Delegating Effectively

Most workers need to communicate, track and manage delegated task items. It is particularly important for project managers as well as supervisors who not only have to manage their own tasks but also need to make sure their direct reports get things done, too.

Whoever is responsible and accountable for an action item or project should delegate clear guidelines on completing a task as well as follow-through with others to ensure success of an action or project.

The following are key points to remember for effective delegation that can be used with both small tasks and large projects:

Communicate desired results. Make sure to provide the overall goal and purpose of the task or project along with the intended benefits and consequences if the action is not performed correctly. Providing this information supports decision-making for the delegatee during the course of a task or project.

Provide clear guidelines. Provide clear and concise instructions either verbally or via e-mail. Be clear on timeframes, budget, resource allocation and expectations in completing the task or project. Although some workers feel providing clear guidelines can be perceived as micro-managing, it is important to define the boundaries and be clear on assignment details.

Determine communication plan. Identify others or resources to contact in case there are questions or issues that arise during the task. This saves others time when they get stuck to know exactly who to reach out to for assistance. Also, determine the method and frequency in which follow-up will occur. This will eliminate confusion as to who contacts whom when a task is completed.