If there is one thing that a lot of project managers are yet to master it is the art of delegation. If we are honest with ourselves, most of us will admit that we are guilty of spreading ourselves too thin because we attempt to take on tasks ourselves when we could – and should – be delegating them to our team members. With that in mind, read on to discover some top tips on how to delegate more effectively as a project manager.
Be specific – One of the worst things you can do when giving out tasks is to be vague. You need to be specific with what is required. You should also explain why the task needs to be done, what results are expected, and the deadline.
Pick the right person for the task – When delegating, do not dish tasks out on a first come first serve basis. Rather than simply assigning tasks to the first person available, you need to ensure tasks are matched to the right person for the job. Do not give someone a task if they are not qualified to do it. You wouldn’t give someone with an HGV licence accounting tasks, would you? You need to play to the strengths and skills of your team.
Don’t over-delegate – While a lot of us are guilty of not delegating enough, you also need to make sure you do not over-delegate. You should not simply start delegating projects because you have fallen behind or you want to shift something off your desk that you should be doing. Delegating is about dishing out those tasks that you should not be doing yourself. It is vital to recognise the difference.
Give apprentices some responsibility – If you have any apprentices on your team, make the most of them. A lot of businesses make the mistake of having their interns and apprentices merely staying in the background. There are bound to be plenty of tasks that your apprentice could be working on, so make sure you give them something worthwhile to do, i.e. something that actually contributes to the project.
Don’t micromanage – There is no point in delegating a task if you are only going to micromanage it afterwards. Once you have handed out a task and provided training if necessary, you should set up a schedule for touching base, and then once you have done this you should step away from the project. You have assigned the task based on skillset, so you should trust the person in question to get the done job properly.
If you follow the advice that has been provided above, you should be able to delegate tasks more effectively and efficiently so that your project team can achieve more and you focus on the tasks that really matter rather than spreading yourself too thin.