Task Analysis Mapping in a nutshell: how do you paint a room?

How many steps does it take to paint a room? You’ll be surprised at the amount of tasks generated when you start breaking it down. My dear mother would spend 2 hours on changing her bed, sometimes she even takes a whole day of cleaning the entire small house we have. When I was doing it, I spent a measly 4 hours and 30 minutes (what pro, right?). So when I started doing the task analysis mapping, it just blew my mind when I broke down how my mum does her activities: she doesn’t spend 2 hours literally changing the bed, she’s exploring all her resources out and taking into account the weather before she starts changing the bed. No wonder her bed is so much better than mine.

Task analysis mapping is essentially an analysis of how a task is accomplished. It’s how you got from A to B in more details. Let’s examine Task Analysis Mapping in detail through painting the wall.

1. Identify the problem

You have problem. This wall. This wall is causing problems. Before you even get to the point of painting walls, what actually triggered you to think you have to? Is it the dirt? Is it the ACDC rocks signage or is it just the whole wall?

2. Consult the problem with the team

You may have an idea of the problem but it’s best to communicate it to the team, in this case, your roommates. Show them what you think and hear their thoughts. They might have a different idea of the problem that you didn’t know. Once a proper agreement has been made, you start researching.

3. Research requirements for the job

Painting the wall is easy, preparing to paint the wall may take some time. Researching more about the problem and consider some solutions to the problem. The solutions we need may vary in the materials required, on what budget, and estimated time to execute the job (is the job done by you or everyone?). So it’s important to consider the possibilities before spending your money and get painting. You save more time being more prepared. You may even realise that, you can probably borrow some of the materials from your landlord.

4. Consult and get approval

In this context, we want to make sure that we are actually allowed to even paint in the first place. So we ask the authority, the landlord, for approval. We can also for any feedback they can give in what we intended to do. Just like in design teams, we have to get approval before implementing our plans.

5. Brainstorm — Prototyping your solution

After going through the plan, we begin to prototype our solution: choosing the color to paint the walls.

6. Prepare materials

Prepare all the materials needed to get working. I mean, if you don’t have then, then how else will you start painting?

7. Execute the plan: Paint the wall!

There it is! We’re painting! Finally!

8. Complete and Evaluate

We’ve completed painting the wall! To finish off the task, we evaluate the outcome (i.e. Do we like the wall now?) and we repeat the whole process if we haven’t achieved our user’s needs (their satisfaction to having a great paint).

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