White Cobalt Blog

White Cobalt Blog

Open & Closed Tasks

According to the Cambridge University Press, an Open Task is one where there isn’t a single absolute correct outcome or where a variety of outcomes are possible.* 

We can infer from this that a Closed Task is one where there’s a single correct outcome, or at least one with only small and definable variations.

In the context of business, an Open Task could be something like talking to a customer, taking time to understand their needs and building a relationship them – so they leave feeling they’ve been looked after by your company.

On the other hand, a Closed Task is more like producing a report, working out the best way to ship an item, or transferring information from one system to another.

Let’s look at these definitions and take them a step further:

  • An Open Task is something best done by a person.
  • A Closed Task is something which can be effectively completed by a computer.

On this basis, you can measure the time spent by a business on Open Tasks versus Closed Tasks and use this ratio to work out how efficient a company is.

And, in a nutshell, that’s what we do: we develop computer systems to handle the Closed Tasks in a business, so the team can focus their energy on the Open ones.

And, as we develop these systems further, they can handle more and more complex tasks.

Open Tasks can often be broken up into a series of Closed Tasks. These only need a single button click from a human to indicate a decision, and then the task can be handled by the system.


If you’d like to know more about how we can help your business, we’d be delighted to talk to you.

Steve Stovold - Director
Steve Stovold