Task Analysis: Painting a Room

In the face of a dilemma, a person takes steps to overcome an obstacle and reach a certain goal. Whether you’re an astronautical engineer working towards the advancement of space exploration, an activist campaigning for social reformation, or an attorney strategizing a client’s defense in criminal court, extensive planning is essential in obtaining success. But even the most minor tasks include multiple stages between simply identifying the problem and reaching a solution.

An example of a seemingly straight forward task is the painting of a room. While you might at first assume that the decision to paint your room is as simple as choosing a color and wielding some paint brushes, you will find that there is much more to consider and additional decisions to be made. By listing out each of the steps in the process of completing the task, you create a task analysis. People use different methods to accomplish tasks, so one individual’s analysis may vary from another’s.

Below, I have mapped out my own task analysis for painting a room.

  1. Identify the Problem — In this case, a young man thinks that walls in his apartment are ugly and outdated.
  2. Formulate a Solution — The man decides to repaint the walls a new color.
  3. Get Approval — The man must get approval from the landlord as well as his roommate.
  4. Research — The roommates research the painting process in general. What supplies will they need? What methods need to be used? How long will the whole process take for a room of their dimensions? What is a ballpark cost overall?
  5. Decide on the Specifics — The friends can now make final decisions in choosing the exact paint color and comparing prices of materials from different stores. At this point a more accurate total cost can be figured and divided between the two roommates.
  6. Choose Project Dates — The roommates now know an estimated timeline and can agree on when is convenient for both of them to work on the project.
  7. Buy Supplies — The men go to their chosen store to buy the already agreed upon supplies and equipment needed.
  8. Paint — The roommates paint their apartment!
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