximum efficiency and your efforts will truly make a difference. If the efforts are worthy of a high payoff, then it is worth the efforts. Those efforts that do not give you the right or small results, that does not make any difference nor give you the right payoff should be the least prioritized. Simple projects that involve a low payoff may be worth the effort, depending on how much time they will take to complete. These need to be analyzed to assure that their completion will be beneficial. Last but not least, the projects that you should always pick first are those that require little effort but will involve a high pay off. It would be clear to understand the importance of completing the task and the worth of the task.

c) Task Profiling – Task Sensitivity Rating Score

Whenever you need to start a new activity, project or task, ask yourself the following:

  • Can the job be delegated?
  • Will it repeat?
  • Is it coming from those in Category D?
  • If not handled, will it become a crisis tomorrow?
  • Is there a reward for prioritizing the task?
  • Will it be escalated?
  • Will it impact contractual obligations? 
  • What is the task sensitivity rating score?
  • Once you have the answers to these questions, get into deeper profiling.

If you look at the scale, you will notice two categories: The one on the right side is the gain and the left is the pain.

Doing a particular task could result in a significant gain.

  1. Big relief
  2. Reconciliation after a spoiled relationship
  3. Recovery of a bad situation
  4. Huge recognition
  5. Respect
  6. Reward

Similarly, postponing or dropping a task without any forethought might invite one or more of the following pains:

  1. Adversity/Agony
  2. Blame
  3. Complaint, criticism, or crisis
  4. Downfall
  5. Erosion of image or revenue
  6. Fiasco 

The task can sometimes have more than one repercussion. For instance, doing a particular job can result in one or more gains and can relieve us of the pains also.

Let’s suppose one of your old clients had an urgent requirement. He has been upset with you yet he approached you as a last resort. There is a regulatory requirement and therefore, if the task is not completed on time, the client might pass on the penalties to you, which may tarnish your image. If you complete this task on time, you can revive the relationship and eventually land a new project.

Let us find out the Priority Score of this project. 

Pain: Compounded pains including loss of image and revenue: Item #5 (1+2+3+4+5) = 15

Gain: You are relieved, could revive a relationship, earn recognition, respect and potential additional revenue: Item #5 (1+2+3+4+5+6) = 21

Now total both the scores: Pain 15+ Gain 21 = 36

What is the maximum score we can have? Pain 21 + Gain 21 = 42

This task scores 36 out of 42. Therefore, this is a super important task. 

2. Did you work on Nemots?

Hope you have understood the importance of task sensitivity. The task sensitivity score gives us the tactical direction for your daily obligatory deliverables. Although very important, these activities are temporary and tactical in nature. We often tend to get busy with these activities and lose track of the big picture.

There are certain tasks which are called the ‘needle moving’ tasks. These tasks are more strategic and will take you closer to your purpose.

Most managers today cannot differentiate between an activity and result. Activity gets you busy. Result gets you reward.

For instance:

  1. When you are closing a sale, sending the quote is a basic hygiene item. Following up with the customer is a regular activity. Giving him discount or getting another customer to give an endorsement is a needle moving item. This activity gives you the final result. This is a needle moving item or NeMoT.
  • You may do a particular activity as a good gesture or more as a favour. These tasks will not give immediate return but are part of a much larger picture. This favour will enhance the relationship or your influence and will give you a chance to request for a return favour at a later date. This activity can also be classified as NeMoT.

Having an eye on your long term / strategic goals is very essential for your sustained growth.