Don’t just delegate. Delegate well.

How to delegate

Delegation is key to success on any major project. No one person can do everything, and putting the right team in place is one way for a project manager to ensure a project gets done on time and on budget. For those big breakthroughs that bring you in ahead of time and under budget, the act of delegating alone isn’t enough. By following a few dos and don’ts of delegation, a project manager can enhance output and build a go-to team for projects.

DON’T leave a project open-ended.

When a project deadline is months, or even years, away, some project managers don’t worry about setting additional deadlines. In the end, they assume, the work will be completed on time.  Studies have proven people work more effectively, and turn out higher quality work, when they have deadlines in place, so set up many checkpoints along the route.

DO set deadlines that leave room for exploration.

While deadlines are important to good management, they should never interfere with the best possible final product. People may come to a point during the process where they think, “Oh man, I could have done that better. I wish I had more time.” These are the ideas projects thrive on.  Leave room for extensions.

DON’T stop at the job description.

The people on your team likely have titles, and job descriptions that go with them. These can be a hindrance when trying to put together a good project team. So, look away from the job description, or the skills people list on a resume, and ask them what they can do. You likely have a pool of talent you don’t know about.

DO ask for volunteers.

While people may have one area of specialty, most have many skills, and often won’t mind switching it up. If you have time on a project, give people a chance to try their hands at different tasks, and provide training along the way. It enhances your entire team’s skills, and gives you more options as projects move along.

DON’T delegate tasks to people.

Most people think of delegation as assigning tasks to people. If you have a portion of a project that requires finance and supply, for instance, you might delegate the finance part to a staff accountant and the supply part to your company buyer. Now, each time one makes a decision about the task, it affects the other, and this must be communicated, creating a lag in workflow.

DO delegate people.

Start thinking of delegation as assigning people to tasks. Keep closely-related tasks together, and install two- or three-person teams to work on the same task, if necessary. When something needs done on that part of the project, the teams works on it together, each handling their specific part, so no time is wasted on back-and-forth communication.

The backbone of project management is good delegation to a skilled team. If you’re looking for team members for your next creative project, contact us today to learn more.

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