Plan, Train and DelegateMuhammad Zeeshan Ali, PMP, PMI-ACP
Delegation of tasks, especially for Managers and Team Leads, is always highly talked about topic but the reality is that it is rarely executed in practical sense and even when it is done so, only the responsibilities are delegated and no authority.
The reason for lack of practical implementation is that Managers and Team Leads are often afraid of losing their position or control if they delegate their work. This fear is further drawn-out with the thought that the resource might be able to execute it in much better way. Second reason mostly highlighted is that the resources themselves are afraid to take up the responsibility and face the challenges because they are afraid of the potential failure. Rather than to take blame, for the failure, the resource tends to stick to limited scope of assignment and this simply limits the resource creativity and productivity.
It is always a good idea to, every now and then, put resources in manager’s shoes so that they can experience what it feels to be on the other side of the table. They get a chance to see what a managers goes through in terms of challenges and the psychology behind the managerial decisions which they normally don’t get exposed to in their regular roles.
The most important thing in delegation is that, as manager or lead, you are ready to accept the risks and the failures that might come as a cost of this exercise. Only if you understand and ready to bear the cost, only then you will be able to delegate both responsibilities and authorities. Effective delegation will leave you will only to provide support and guidance to the relevant resource. The resource should have the assurance that that you will be always behind him/her for guidance and is ready to accept the cost of failure.
Since each resource has a different way of processing things so each person provides a different to same thing. So let the resource open up its mind and explore different possibilities and at the same time explore and challenge its potential. Who knows it might turn out to be a great idea. In either case, it will be a great learning for the manager and the resource.
It might be a good idea to nominate one of the team members on rotation basis, for a week to assist the Project Manager in preparing and executing regular managerial tasks in the capacity of “Assistant Project Manager”. At the end of each week, let the resource brief all other team members about their learning in this role and how what were considerations when they made some decisions and what were the results of those decisions.
Work delegation (Authority or Responsibility) is good but not at the cost of known risk of failure. “Delegation of Accountability” will prevail the delegation of Authority or Responsibility. Capacity of a resource really does count, so work delegation must be either managed through the effective resource planning or training of a resource. OGMC can help you to give wings to a right resource.