Is it a new way of saying 'project'? If not, can you provide an example.

  • 2
    In the context of "task and finish groups" ?
    – Jesse
    Commented Nov 3, 2011 at 21:29
  • 1
    @Jesse: Yes, so is a task and finish group like a project group? Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 9:45
  • Yes, that would be my definition of a "Task and Finish" group.
    – Jesse
    Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 18:36

4 Answers 4

  • Task and Finish = Project
  • Task and Finish Group = Project Team

Since "task" can also be used as a verb, it is similar to "Find someone to delegate this to and take care of it"

I think this is a "British-ism" and more commonly used in government terminology.

Since most project management terms are influenced by American English so it might sound odd. I'm not sure how reliable my answer is, however. This is based on the fact that Google search for "task and finish" leads to more .co.uk sites and I'm an American with British parents so I find oddities in language all the time.

  • I have heard the term "Task and Finish" used primarily across UK police and NHS teams. I am not convinced it directly translates to project/project team. In context, it seems to relate more to a kind of internal consultancy working group - a group that is spun up to investigate a specific task, and which disbands when it reaches a conclusion. But I came here because I wasn't sure, so please take this comment with a pinch of salt!
    – m-smith
    Commented 9 hours ago

Traditionally in the UK, task and finish is the term for a way of being paid. By completed task, not by hour or by "piece"(unit produced). For example a refuse (garbage) collection team are contracted to work 5 days a week, 7.5 hours/day. Each day's collection route (100 streets or whatever) is known to represent 7.5 hours work on average. But if today they work extra hard and finish their route after 6 hours 10 minutes, then they can finish for the day, go home and will still be paid for 7.5 hours.

Its a good system for team working where an individual speed of work measurement is impossible or unfair (some parts of the task are more arduous than others) which encourages peer pressure among teammates to work hard, not to throw "sickies" (and also to share out the unpopular parts of the task fairly between themselves without the need for any management intervention).

Some agreed system needs to be in place to cope with a situation where the team cannot complete the task in the stated time for reasons genuinely beyond their control (in the above example that might be extreme winter weather or road closures, for instance).

For tasks requiring accuracy the team declare the task finished after, say, 6 hrs 30 minutes.The manager/supervisor then quality checks, which takes 15 minutes, sends them home if everything is OK but makes them redo any defective work which means they all have to stay an extra 20 minutes or wwhatever. Either way everybody is paid for 7.5 hours.


The definition of what it means when a task is finished can change depending of the project. You can determined at the start of the project that the task will be Finished when the programmer has done programming it. Means that the task is not still tested, corrected and approved. I prefer to specify in my project that a Task is Finished when a Task has been programmed, tested, bug reported, corrected and approved. This means that the whole team is included in the measurement of finishing tasks. When you do your report with that definition of Finished, this means you quickly have to consider the time your team takes to test and approve the tasks. This definition can change a lot the way you report the progress of the work to your clients and the way your team is dealing with unfinished tasks.

  • So, a task and finish group needs a strict definition of what is meant by finished? Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 9:46

A Task and Finish group is a group set up as a sub group of larger project group, that specifically looks at one item that needs to be delivered... the 'Task'. Once that area of work has been completed, the group disbands... the 'Finish'... and the work is then assimilated back into the larger project group. They are usually seen in projects where items/areas of work are not running as smoothly as they should and need special intervention to bring them back on target. This group does not look at the wider aspects of the project; just that one particular area.

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