How to Start
Everything depends on the Coordinator. eTaskBoard is
an empowerment tool, but the Coordinator sets up and operates the work
community that uses it.
Below are the 7 steps we suggest Coordinators follow to
establish their eTaskBoard work community. We also suggest using the
Ask the Expert form for questions along the
- To begin, we have three words for aspiring
Because eTaskBoard is applicable to so many work
communities, the tendency will be to expand the scope of an eTaskBoard
deployment. This is OK, but only after the Coordinator establishes a
specialized work community.
- 1.) Specialized
To select a specialized work community, Coordinators should
begin with their own work experience. Accountants should consider an
eTaskBoard work community for accountants. Zoologists should consider
one for tasks involving zoology.
The work community does not need to reflect the
Coordinator's day job. It can be a hobby like drawing cartoons, for which the
Coordinator's employer does not have a full-time position, and for which the
Coordinator doesn't feel like quitting her day job. Instead, she establishes an
eTaskBoard where the world's businesses can contract the drawing of
cartoons to support ad campaigns, instructional manuals, video game avatars,
- 2.) Specialized
The next step in selecting a specialty is to look at the
workforce supply and demand of the Coordinator's regional community. Take the
example of an upscale desert retirement community favored by retiring
executives. Many of them would like to keep their finger in business on a
part-time or occasional basis, but the golf course doesn't present many such
opportunities. The oversupply of high grade business consulting provides an
opportunity for an eTaskBoard specializing in tasking such business
One example of an imbalance in demand occurs when a prime
contractor wins a major federal defence project. Their regional labor force is
often stretched to meet the instant demand for designers, software developers,
etc. An eTaskBoard already in place to supply that demand can respond
quickly and effectively.
The dot-com craze of a few years ago presented an acute
shortage of software developers. The cycle is now repeating as America's H1-B
visa allotment for software programmers in 2007 met its quota in the first two
days applications from employers were accepted. A software-specialized
eTaskBoard could be marketed to all the employers who didn't make that
An example of both a supply and demand imbalance is the
regional fluctuations in the real estate market. A slowdown in one region
presents a supply of trained and available loan processors while another region
with a real estate boom scampers to find and train loan processors.
- 3.) Specialized
A large employer may set up its own specialized
eTaskBoard implementation as a leverage point into the virtual
The company's HR department provides the in-house
Coordinator whose responsibility it is to educate the company about the virtual
workforce and how to get work done through it. The Coordinator posts the work
openings to eTaskBoard, qualifies applicants, and acts as a resource to
help all parties make the most of this. The career section of the company's
website expands the options from regular jobs to include eTaskBoard,
with explanations about how the various career paths can fit into the corporate
Depending on the size and labor needs of the company, their
eTaskBoard implementation need not be permanent. It can be a
rapid-response system ready to be turned on when a large contract is acquired
or when labor shortages become acute. It can also be a permanent implementation
providing structure to an outsourcing initiative to reduce costs.
- 4.) Specialized
One of the personally rewarding aspects of eTaskBoard
is its ability, in fact its imperative, to address employment-related social
needs, and that forms another viable specialty for a work community.
Drug rehab placement counselors, for example, have an uphill
battle getting employers to hire recovering drug addicts in spite of the viable
skillsets and pre-drug experiences of the recovering drug addicts. Such
counselors could become the Coordinators of an eTaskBoard that presents
employers a low-risk way to ease recovering drug addicts back into the work
Other examples with widely different workers but a problem
definition well matched to eTaskBoard include;
- A disability counselor at a VA hospital looking for
meaningful part-time work to improve the quality of life for veterans who can
no longer commute to regular jobs.
- Unwed mothers struggling with daycare could be the
work-from-home eTaskBoard specializing in data entry.
- Consider the work opportunities in our nation's prisons.
High on menial labor (the stereotypical license plate production line), this is
poor career preparation for the outside. A few years as an eTaskBoard
worker would position such an inmate far better to rejoin society.
Note that a reduced labor rate is not the biggest draw of
such a socially responsible eTaskBoard. It's the supply of dedicated
workers with a work ethic reflecting their gratitude for the opportunity to
work, which most employers will agree is in short supply.
Such underutilized workers are usually associated with
funding opportunities from public agencies and private foundations dedicated to
solving the related problems. Coordinators should apply for such seed
Coordinators following these specialization steps may narrow
their focus by work skillsets, regions, and social needs. A resulting example
may be aneTaskBoardspecializing in fisheries research and reporting, for
the Bering Sea region of Alaska, to provide work for chronically unemployed
Aleut Native Americans. Finding such narrowly specialized work assignments
would be a daunting challenge in the pre-internet world. But we don't live in a
Such a work community may number only 100 qualified workers
willing and able to accept the specialized tasks, but fisheries research and
reporting is a multi-million-dollar business supporting the
multi-billion-dollar fishing business. What is different is that the internet
presents the first opportunity to directly connect those 100 qualified workers
with those businesses. The Coordinator and eTaskBoard could bridge the
great distances and cultural divides to form a digital cooperative. Curiously,
it would have parallels to the fisherman cooperatives of 100 years ago that
- 5.) Define the
Virtual Work Force
Once the specialty area is defined, the Coordinator should
research and define in writing the workers who are likely to apply to do tasks
through eTaskBoard. This should include the type of tasks they would
perform, the skillsets and resources needed to do the tasks, and any support or
training the workers would need to use the eTaskBoard. This is where the
Coordinator's years of experience in the work field becomes invaluable.
