Are you sure you understood the assignment?
🙋♀️ Have you ever asked your direct report to do something and when they unveiled the work to you several weeks later it was not aligned with what you were expecting?
🙋🏽♂️ Has your manager asked you to work on something and you thought you knew what was expected, only to find out too late that you were missing some context that was critical to your success?
These types of disconnects can be even more pronounced when working in a hybrid or remote team.
But, just because you are out of eyeshot and earshot of your manager or direct reports, doesn’t mean you can’t be on the same page about project objectives, roles, responsibilities, timing, and more…so that everyone actually understands the assignment.
Use an Assignment Brief to avoid wasting time and ensure you are on the same page from the beginning.
Manager Action Plan:
1️⃣ After you ask your direct report to begin a new project or larger task, also ask them to spend no more than 15 minutes filling out an Assignment Brief. It’s important to time-bound the request so that it doesn’t become onerous.
2️⃣ Review the brief and confirm if you’re in agreement to areas like the objectives of the work, the most important information to include in the output, who else they need to get input from, and even milestones for when you’re going to check in along the way.
3️⃣ This can be done asynchronously, but if there is a disconnect between what the Assignment Brief says and what you expect them to do, then consider a live conversation to provide clarity and context.
Direct Report Action Plan:
The next time your manager asks you to start a project, take the initiative to complete an Assignment Brief and share it back with them for confirmation.
You can download our Assignment Brief Template when you sign up for free access to premium Virtual Work Insider content.