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HOW TO DELEGATE EFFECTIVELY

Tim Millett
Published by Tim Millett
08 October 2013

No matter what your leadership position, one of the most valuable skills you can learn is how to effectively delegate responsibility to those around you. Because you alone cannot accomplish all your goals whether they be to increase productivity, bring in a steady flow of customers or satisfy all project requirements, you need to assign tasks and responsibilities to those around you. As a team leader, it will be up to you to monitor the progress of team members and feedback or help whenever appropriate – what gets measured gets done.

DETERMINING SCOPE OF PROJECT

Depending on the scope of the project, you may be able to break down large tasks into smaller ones or give team members multiple tasks. Before assigning any tasks, it is important for you to have an understanding of what needs to be done in order to complete a project on time and in a professional manner. Take a closer look at the proposal and other documents that pertain to the project. Decide how many team members will be needed and how long the project should take.

The more you understand what the project requires, the easier it will be to assign tasks. Always be prepared to make changes if team members are involved in other projects or if you need help from another department. Track the projects progress and assign extra help when needed.

ASSEMBLING TEAM MEMBERS

In order to assemble the right team, you should have an idea of what each team member is capable of. This means reviewing past performance, special skills, and areas of expertise. If your team is involved in a project that requires additional skills or experience, then you may need to ask other departments for help and advice. Don’t be afraid to ask other supervisors for assistance as they may have a colleague who can help get your project started or help complete it.

Once your team has been assembled, create a list of tasks that need to be completed. Since many projects are completed in phases, you may need to assign different parts to smaller groups or individuals. As each phase is complete, another team will contribute. Some projects only require one or two phases that can be completed simultaneously by the entire group.

ASSIGNING INDIVIDUAL TASKS

Individual tasks including meeting with clients, creating presentations, or serving as a project consultant may be required for large scale projects. These tasks should be assigned to those who have dealt with the client before or those who enjoy giving presentations. Ensure that you offer all members of your team the chance to grow by sharing and mixing up learning opportunities and challenges. Problems can occur when you continuously rely on the same people – those who you rely on constantly can become bored with doing the same job all the time, while others may feel underutilized and undervalued.

BENEFITS OF DELEGATING EFFECTIVELY

There are many benefits to delegating responsibility. These include:

• Building a strong team
• Allowing team members to use their strengths
• Creating an environment where projects are completed on time
• Team leaders are freed up to better assist and lead
• Developing people for future growth

Team members will also feel more appreciated and valued when they are allowed to participate in a hands-on manner by using the skills they have learned.

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