Delegate The Result Not The Actions

Managers need to delegate tasks as part of Business As Usual – there is simply not enough time in the day to do it all yourself, nor should you, for a whole host of practical reasons.

Often the most well-intentioned delegation “chat” does not deliver what was required, resulting in far more work to do and, most likely, some corrective action.

The best way to get this right is to focus on the Result or Desired Outcome by following the rules below:

  1. The mechanics of delegation is all about authority and responsibility for the action that is needed to complete the task, but this rarely covers what the desired result should be. Delegating the method or process is the reason why delegated tasks fail.
  2. Be clear about the resources that are being made available: be sure to get a clear agreement about what everyone will be doing.
  3. Make sure that the person being given the task is actually motivated and excited to get on with the job: never just assume that things are OK and that you have done your part and can walk off into the sunset.
  4. Make sure that the feedback loop is very clear: if this is not specified there is a danger that micro-management will emerge, as a stream of questions are asked if there are not regular, specific times when management are updated.

Poor delegation leads to poor quality, failure and reworking of the original task – this just adds cost and decreases value. Avoid this at all costs!

Good Luck!

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