Exercise – A Meeting to introduce Completed Staff Work (CSW)

Objective - On the Job

1 Have Course Members reach, or maintain, a situation with their immediate Subordinates that they give them Completed Staff Work (oral and/or written) on at least 80% of the occasions when the Course Member believes they should do so.

Broad View of Exercise

2 Course Members will aim to understand CSW, its advantages and disadvantages. They should consider how they will introduce CSW into their Section.

3 For the sake of the Exercise, they should assume (a) they want to do so and (b) few, if any, of their Subordinates know about or practise CSW. They will then try out their ideas in a group role-playing situation where they take the role of themselves and the other group members assume the role of immediate Subordinates.

4 Discussion will take place at the close of the Role Playing in order to help the “Introducer” of CSW to consider effective and ineffective approaches.

Detailed Sub Objectives

Planning the Presentation

5 Course Members should consider the advantages and disadvantages of CSW and decide on a plan as to how they will achieve a situation where most, if not all, of their Subordinates will produce CSW both oral and written when appropriate. The plan should include the assumptions mentioned in paragraph 3 above.

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Use of the Exercise – What constitutes CSW

The Need for the Exercise

1 After reading the notes on Completed Staff Work (CSW), most people believe they understand the definition of CSW in the notes. However discussions during the courses show that many people do not really understand what constitutes CSW and what does not.

How the Exercises Work

2 Each exercise (Forms A and B) describes a number of different activities that people have carried out. Course Members classify each activity as CSW or not CSW. Thus the Exercises help show people whether they can use the definitions in the notes to classify each activity accurately.

One Approach to carrying out the Exercise

3 Ask each Course Member to do the exercise by themselves.[1]

4 Record answers on a Board (for all to see) in the form shown at the top of the diagram below. It shows everyone how many people classify which activity as CSW or Not CSW. In the example below, very little agreement exists except on items l2b and 12d.

5 Group Individuals into Syndicates of two to four Members each. Ask Members to compare their answers and, after discussion, produce one agreed answer for each Syndicate.

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Exercise – What constitutes CSW (Form A)

1 Please study carefully the following descriptions of behaviour by a person (a Subordinate)

2 Do not assume that the Subordinate has done anything unless the written description states it specifically.

3 Classify each piece of behaviour into one, and one only, of the following classes:

(a) The Subordinate has carried out CSW (Completed Staff Work) Use a “C” to indicate this class.

(b) The Subordinate has not carried out CSW. Use a “NC’ to indicate this class.

4 Try to classify each piece of behaviour into either “C” or “NC”.

5 If you feel unsure or very unsure add a “? “after your “C” or “NC”. If you feel confident of your classification add a tick after your “C” or “NC”,

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What constitutes CSW (Form B)

I Please study carefully the following descriptions of behaviour. Concentrate on the behaviour of the first named person in each paragraph.

2 Do not assume that a person has done anything unless the written description states it specifically.

 Classify each piece of behaviour into one, and one only,of the following classes:

(a) The first-named person has carried out CSW (Completed Staff Work) Use a ‘C” to indicate this class.

(b) The first-named person has NOT carried out CSW, Use a “NC” to indicate this class.

4 Classify each piece of behaviour into either “C” or “NC”.

5 At the end of the Exercise you should have six classifications.

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Exercise – What consitutes High-Quality CSW?

This Exercise will show a group of people that they have different views on what activities constitute high-quality CSW and that it would very difficult to produce a definition of high-quality CSW.


1 Please study carefully the following description of behaviour by a person.

2 Consider the behaviour of the first-named person and classify it into the following classes.

(a) (VH) Very-Nigh-Quality CSW.

(b) (H) High-Quality CSW.

(c) (A) Acceptable-Quality CSW.

(d) (DJ) Difficult to judge the quality of CSW.

(e) (L) Low-Quality CSW.

(f) (VL) Very-Low-Quality CSW.

3 Use the symbols in the above sub-paragraphs (e.g. VH, H, DJ) to record your classification for each piece of behaviour.

