Tasks as a Category
Projects, Chores, & Responsibilities
The Marduk Method thinks about tasks as the unordered Chaos that you, our hero faces. You can think of them as coming in three groups: Projects, Chores & Responsibilities.
Projects are tasks that have a start and a clear end, and when you're done you'll never do them again. When you're done you're done. Move the office from one location to another. Launch the website. Sell the company vehicle. These can be big or small, but the thing they have in common is that they do not repeat.
Examples: Onboard to Marduk, Move office locations, Sell a piece of equipment, Plan and go on a trip
Responsibilites are tasks that, unlike projects, repeat. What makes them unique is that we can't predict how they repeat. This includes a wide range of tasks and things that we may not necessarily think of as our conventional definition of 'tasks'. Let's analyze a few examples to better understand:
Onboarding a new employee - When someone joins the team, there is a list of things that need to be accomplished: fill out compliance paperwork, create an email account, provision other software for them, show them around the facility, etc. This whole onboarding process should be codified and retained as a part of your company's intellectual process and documentation. It will repeat again and again, but we typically don't know specifically on the day or regularity.
Software Accounts - Your business has a variety of software accounts that power it. From time to time you'll need to have some information about the account - who's the admin? Who's the rep at the company you can contact if there's a problem? What are the specific account numbers or details? This information should be aggregated and kept available, and from time to time someone on the team will need to review and work on the software.
Strategizing or Cleaning - There are also broad, 'catch-all' type tasks such as strategizing, planning, cleaning, organizing that you do to run your business. Its important to quantify these tasks and how you do them; keep notes and details on how you do it. Perhaps you have a certain type of cleaning product that works very well, or a software that you use to mind-map and organizing your thoughts when your team is strategizing. We want to capture all of these details and build on them as we scale the organization and make it easy to access and improve each time.
Relationships - You have certain relationships for your business that are important to manage and keep details about. This can include your legal team, your accountant or your landlord. If the lights go out at the front of your building, who do you call? What model are they? Where do you keep this information? Does your lawyer have kids or family details you want to remember? What did you get the mailman for Christmas last year? Quantifying these relationships and aggregating the details makes your business more effective and are some of the disregarded details that will become very important when selling your business.
Chores are the lifeblood of any established business. These are the tasks that repeat regularly on a predictable schedule and tend to have the most consequence if they are not performed when they are due. Chores repeat at some fixed frequency and repeat on a regular cadence.
Examples: pay rent, check social meda, sales meeting, mopping the floor, water the plants, send investor update
Only experience and your team can negotiate when and how often these chores need to be completed. There is a push - pull dyanmic with chores, where they need to be completed as infrequently as possible, yet as often as necessary.
During the Marduk Business Assessment your coach will help your team negotiate the necessary frequency for each chore. Marduk supports over 100 different frequencies so you can encode the required business logic to make your business run as efficiently as possible.
With some tasks, its very clear how regularly it needs to be performed; if you have a two week payroll, it needs to be completed every two weeks! However sometimes it isn't so clear.
If you're not sure how often to do something, err on the side of a higher frequency, and then as your team gets more competant, it will become obvious to extend the frequency further and further out.
In this way a Chore can be dynamic; you may decide that your business needs more energy on its sales process so you schedule a weekly meeting with the sales team, meeting every Monday. After 8 weeks of regular meetings, you collectively realize that you'vedeveloped the process, pitch and workflows and that the meteing time would be beter spent chasing leads and you decide to move the meeting to monthly. Eventually you may decide that a quarterly meeting is sufficient. In this way you wil free up your time and get more efficient and effective!
Now you understand that your goal as the hero is not only to perform the tasks, but to understand how they fit into your business system. You must list them, quanitfy them, develop a SOP and copmletion criteria for each and then an overarching management process to make sure everything gets done on time and done well. Do this and you'll be able to sleep soundly at night knowing your business is running as well as it can be, and you've laid the foundation for scale or sale!