Originally posted 2/3/2015, updated 8/23/2021.
As part of my on-going series about the art and science of effective delegation, I will discuss two topics in this blog; The prerequisites of effective delegation and how to prepare to delegate.
The Key Prerequisites of Effective Delegation
There are several essential items you should address before delegating a particular responsibility or task:
- Delegation Plan – As is the case in many business projects, planning is a key element of success. Therefore, you must have a delegation plan. This plan should include:
- What is to be delegated – a clear description of the task or responsibility you are going to delegate
- Who is this item going to be delegated to – not only who, but you will need to have a clear understanding of why the recipient is the ideal person (or team) to accomplish your goal?
- Definition of Success – have a clear understanding of what your expected result will be, and be able to clearly communicate this definition of success
- Metrics – know how you are going to measure progress toward success
- Time frame – is the item to be delegated on-going or finite
- Follow up – know how often you are going to check on progress toward success
- The Why – You must have a clear understanding of why you are delegating the item. Your why may include some of the following:
- You do not have the necessary skills
- You do not like the task to be delegated
- Someone on your team (either internal or external) has more experience or professional training
- The item is not the most effective use of your time and attention
- The Item Must Be Something That Can Be Delegated – Simply put, if you are the surgeon, you must do the surgery. On the other hand, if you are the surgeon, you will certainly delegate the anesthesia. It is counterproductive to delegate something that only you can accomplish AND is core to the success of your business
Preparing To Delegate
Not unlike real estate, effective delegation has three very important items you must have in order to delegate:
- Communicate the responsibility or task to be delegated – know exactly how you are going to define what you expect
- Communicate the definition of success – know exactly how you are going to define and measure success
- Communicate the bigger picture – know how you are place the delegated item into the context of the company’s success and mission
Unlike real estate there is a fourth important item you must be prepared to do to have effective delegation, not abdication – you MUST be prepared not to take the item back if it is being accomplished but not exactly as you would accomplish it. If it is moving forward, you must be prepared to LET IT GO!
If you need assistance with expanding your results by using effective delegation, do not hesitate to give me a call.