Project Management

The Fine Art of Delegation

Meredith Landry

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, right? Not so fast.

For project managers, doing too much can lead to burnout, poor performance and a frustrated team. According to Everest College’s 2012 Work Stress Survey, 73 percent of U.S. workers said they were stressed, with an “unreasonable workload” cited as one of the top four stressors. The answer to that overwhelming workload? Letting go of—or at least loosening the grip on—the reins.

Delegating project work is less about loading up team members with tasks and more about enabling them to develop and strengthen their skills, says Nicola Hill, PMP, senior project manager of news technology at business information provider Thomson Reuters in London, England.

“You need to identify people on the team who are ready to be stretched with new activities,” she says. “The decision on what to delegate ought to center on the development needs of team members.”

Who’s Most Stressed?

The percentage of workers in six different countries who feel “unreasonably stressed”

United Kingdom 35%
Brazil 34%
Germany 33%
United States 32%
China 17%
India 17%

Source: Stress: What’s the Impact for Organisations?, Kenexa High Performance Institute. Results based on a four-year study of 60,000 workers in six countries.


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