Assignment pulse is held daily. An assignment is carried out by a single person or a small group of people. Typically, assignments are not correlated to each other and run for different lengths of time.
The number of assignments should be limited based on the available people who will work with the assignments.
There are generally both long and short assignments. The longer ones require collaboration and therefore need some planning, such as an activity plan. The short assignments can be done by one individual in a few days.
Step 1. Activity plan for long assignments
Start with making a plan in the form of an activity plan. People that will work with the assignment plan activities that are needed.
Step 2. Assignment completed
The assignment manager approves completed assignments. The assignment manager then has the following main duties:
- to ensure that all participants that has contributed in the work has acquire an understanding for what has be achieved
- to ensure that the assignment has been completed and verified.
- to oversee the technical aspects as a whole (will the result of this assignment fit together with other assignments and projects).
The assignment manager documents the approval in the decision log and signs the activity plan for long assignments.
Step 3. Before the assignment pulse meeting
Empty the inbox, enter new assignments in the assignment list and prioritize.
Step 4. Assignment pulse
The pulse meeting conforms to the general structure:
- Show progress: Move post-it notes with completed activities from “In progress” to “Done”. The participants also shortly explain what they have done so that the whole team understands what has been completed and if it does influence how other assignments and activities must be resolved.
- Act on problems: Identify obstacles and problems. In order to avoid waste, these obstacles and difficulties must be addressed as soon as possible. They will otherwise obstruct the work and cause rework and delays. A problem generates one or more activities to be put up under “To do” and in the activity plan.
Signal when problems arise on an assignment, for example by putting up a red magnet. One red magnet is added for every day that the problem is not resolved.
Signal if the assignment has stopped, for instance because ordered material has not yet arrived, by putting up a yellow magnet.
- Prioritise new activities: Add new activities from the activity plans and new assignments from the assignment list.
- Decide what to do next: The team’s members select which activities they will do by tomorrow. It is important to go give everyone space to explain what they intend to do. Some team participants may have ongoing activities with post-it notes already placed under “In Progress”. Others check out a new activity from “To Do” and put it under “In Progress”.
Step 5. Daily retrospective
Discuss work and cooperation in the team, attend to any obstacles and jointly agree on how to resolve them. This will provide conditions for the team to self- organize and create more value.
Step 6. Weekly before program pulse
- The assignment manager identifies needs for decisions and bring the requests for decisions to the program pulse.
- The assignment manager updates resource needs.
Step 7. Assignment followed up
Received, rejected and completed assignments are followed up to evaluate assignment management and prioritization. Showing how many assignments are completed every week reinforces the assignment team.
Regularly compile data from the assignment list and draw charts. Post them on the assignment pulse board.
To visualize the chain of events for activities in progress, a activity window is used that is divided into “To Do”, “In Progress” and “Done”. Activities can be initiated from short assignments, from an activity plan for a long assignment and from problems.
A problem that requires activities have priority over the planned activities. In order to differentiate between planned activities and activities related to problems, use different-coloured post-it notes.
When it is time to start the planned activities in the activity plan, these are posted as post-it notes in the “To Do” area. When someone starts working on the activity, the post-it note is moved to “In Progress”. When the activity is finished, the post-it note is moved to “Done”. The “Done” area needs to be emptied regularly so that it does not overflow. This can be done weekly by the assignment manager, and the assignment queue is then also updated.
Post the followed up of assignment on the assignment pulse board.