This is when the Coordinator may discover that not all tasks
are possible across eTaskBoard. A welder, for example, may not find
welding tasks across the internet. Before giving up, the Coordinator with
welding industry experience realizes that welders are not in as short supply as
weld test analysts, the people who pore over weld test procedures, X-ray data,
ISO quality standards, and field data to certify critical welds to customer
requirements. The Coordinator may need to work with online training resources
to upgrade welders into weld test analysts, and to point them at government
funding sources to assist them through the upgrade.
Likewise, a Coordinator with a music background may realize
that guitar playing tasks are unlikely across eTaskBoard, but that the
industry has a shortage of music editors who can master raw studio tracks into
commercial-grade CDs. And that can be done as tasks across eTaskBoard.
The Coordinator may need to arrange with regional occupation centers the use of
mixing hardware outside the budget of entry-level eTaskBoard
The last step in defining the virtual work force is to
produce a list of categories and sub-categories that would define the skillsets
of a worker in a searchable way. For software developers, that would include
the number of years of experience they have in various software languages (C++,
Java, PHP, etc.), industry application areas (distribution, ecommerce, finance,
etc), and within those possibly some sub-categories (clothing distribution,
ecommerce subscriptions, international finance, etc.).
eTaskBoard provides an easy way to set up those
categories and sub-categories, for workers to match their skillsets, and for
employers to designate those as requirements to complete certain tasks.
Coordinators have to establish the lists specific to their specialized
After eTaskBoard is set up for the Coordinator's
specialized work community, the Coordinator will have to present it to
prospective target workers, to educate them about it, and to encourage them to
sign up. This is a marketing mission where the directive to specialize pays
off. The ad budget to inform the world's unemployed about the Coordinator's
eTaskBoard would be many millions of dollars. The campaign to present
eTaskBoard to the earlier business retirees at the upscale desert
retirement community would be a Powerpoint presentation at their next gala
event, with follow up in their newsletter. Every other above example lends
itself to a comparatively small marketing campaign in terms of money and time,
much of it simply exposing a small community to a new idea.
The Coordinator's ability to showcase years of shared
experience with the target workers lends to credibility and an ability to
present the value of eTaskBoard in terms the listeners understand.
For value statements to present workers about
eTaskBoard, Coordinators should take a peek at the right-hand column of
the Employ or Task? table.
- 6.) Target
Once the virtual work force is defined, they become the
Coordinator's family of workers. Together with the automation of
eTaskBoard, they form the capabilities to be marketed to employers. As
the marketing of eTaskBoard's value statement to workers benefits from
the first steps of specialization, so too the marketing to employers.
Whereas the marketing to workers had to present
eTaskBoard as a new idea to avoid being classified with the many past
approaches that have failed so many of them, employers are risk-averse people
who often don't want to try new ideas. They have to see a low-risk solution to
their need for talented workers. The pitch has to focus on their need for
experienced business consultants or fisheries research and reporting, and that
the Coordinator can provide those. Information about the innovative way
eTaskBoard delivers that is secondary. This also caters to the
phenomenally low attention span of many overworked managers.
In approaching employers, Coordinators should research the
many ancillary leverage points they often have because of the workers they
represent. A defense contractor likely has requirements to subcontract to
chronically unemployed, the disabled, Native Americans, etc., and the
Coordinator may obtain marketing exposure through the federal agency promoting
compliance to such requirements. Coordinators should also check if employers
can receive tax incentives related to contracting their workers.
For value statements to present employers about
eTaskBoard, Coordinators should take a peek at the left-hand column of
the Employ or Task? table.
- 7.) Apply to eTaskBoard
Even before Coordinators address all 5 above suggestions,
they should apply to eTaskBoard. We will
assign an advisor, often with experience in the target work community, to help
each prospective Coordinator. If we deem the Coordinator's plans show promise,
we will work toward its success.
This can include collaborative planning, consulting, and
development of a website to support the Coordinator's promotional efforts to
workers and employers.
We will also negotiate a pricing plan for use of the
eTaskBoard software. This can be a flat monthly rate, a rate based on a
fraction of the revenue generated by the Coordinator's eTaskBoard
implementation, or other variants. Our approach regarding pricing is to find an
eTaskBoard implementation with potential, and then to price the software
in a way that insures its success.