Not sure what a WHAT-WHERE-WHEN is? Read on and find out how you can use one to improve organisation and structure in your business.
A WHAT-WHERE-WHEN is a tool managers use to plan out routine daily activities and determine who does what, where and when. It consists of a spread sheet style grid that lists the days of the week along the top and a working day split into hours down the left-hand column. Where the two parts intersect you add the tasks that need to be completed and by whom. If the WHAT-WHERE-WHEN is visible on a notice board the staff can use it to keep track of their tasks and responsibilities.
This particular tool will help to give structure to the work day and to enable the staff to have a certain amount of independence from the manager as they will already know what is required of them. The manager can create as many as he or she feels is necessary for different sections of the business. It may be necessary to create one to display a list of required jobs that need to be completed before the day’s trading or to act as a reminder for the staff when closing up for the day.
The tasks need to be logically set out and divided fairly amongst the staff. The sections can be colour coordinated to make reading easier and different fonts and font sizes can be used to indicate more pressing tasks.
The WHAT-WHERE-WHEN can also be modified to display check boxes that can be ticked as certain duties are completed. This can be especially useful to ensure that none of the items on the sheet are missed throughout the day.
To create a What Where When it is best to use either a spread sheet application (such as Microsoft Excel) with gridlines displayed or to use a word processing application (such as Microsoft Word) and insert a table. The overall structure will be dependant on the needs and dynamic nature of the business. Other factors that might be relevant are the staffing levels and hours of trading.
All in all a WHAT-WHERE-WHEN is an excellent resource for any manager. It enables them to create a structured plan for each day that incorporates routine daily tasks that need to be carried out by the staff at certain times each day. It is also a useful tool for the staff members as they are able to know what is required of them without always having to be told.
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