Using Critical Task Analysis for Planning


A critical task analysis is a vital cog in the planning process. Critical or high-priority tasks are divided into a series of simpler steps or actions using critical task analysis.

For some people, even straightforward tasks might be difficult. This is why critical task analysis helps us understand every step required to complete a task (and identify potential pitfalls down the line).

What exactly is critical tasks analysis?

Critical task review (or analysis) examines how a task is carried out. This includes a description of all activities, competence standards, task and element timeframes, task frequency, work instructions, task complexity, environmental factors, performance-influencing factors and equipment, plus any other specific elements involved in a task.

The results of a critical task analysis can subsequently be applied to a variety of critical task steps, including hiring and training employees, managing their time tracking scheduling, designing tools and equipment and creating work procedures.



Planning – Appointment Scheduler

Critical task analysis also looks at good practice, training and overall work and project procedures. In other words, operational activities.

Examples of critical task analysis at work

Below are a few examples of critical task analyzing in the workplace.

Task conditions

Completing a task analysis will help identify the tools and abilities that are necessary to execute a task. Task analyzing helps in creating a manual for a new employee to follow, or even as a refresher/training for current employees. Creating an employee handbook is very simple with TimeTrack.

Understanding the abilities and tools required to execute a task can successfully help identify the root of the issue to decide whether a task needs to be passed on to another team member or requires a new strategy, equipment or other assistance.

Time management

Creating quotas and ensuring efficient use of corporate time is part of using task review for time allocation. Critical task analyzing is the process of timing studies to determine how quickly an average person can do a task in a data entry or warehouse environment via a practical approach. These studies are used to create quotas that a person must meet.

Task review reveals other instances where employees may be overestimating the time required for a task in order to obtain more time for themselves, such as when they spend 30 minutes on a task that should only take half that time. This mostly happens in the hybrid working module.

Productivity and mission

Activities for task review may be used to assess the purpose of work within the company and whether productivity is being maximized.

Organizations occasionally discover that duties are being carried out even if they are no longer necessary because of older practices and outdated traditions. If a company wants to know whether different employees are working on the same tasks or different steps of the same task, it can undertake task review activities.

If five employees are charged with performing other activities in addition to entering certain data into the computer, productivity may be increased by giving this work to one person and delegating other tasks to the others.


Benefits of a critical task analysis

Reasons to do critical task analysis

Critical tasks reviewing is essential because it facilitates:

  • An analysis is extremely important in any enterprise to judge or examine the goal of that company.
  • Detailed descriptions of the numerous small tasks that are necessary to complete one primary work are the primary purpose of critical task analysis.
  • It aids in identifying the job’s type so that it can be classified in a firm.
  • Recognizing the various possible circumstances and ranking your priorities according to importance are the major reasons for doing critical task analysis. Additionally, it helps in risk management.
  • Examining a few possible strategies for achieving the goals is also one of the reasons for task checking.

Critical task analysis for quality workflow

Time recording, prioritizing, monitoring, analyzing and optimization are key steps of the task analyzing life cycle, by which you can use critical task checking for planning in an organization to improve safety. Let’s look at a quick overview of it.

Level 1:

Time recording: The precise time spent on each activity is noted. This is time data gathering that is accurate and done in real-time, either by the personnel or automatically. You can do it via TimeTrack software as well.

Level 2:

Prioritization: Priorities are honed based on importance and urgency. The coordination of all employee actions relates to task scheduling and resource allocation.

Level 3:

Optimization: Task scheduling and staff resource planning are updated and integrated across all employee activities. The review is used to refine strategic choices and priorities.

Critical task analyses types

There are two types of task review, based on the composition and ultimate objective, which is to focus effort among employees of an organization.

The task review system is referred to as cognitive task review if it examines qualitative end goals including decision-making in detail, emotions, context, problem-solving abilities and recall.

A task analysis is called a hierarchical task review if it divides a complex task into smaller tasks, examines those smaller tasks, and infers the nature of the whole from its components.

  1. Cognitive critical task analysis

This works to determine the participants’ end goals for an activity. However, due to the qualitative character of this job analysis, the results may not be precise or very apparent. Results could be vague and cryptic.

  1. Hierarchical critical task analysis

It is mostly used to comprehend how sub-tasks are performed and to analyze complex tasks depending on how participants complete the sub-tasks. It is basically used to determine the failure analysis.

The data can assist in pinpointing clear improvement opportunities in terms of user experience if this is done earlier. However, the data gathered will either be detailed or fundamental, depending on the level of breakdown. Different researchers might be involved in breaking down the task, watching people complete the activities and assessing the results.


Task analysis advantages

1. Highlights objectives and end goals 

Critical task analyzing enables the researcher to understand the participants’ end goals. It also focuses on their skill in completing the task, the triggers that led to the task, the triggers that interrupted the user’s flow while doing the task, and the tools the user used.

2. Reveals user environments

It identifies the user’s resources, knowledge base and skillset to determine whether they are suitable for carrying out the task.

3. Appropriate for each stage of the project

Critical task analyzing can be carried out at any point in the creation of a product or service. However, the earlier it’s executed, the better.

4. Helps identify potential gaps in prescribed processes

This approach helps determine whether the user’s actual performance of the activity differs from how they claim to accomplish it.

Time tracking and critical task analysis

Time tracking tools analyze crucial tasks while balancing burdens and priorities. You can monitor the amount of time spent on each work task or project using project time monitoring software. Effective time management is essential for every organization’s day-to-day operations to run smoothly.


Time tracking with Timesheets

Additionally, time tracking makes sure that every task is carried out efficiently and in a timely manner.


Task analysis divides goals into more manageable tasks or sub-tasks. Many companies use this method to increase the effectiveness of goal-setting, train new team members and improve task efficiency. Help your business run more smoothly by learning about task analysis and how to use it in the workplace.

Add this excellent planning management technique to your arsenal of workplace tools with TimeTrack. Our software makes it simple and practical to boost your time management skills.