4 Remember, classify the behaviour of the first-named person only.

5 The above ratings [(a) to (f)] all refer to the quality of the CSW – except (d). It refers to the difficulty of judging. Readers should use only one rating of quality. However if they have significant difficulty making the rating they should feel free to add the symbol “DJ” (Difficult to judge the Quality of CSW)

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Exercise – Some Ideas for using CSW Exercises

Exercise: Introduction to CSW (Completed Staff Work)

1 The exercise “Introduction to CSW” poses a series of questions. These questions will help encourage an individual (or group) to examine in detail the notes “Completed Staff Work”.

2 They will prove particularly useful where a Trainer divides a training group into Syndicates of three to five people and asks them to answer the questions.

3 A better approach would ask individual Members to read the notes beforehand and try to answer the questions – before trying to do so in Syndicates.

Role-Playing Exercise –  Power Without Glory

4 This case study describes a problem where a Manufacturing Department Head has an argument with a Quality-Control man. The Department Head goes to his Boss to complain about the Quality-Control man.

5 The case can introduce a role-playing situation between an irate Foreman and his Boss.

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Exercise – Some Aspects of CSW


1 The following steps should help Course Members to consider in detail many of the points made in the Completed Staff Work notes.

Steps to carry out

The Advantages and Disadvantages of CSW

2 Study the Advantages and Disadvantages of CSW to Managers and/or Subordinates – as listed and discussed in the CSW notes.

3 List the points

(a) the notes have not made clear

(b) which rate as incorrect/wrong

(c) which rate as unlikely to have any real effect in practice.

4 List any additional (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages to either Manager or Subordinate or both.

5 To avoid spending too much time on disagreement only list those advantages and/or disadvantages on which, at least, half the Syndicate agree.

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Exercise – Something Missing

A Conversation

1 Harry enters the office of his immediate Manager – Betty.

2 The following conversation occurs.

3 Harry: “I have a problem with that Widget’ repair job you gave me the other day.”

4 Betty: “What’s the trouble?”

5 Harry: “The Materials Store has run out of a part and I can’t complete the repair. I realise you said not to treat it as a rush job but knowing our Store I think we may not get the part for another few days. When Jim Williams2 rang me the other day on another matter, he did not mention the Widget repair job.”

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Exercise – Power without Glory

1 Sub chief of the Quality Control Section, David Ladd, held something of a whip hand over the Inspection and Production Foremen. Ladd was most anxious to maintain the scientific approach. He wanted to establish definite degrees of accuracy and exact methods for all determinations made by quality control.

2 On many small parts, however, considerable leeway in judgement was possible; and in some areas, there existed no actual information as to what constituted acceptability to the customers. The Production Department had operated on the theory that if the customer did not complain or return the goods, there was no reason to ask for quality specifications. Once or twice when they had tried this, they had got quality specs from customers that they felt were unrealistic from a standpoint of economic production.

3 Many of the parts were small plastic mouldings. Depending upon the end use of these parts, there could be more or less flash from the moulding process adhering to the part. The removal of such flash was fairly expensive. It could be tumbled free, but in some cases it was necessary to spin the parts and remove the flash with a bit of sandpaper held in the hand.

4 In such items as pipe plugs, used in shipment of tubing to keep insects and dirt out of the tubing, the flash was quite unimportant. In other cases, where the part might be used as a sealing valve, the flash might be critical. Ladd realised, however, that even though there had been no complaints, there might be, as too much flash gave the parts a sloppy appearance. In such instances, he tried to set his own standards and enforce these upon production without any actual specs to back him up. He felt this was part of his job and that his own taste and judgement were entirely adequate to justify his stand.

5 One day a rush job came through. It was for a part where the amount of flash removal involved Ladd’s judgement only.

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Exercise – Role Playing – The Resigned Secretary

The Boss

1 Your Subordinate has come to you with a problem.

2 At the beginning of the interview you must assume you do not know why the Subordinate has come to see you or just what has happened – until you hear about the situation. This approach will equal what would happen in real life.

3 Your Subordinate will tell you that a young secretary, Mary Green, (who has worked in the Company for six months) has resigned.

4 You know little about her performance except that she did not rate as very satisfactory at the beginning of her engagement. You did notice the other day that she has had her hair dyed and this change has improved her appearance.

5 You will want to listen to the details of the case but you will insist on completed staff work for this case.

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