Task Relevant Maturity

August 24, 2023

When evaluating competency and commitment, separate the person from the task.

This post is an excerpt from our guide to Delegating and Adapting Your Management Style, available to members in our exclusive learning library.

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...Now that we've covered what to delegate, let's examine how to delegate.  Task Relevant Maturity (TRM) was coined by Andy Grove in his book High Output Management.

This framework acknowledges that one-size-fits-all management is a recipe for failure. Instead, a manager needs to tailor their approach to each person and situation.

TRM looks at a person's competency and commitment for a particular task.

  • Competency is about someone's ability to do a task. When someone has high competence, they have the past experience, specific knowledge, skills, problem-solving acumen, and prioritization ability to do a good job.
  • Commitment is about someone's motivation to it. When someone has high commitment, they want to take responsibility, are determined to drive the task to completion, desire autonomy, show initiative, and are willing to meet commitments.

When evaluating competency and commitment, separate the person from the task. Most managers get this wrong. Once they develop trust in someone's abilities, they believe they can throw anything at them and be completely hands off. But not providing enough support for new tasks will often lead to failure, even if the person is a high performer.

Using Task Relevant Maturity, managers can determine where someone is for a particular task or project: Self-Reliant Achiever, Capable but Cautious Contributor, Disillusioned Learner, or Enthusiastic Beginner.

How can we best manage someone in each of these situations?

Learn more in our full guide to delegation, available in The Grand World, our digital experience.

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