Time Management: Session Twelve – Case Study: Malebo Marvellous
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What should Malebo do?
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Here’s what we think Malebo should do.
Malebo decides to examine her project workload. She begins by listing her projects down one side. Across the top, she marks off the next four months and makes a column for each week. Then, for each project she puts an X at its promised date of delivery. She enters the hours per week that she thinks each project will require of her time.
Finally, she gets down to the last project: the Employee’s Health Insurance Policy. She estimates 10 hours per week for the first four weeks, 20 hours for the next six weeks, and 15 hours per week for the remainder of the project. Then she adds an additional row for her miscellaneous routine workload which includes answering the telephone, answering questions from co-workers and her boss, going to unplanned meetings, etc. She allows 10 hours per week for the miscellaneous workload. Finally, across the bottom she totals up her workload in hours per week.
Malebo looks at the totals and finds that she is currently booked at 50 hours per week. This would explain why she is working 2 evenings a week just to keep up. Furthermore, she discovers that there is a sustained workload coming up that averages approximately 80 hours per week.
Malebo quickly realises that she is not capable of completing all these tasks on time. If the new project is really important, then something will either have to be delayed or reassigned to someone else.
After rechecking the figures and verifying their accuracy she decides to take the chart to her manager. “Dineo,” she says, “I wonder if you could help me prioritise my work. I am not complaining about things, but I would like to ensure all of the work is completed on schedule. I have prepared this expected workload chart for your review.”
Dineo takes a look at the chart and says, “I’m impressed, Malebo. I wish more people would show this type of concern about getting work done on time. When I give you an assignment and you take it on, I naturally assume that you are able to do it, unless you say otherwise. Too many of your co-workers do not seem to tell me the consequences until it is already too late. Then they fail to deliver the projects that I have promised to other people. Here is how we will fix this scheduling difficulty. I want you to maintain the Employee’s Health Insurance Policy as planned, but Project #1 can be delayed for eight weeks and Project #3 can be given to Jeff Jones. Take another look at your workload schedule and let me know if we can achieve the remaining delivery dates.”
On the way back to her office, Malebo felt pleased that she had finally found a way to communicate and negotiate with her manager. She would definitely continue this planning technique to resolve work schedules that could not be achieved. Although she had often mentioned to Dineo that she had too much work to do, she had never before found a way to be listened to and have her concerns addressed.