Forming a Dirty-Work Group

Forming a Dirty-Work Group

A Step by Step Guide

1. Beating Down the Idea

Step 1: With utmost pessimism, identify the knowledge/experience you as an initiator lack that would doom the project into a failure. Divide them into two parts. Your Lack of Knowledge (K) about the field and your Lack of Confidence or Lack of Experience (CE) with that field.

Then take a second trip. Revise the list. This time with optimism, start beating at your project. Identify the parts of which with good smooth because of your competence and confidence. Break them into two parts. One would be what you feel you can cakewalk through and one you feel would be tough nuts to crack, but manageable.

 

With PessimismWith Optimism
Lack of Knowledge (K)Lack of Confidence/Experience (CE)Can Manage (M)Can Cake Walk (CW)
SpicesMarinatingCutting VegetablesBuying Vegetables
FryingBoiling
Putting Salt in right measuresServing Food
Cooking

 

Step 2: Revisit the column CE. If you feel after the bout of optimism you can move an activity from this column to column M, go ahead and do it. Revisit column M. If you want to move the activity to another column, go ahead. Revisit column CW. Revisit column K. Revisit column CE and column M. By now you should have a fairly stable task breakdown and your capability to handle them.

Step 3: Draw a line at the bottom of column CE and column M

Step 4: Move the items you would hate if you had to do below the line.

 

With PessimismWith Optimism
Lack of Knowledge (K)Lack of Confidence/Experience (CE)Can Manage (M)Can Cake Walk (CW)
SpicesBuying Vegetables
FryingBoiling
Serving Food
Cooking
 

MarinatingCutting Vegetables
Putting Salt in right measures

 

Step 5: Draw lines under Lack of Knowledge and Cakewalk too.  Move the items in Lack of knowledge you know you can not learn or do not want to learn about. Move items in Cake Walk below the line which you think are trivial for you or not worth you spending your time on or too unchallenging for you.

 

With PessimismWith Optimism
Lack of Knowledge (K)Lack of Confidence/Experience (CE)Can Manage (M)Can Cake Walk (CW)
SpicesBuying Vegetables
FryingBoiling
Serving Food
Cooking




MarinatingCutting Vegetables
Putting Salt in right measures

 

Note: What you see on top of the dividing line is your Nice-Work zone and below it is the important Dirty-Work zone.

2. Gathering People

Step 1: In general there are two pools to pick people from. One from within and one from outside. At times, the same department may mean within and the other department may mean outside. Or a company may be within and from outside would mean recruiting. A circle of friends may mean within and not knowing a person would be considered outside. For various reasons, we recommend a team as DWG be formed from the within the pool. The biggest being that the initiator would have a fair idea about the people who could have complementing Nice-Work and Dirty-Work zones.

Note: Within is described as a circle where people can be moved to around rather casually. The formal work that is needs, succeeds or is simultaneous to the moving. On otherside, outside is where a formal procedure precedes a person’s moving in.

Step 2: Interview with people aware of the project could be in form of above exercise and then finding people such that whole tasks are covered. Interview of a person having no idea would involve moving the activities above and below the lines based on response with respect to previous projects/tasks.

3. Shaping the Team

Next step is to identify when the team has been “formed”. Apparently, each item must figure in someone’s column CW. At a minimum, each item should appear in either column M or column CWcolumn. In case of activities are not in column CW but in column M of more than one, they have to sort out who takes it into his column CW. If it appears in can manage only one person he has to take it into his column CW. A team can always go looking out for more people at any time either of the scenarios appears.

Note: During the process of induction of new members, more tasks can be added or tasks can be broken down. The matrix remains very dynamic. But each task should be classified in one of the four columns for each member.

4. Distributing Tasks

Let the below activity matrix belong to two members are to be part of DWG.

 

With PessimismWith Optimism
Lack of Knowledge (K)Lack of Confidence/Experience (CE)Can Manage (M)Can Cake Walk (CW)
Spices
FryingBoilingMarinating
Cooking




Putting Salt in right measuresCutting VegetablesServing Food
Buying Vegetables

 

 

 

With PessimismWith Optimism
Lack of Knowledge (K)Lack of Confidence/Experience (CE)Can Manage (M)Can Cake Walk (CW)
Cutting VegetablesPutting Salt in right measures
Spices




 Buying VegetablesBoilingMarinating
Serving FoodFrying
  Cooking

 

Step 1: Merge the activities column-wise

 

With PessimismWith Optimism
Lack of Knowledge (K)Lack of Confidence/Experience (CE)Can Manage (M)Can Cake Walk (CW)
 SpicesCutting VegetablesPutting Salt in right measures
 Spices FryingBoilingSpices
 CookingBoilingMarinating
 FryingBuying Vegetables
CookingServing Food




 Buying VegetablesPutting Salt in right measuresBoilingMarinating
Putting Salt in right measuresServing FoodFrying
Marinating Cooking
Cutting VegetablesServing Food
Buying Vegetables
Cutting Vegetables

 

Step 2: Validate the matrix.

Step 3: Make an activity allocation matrix. Allocate all column CW activities.

 

Nice-WorkDirty-WorkNice-WorkDirty-WorkNice-WorkDirty-Work
MarinatingServing FoodBuying VegetablesMarinatingSpicesFrying
FryingCutting VegetablesServing FoodPutting Salt in right measuresPutting Salt in right measuresCooking
CookingBuying VegetablesBoilingSpicesCutting VegetablesBoiling

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Dinker Charak

Dinker has over a decade of experience in building products across diverse domains as Industrial Automation, Home Automations, Operating Systems, High Energy Particle Physics, Embedded Systems, Online Video Advertising, Messaging, K-12 education and Private Banking. He also founded Gungroo Software. His books #ProMa, Absolute and None & The Murmurs of the Dawn are available on Amazon.
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