5 tips for improving delegation

Delegation is one of the quickest ways to increase your effectiveness. Good delegation helps you achieve your career goals faster and with less energy.

1: Determine what to delegate

Choose the right task for delegation by asking yourself these questions:

Do you have the right team member for the task? Does the team member have the necessary background and knowledge?

Is this the right client and/or internal team?

  • Are they picky?
  • Are they easy to communicate with?

Budget and schedule? Does the budget and schedule allow for the extra time this team member may need to spend on the task?

How difficult is the task?

  • Are there instructions?
  • Is there a template?
  • Do you have examples of similar work?
  • Is this something your team has done before?
  • Is this something you feel comfortable providing guidance on?

2: If a task is not something you feel comfortable delegating:

Can you delegate a portion of the task? Is there a part of the task you can delegate to the team member?

Is there something else you’re working on that you can delegate? Review your week and see if there is something you’re doing that you can delegate.

Ask yourself what is needed to ensure this task can be delegated in the future. Let’s say you want to delegate a post launch website traffic report to someone, but you think it is too complex. However, you know this will come up in the future again. Put a plan in place for training the team member on how to accomplish this report so the next time the task comes along, you can delegate it to them.

3: Provide the right initial guidance

Once you find a task you want to delegate, take the following steps:

Schedule a kick-off meeting: Find a time to meet in person to discuss the task. This meeting should include the following:

  • Overall task background
  • How the task fits into the overall picture: Project life-cycle, why the client finds it important, etc.
  • Timeline: Expectations tied to dates
  • Check-ins
  • When they should contact you:
    • If they go over a certain number of hours, etc.
    • If they think they cannot meet a deadline
  • Needed resources
    • Key contacts
    • Examples they can look at
    • Templates
    • Billing
    • Helpful articles

Prepare for kick-off meeting

I find the easiest way to prepare is to fill out this email I send along with the meeting invite:

///Email draft///

Downloadable version here.

Subject line: Project for client due DD/MM/YYYY

Background:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Why: How this project fits into the overall picture: Project life-cycle, why the client finds it important, etc.

Guidelines:

  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Etc.

Resources:

  • Billing
  • Evergreen folder
  • Project folder
  • Other relevant links
    • Examples
    • Templates
    • Instructions

Contacts:

  • Account
  • PM
  • Etc.

Timeline

  • Date – Expectation
  • Schedule following check-in meetings:
    • Initial check-in: X duration on DAY(DD/MM/YYYY) to cover X
    • Final check-in
  • Send first draft of the report prior to the first check-in meeting

4: Make use of check-ins

Schedule check-ins at the outset of the task. It’s easy to forget about this as the craziness of the week sets in. This could be part of a regular status meeting or something separate.

Have them schedule the follow-up meetings. This helps reinforce the timeline.

Prepare for the check-in meetings. This could involve them sending you a report draft thirty minutes prior to the meeting for you to review so you can come prepared with your questions.

5: Solicit and provide feedback

Solicit feedback:

  • Solicit feedback at each meeting from the kick-off to the final check-in.
  • Take note of questions asked during the project and think about how you can preemptively address those questions next time.

Provide feedback:

  • Provide feedback at each meeting from the kick-off to the final check-in.
  • Have a post-meeting follow-up where you provide overall guidance you may not have had time to address during the task.