Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module BUSI5G615: Managing Tasks

Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)

BUSI5G615: Managing Tasks

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap
Tied to N1KK14
Tied to N1KD14
Tied to N1DT14


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This modular unit seeks to make students aware of the complexity of task management within the requirements of jobs, suppliers, customers and their own ability to effectively transform activities. It also seeks to help manages understand the role of performance measurement on continuous improvement.


  • The content of this module is aimed at first time managers and covers the following areas:
  • Key functions of tasks; Tasks and role at work; Belbin's seven colours of work; Internal and External Customers; Internal and External Suppliers; Obtaining information; Questioning skills; Using I-P-O (Input-Process-Output); The task environment; Understanding different organisational structures;Organisational policies, procedures and resource constraints; Balancing time, cost and quality; Control concepts; Documenting tasks and processes; Key performance indicators; Goal setting; Cost/Benefit/Efficiency; Service delivery outcomes; The balanced scorecard; Total quality management and EFQM; Continuous Improvement; Organisation culture; The Learning Organisation.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
    Subject-specific Skills:
    • By the end of the module, students should be able to:
    • Identify and critique the key functions that constitute task management.
    • Predict performance in terms of the resources available and the competences of these resources.
    • Divide the jobs done in their department into key, identifiable tasks.
    • Identify internal and external customers to their department and their organisation.
    • Identify internal and external suppliers to their department and their organisation
    • Obtain and manage the information needed to achieve the task.
    • Give and document instructions in order to ensure tasks are completed to appropriate time, cost and quality standards.
    • Prepare a task,/skills matrix.
    • Chart the steps in a process.
    • Develop key performance indicators for themselves and their department.
    • Define personal and departmental goals in line with the goals of the organisation.
    • Calculate the cost of their time and their resources.
    • Allocate measure in line with the principles of a balances scorecard.
    • Recognise a quality service.
    • Manage their limited time resources to better effect.
    • Recognise the link between organisational structure, culture and effective task management.
    Key Skills:

      Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

      • Lectures and seminars, supported by guided reading, will be used to introduce and explore they key concepts and theories.
      • A series of short questionnaires especially designed to allow student to assess themselves against key management skills concerned with task and task improvement.
      • Group exercises will help them compare their own findings with that of other members of the group and design opportunities to practice areas identified for improvement.
      • a major "production oriented" group exercise to pull together all the issues of production planning, scheduling, resource and skill allocation and time management.
      • Assignment and tutor support will then help them adapt and apply to the specific needs of their own organisation.
      • The summative assignment will require the student to analyse themselves, the learning and communication styles and their time management and the impact this has on their own and their organisations performance. this assignment allows students to consider the practical application of the subject covered.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Lectures 9 Over a three month period 36
      Tutorials 1 Twice 5 hours 5
      Action learning sets 2 Twice 3 hours 6
      Preparation & Reading 103
      Total 150

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Essay 2,500 words (max.) 100%

      Formative Assessment:


      Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University