By Mary Wright, Editor, HR Gazette
The Interactive Delegation Plan
Delegation is the act of empowering someone to act on your behalf. In a work setting it typically means the boss hands out work to subordinates. That work can be an entire project from proposal to product, or it can be a single discrete piece of work that fits into a bigger project.
If the boss does not delegate, the amount of work she, her company, department, etc., can perform is strictly limited to the hours she has in her day. If the boss effectively delegates – and if the people to whom she delegates understand their roles – then she can secure as much work as the greater number of delegates can perform. The goal is to constantly train and increase the ranks of effective delegates so that the company’s business never stops growing.
It is an easy concept to understand. It’s hard and anxiety-provoking to do. You need a plan for delegation. From the top down, the plan must be:
- well-defined in substance, schedule and result,
- flexible enough to pivot,
- communication rich and
From the bottom up, delegates must be allowed to question the facts and purpose of the job. The schedule must contain touch-points that allow delegates to demonstrate progress thus far, and to proceed or correct course with authority.
In both directions, the parties must agree to exclude any negative bias toward the work or toward any person performing the work. And while it is always good to test facts, theories and results through discussion, the parties must agree to exclude unreasonable or power-driven contrarian behavior.
You can do this if you just ask yourself the right questions. Here are mine.
Not all of the questions are necessary for every project to be delegated. If you front-load information gathering, however, you will find that questions do not impede the workflow and your team is much more productive. And, as an added bonus, you look smarter, more experienced and better prepared to your own boss as well as your team. All of which makes it easier to assign work to you, or for you to get the best performance from your delegates.
Today, Monday, July 23, HR Gazette posts the 1st Checklist for the Interactive Delegation Plan entitled, “Client.” It is located in the right-hand column of the page, under the heading, Interactive Delegation Plan and under the “Library” button on the navigation bar. The remaining 4 Checklists (Project, Team, Schedule and Delegates) will be posted in installments running Tuesday through Friday, July 23-27.
From HR Gazette