Articles

How To Delegate Tasks Like a Pro: Team Task Management Tips


[Music Intro]>>Hello, my name is Jennifer Whitt, Director
at projectmanager.com. Well, welcome to your whiteboard session today
on, ‘how to delegate tasks like a pro.’ Often people approach me and say, ‘What is it that
you really do?’ And I’m shocked, I’m like, ‘what do you mean by that?’ And they say,
‘well, you’re never at your desk, so I’m not sure what you do. We always just see you kind
of roaming the floor, having meetings, talking to people.’ So it dawned on me that what’s really happening,
they don’t really understand that I get to work at 6:00 a.m., do a lot of preparation,
organizing, planning my day before they ever get into the office. And, what I realized,
the most important part was, I learned long ago how to delegate. So it makes it look like
my job is so easy. And so another part is I surround myself by smart people who make
me look good. So, I learned early on that to find a model, I watched people, other people
and how they ran their job or conducted their business. And to see, ‘wow, why is it that
they make things look so easy.” So I studied them. And so by studying others finding my
own model, surrounding myself by smart people, I learned how to delegate like a pro. And
I wanted to share a couple things with you. If you’ve watched any of our other previous
whiteboard sessions, you know I like start with a definition for some terms because they
are often used incorrectly. If you go to my good friend Google, and you Google the word
delegate, we’re looking for, there’s a noun and there’s a verb. We’re looking at the verb
of delegate. I love this when there are several options, right? You’re going to get probably
millions of hits. The one that I liked the most was by Yahoo and it was considered the
most favorite definition. It’s to entrust a task or responsibility to another person.
Typically one who is less senior than oneself. And that would be me or you as a project manager. I really like this because a lot of times
a lot of things go wrong with number 1, either not delegating or delegating things incorrectly
or the wrong things and delegating the wrong things to the wrong people. Before we go into
the six tips I want to offer, I want to start from what, okay? Going back to the definition,
what do we want to delegate? We need to define what routine task or responsibilities that
we want to delegate and why do we want to do that? Because you as the project manager
you don’t want to become the bottleneck of the project, right? So if that’s the case
you’re going to be part of the problem of your own derailed project. You want to focus your time, you want to spend
your biggest bang for the buck on where it’s more important for you. That’s managing projects
and leading the people on your team. How do we do this? What are the steps, what are my
six tips to delegate like a pro? What have I learned from my models and what have I experienced
and with many lessons learned along the way? Number 1, remember your role. Remember this
is the best use of your time. Your best use, again, is managing your project, leading your
people. Doing the strategic part, the planning, building, nurturing, relationships, not only
within your team, among your stake-holders, with your clients. Any external organizations
or vendor partners. That’s the best use of your time. Remember your role as the project
manager. Number 2, determine your time wasters. What
is taking up most of your time? You want to find out where am I wasting most of my time.
Not using most of your time, but wasting. Wasting meaning what can you delegate to someone
else so you can have more time to do what you want to do instead. Number 3, clarify the routine task and responsibilities
that you can delegate. It’s best when you have a process around those so when it’s routine,
it’s something that can be done over and over again. Something that can be operationalised
its clear, its defined, its determined how it can be done, that’s the most easy thing
to delegate because that’s what you can give to someone less senior than you. If you
have a process and determine who is qualified to do that or can take it and run with it
and get it done. So if you give it, this is where you can delegate the wrong thing to
the wrong person and it frustrates them. The work doesn’t get done and what happens is
you end up taking it back and doing it anyway and then that gets into other dynamics of
the project. So how can you determine who’s qualified
or can take it and run with it and get it done? We will look at things like who has
the experience, who has the expertise, who has the passion. A lot of times passion goes
a long way, if someone has a passion of learning and wanting to do more they’re really invested
and loyal to you as the project manager then they’ll get it done. Also look at thinking
styles. If you need detail reports, if you want to delegate detailed reports, things
that have matrix, things that need to be studied and analyses. If you give that to someone
who is not a detailed person, then they’re more intuitive, then they’re more the right
brain thinker than the left brain thinker. Then you’re only going to set them up for
failure as well as yourself, it’s not going to get done and they’re going to get frustrated.
If you need someone who is more creative and you give it to someone who is not creative,
then again. So understand what your delegating and what needs to be done, to get that piece
done. And then drive, who has the drive again, who has the drive to get it done. And Then
follow through it is important that that person has the ability to follow through, otherwise
they’ll just keep coming back to you asking you a million questions, a million questions.
How do we do this? How do we do that? Who do I call? And always needing your guidance,
then it’s probably not the best person to get it done because remember your trying to
get rid of the time wasters so you do not become the bottleneck. And then the fifth step is really to delegate.
And then rinse and repeat, early and often. And then again it’s the bonus, find your
‘Pro’ that you can study and model, I’m always big on that. Whatever you’re doing,
your trying to learn and grow to do things better. Define your ‘Pro’, your model,
to study and then the biggest key is surround yourself with smart people, who can make you
look good. So those are just some of the things that I’ve learned so that I don’t become
the bottleneck and that’s how I’ve learned to delegate like a Pro. If you need a tool to help you determine what
routine tasks to delegate then sign up for our software now at projectmanager.com.

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