developmental assignments

Developmental Assignments – Who’s the Better Person for the Job?

Assigning Tasks

When you have a task to assign, should you get it done with Old Reliable?  Or should you give a stretch assignment to an up & comer?  We’ll lay out the situation, then invite your thoughts. Finally we’ll share ours in the hopes of helping you make a better decision next time you have potential developmental assignments.

The Situation

As director of operations for a regional bank, you need someone to head up a special task: Streamline a number of forms used by your bank’s branches, making them shorter and more user-friendly. You have two candidates in mind for the job:


This 15-year-veteran is a logical choice. Since she’s worked in a number of departments, she would bring lots of experience to the task. She even played a key role in a similar project a few years ago. She did excellent work, but she’s actually more of a people person. That’s reflected in her current position as assistant manager of banking relations. However, she’s a loyal employee and will do what is needed.


She has only been with the firm for three years. In that time, though, she has made an impression and shows potential. However, she has not yet been in charge of a project for your firm. Although she doesn’t have Regina’s experience, Rachel is familiar with the various financial transactions that use the forms that will need to be changed. Plus, Rachel seems willing to take on developmental assignments.

Assign Responsibility

Who should you assign responsibility for this task to?  Should you go with the safe choice who you can rely on to get it done well?  Do you give it to the newer person as a developmental assignment to help her grow? Or perhaps have them work together on it with the experienced person mentoring the new one?

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