There is always a chore waiting for me. For every chore I complete, a couple of new ones line up.
Some of these chores are team chores. By team chores I mean anyone can pick them up. At home, that could be doing the dishes or the laundry. At work, it could be creating tickets for upcoming tasks.
It turns out that these chores often get left undone. Other chores always come first – because someone else could always pick up the team chore, right? That’s why we’re a team.
Only this doesn’t work very well. It seems everyone on the team thinks the same way. And so, team chores are de-prioritised by everyone. Nobody really pulls their weight. This is a phenomenon known as social loafing.
There’s a simple solution to this problem. Do not have team chores. Every chore must be assigned to an individual. Take turns, if you want. When I know I am responsible for a chore, I know I will get it done. After all, if I don’t, who will?
One way of assigning could be sharing the load. If one person does the dishes, another does the laundry. If you’re lucky, you may even find some people prefer certain chores.
Another way is to take turns. For example, have one person on the team create the tickets for the sprint. The next sprint, pass that responsibility to the next person.
Work gets done when there is accountability and clear responsibility. Don’t just say “someone will do it”. Assign an individual to the task. Now I know it’s on me… I guess I have to get it done!