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CHAPTER 37 Clearly Define Jobs and Assig... > Step 1: Think through the assignment

Step 1: Think through the assignment

Marshall always thought through assignments very thoroughly. —An assignment can be defined as the highest-priority task to be fulfilled in the foreseeable future. The period in question will usually comprise 15 to 24 months, though this should only be taken as a rough figure as its exact duration will depend on the actual assignment. Judging from experience, it is usually possible to maintain a pretty reliable overview of the next 18 months. Assignments change more frequently than jobs and job descriptions, which can remain unaltered for a long time.

Job descriptions define tasks which, in organizational terms, constitute part of the job in question and are thus expected to be fulfilled by its incumbent for an unlimited duration. However, no priorities are set within the job description, for that happens only when the job incumbent is given an assignment. The assignment should crucially lead to concentration, with the person involved being attributed as few key tasks as possible, ideally just a single assignment: for the more assignments there are, the greater the risk that they will not be fulfilled effectively.


  

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