Make Sure Helping Other Members Doesn't Lead to Owning the Task

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Slack time in project schedules happen even if project management argues there should be no slack time when creating timelines. During this time the project manager sometimes look to fill the slack time of teams or members by asking them to help out other individuals or teams.
Is that a good practice?

It depends on the reason of the slack time, normally this should be put after a series of heavy workloads and deliverables and best used to allow teams or members to re-charge or undergo trainings either project specific or general soft skills. Helping other teams is not advisable and should not be encouraged, after all, there should not be a lot of slack time in schedules.
Help but do not own
In any case when other team or members where tasked to help out, make sure that team leads and project managers agree that the task is not going to be transferred or owned. The following things should be clearly articulated:

1. The purpose of doing the task is to help and not to own.
2. Amount of time to be allocated and for how long.
3. The level of quality expected.
4. People can be pulled out anytime.

Conclusion
Helping out is a sign of good teamwork but good project management practices tell you to stick to your scope, avoid slack time in project schedules and use the slack time wisely.
[tags]Project Management, Project, Management[/tags]

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