I recently reached out to my PM Career Coaching group and asked them:
"What is the 1 thing that if you knew how to do it or do it better, it would make a dramatic impact on your life and project management career?"
If I could do one thing better consistently is to learn to delegate more, I find that although I do delegate I still end up doing the lions share of the work, which then has a direct effect on the overall project monitoring.
Delegate Results, Not Tasks
Many times, the failure of delegation comes about as a direct consequence of project managers micromanaging tasks.
- Give them the end goal and some high-level direction
- Get out of the way and let them decide HOW to carry it out
You'll see better results and a more empowered project staff. Most people are smart and want to do good work. Demonstrate your trust in them in a tangible manner and you'll be pleasantly surprised by the results in most cases.
When I said ealier to "give them the end goal and some high-level direction" I meant also that you need to be crystal clear about it. So many of these well-intentioned and hard working people produce results that are other than what you intended.
But it's not their fault. It's yours most of the time.
People will tend to make assumptions when they aren't completely clear, because they feel asing questions about your direction or end goal might make them look stupid. It's up to you as the project manager to be crystal clear about what the end result should look like. Have them articulate it back to you, and on longer tasks check in just to see how they are doing. Don't micro-manage, but use opportunities for feedback from you to them as a way to course correct along the way. In this scenario, they are the producers and you are the "customer" of that delegated deliverable, so get a little agile with it.
What advice do you have for Steve and others regarding delegation?
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