Some people feel they need to take on everything themselves. That’s a recipe for disaster. True leaders understand the power of delegating work. That’s why you assemble a team, each expert in their own field.
Why Is It Important for Leaders to Delegate Tasks?
Leaders are leaders for a reason. They need to lead the project, have a big-picture vision and not get bogged down in the weeds. The weeds are important, but a leader’s time is better spent on things a leader should do. Delegating work gives everyone the work they were trained to do and frees the leader for greater responsibility, such as strategic thinking, coaching teams and more.
That’s why the best leaders use ProjectManager, an award-winning project management software that allows leaders to delegate work. Our software has multiple project views so leaders can plan and schedule work on robust Gantt charts and teams can toggle over to task lists, kanban boards or calendars where the plan is shared in a tool more appropriate for what they have to do. And it’s all updated in real time. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.
10 Tips to Delegate Tasks Effectively
In theory, it’s easy to delegate, but it’s another thing to effectively do so in practice. Here are a few tips anyone can apply to managing a team and delegating work among them.
1. Empower Your Team Members
Let your team know that they’re a valuable resource. Ask for their input, ideas and insights. Give them positive feedback and develop leaders among the team. They’ll then help leaders by sharing the load, taking responsibility and serving the project better.
2. Clearly Define Goals & Objectives When Delegating Tasks
Of course, for a team to share in the work, they have to understand what it is and what’s expected of them. Leaders, therefore, need to clearly define goals and objectives. Use SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
3. Delegate Tasks to the Right Team Members
Leaders should know their team and what they’re capable of. That way, when it comes time to delegate work, they’ll know who can take what on. If you’re not familiar with your team at the start of the project, take time to interview them so you are aware of their skills and experience.
4. Give Feedback to Your Team Members
No one works well in a vacuum. Even after you’ve delegated work, you’ll want to keep the lines of communication open. Team members should feel comfortable giving leaders feedback and taking feedback from leaders. The shared goal is completing the project successfully.
5. Be Patient When Delegating Tasks
When you delegate, give the team ample time to complete their tasks. Things take time and the last thing you want to do is pressure the team. That doesn’t mean you want them to have unlimited time. But be realistic when creating project timelines and offer any guidance or direction that might be needed.
6. Provide the Necessary Resources After Delegating
Delegating is useless if your team doesn’t have the tools they need to get the work done. Resources are anything that’s needed to execute the tasks, from people to equipment and software. Make sure your team has what they need when they need it.
7. Avoid Tight Timelines When Delegating Tasks
Deadlines are important. Work can linger on forever without them. However, if you set too tight a deadline, all you’re going to do is pressure the team and in their haste to meet that deadline they’re going to make mistakes. That’ll only extend the length of the project. Setting realistic deadlines saves time in the long run.
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Gantt Chart Template
Use this free Gantt Chart Template for Excel to manage your projects better.
8. Support Your Team as They Execute Tasks
A leader doesn’t just delegate and then disappear. Leadership is about mentoring, coaching and further helping the team in whatever capacity they need. They might need you to advocate for more resources or roll up your sleeves and join them. Be prepared to do whatever it takes.
9. Use Task Tracking Tools
Delegating involves trust. Leaders can be looking over their team’s shoulders. They have their own work to do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t pay attention. Task tracking tools give leaders visibility into the team’s work and allow them to monitor if it’s progressing as planned.
10. Foster Team Collaboration
Delegating is important, but a leader must also facilitate team collaboration. There are a number of ways to do this, including team-building exercises. If you haven’t had time prior to starting the meeting to engage in team-building exercises, meeting icebreakers can help build bonds between team members.
Benefits of Delegating Tasks
There are many advantages to delegating tasks. Here are only a few examples of those benefits. For one it builds a culture of trust, which fosters teamwork, builds morale, retains employees and keeps them productive.
Delegating keeps leaders from spreading themselves too thin where they’re no help to anyone. It also engages the team and creates buy-in to the project, stimulating creativity and developing new skills for the team. That’s a win-win.
Don’t forget the work-life balance. There’s a lot of take about keeping a balance between the job and the home, but delegating walks the walk. You’ll find that this work-life balance results in better workers, too.
Video: How to Delegate Tasks
Watch this short video with Jennifer Bridges, PMP, to learn how to delegate tasks with your team.
Jennifer discussed the art of delegating and started with the basics of defining that term. The first thing you need to understand is what you want to delegate and why. Your goal as a manager is to clear the roadblocks and hurdles from your team. It’s also to create engagement with your team. Thanks for watching!
Here are Jennifer’s tips for delegating like a pro in project management:
- Remember your role: You’re the manager. Your job is not to get mired down in the operational work. Not only does that disrupt the team by undermining their abilities, but it leaves you little time for management.
- Identify time wasters: What’s taking up too much of your time right now? Can you hand that off to someone else?
- Clarify routine tasks: Regular tasks can easily be taught. See what can be shared amongst the team. They don’t have to be routinized for everyone. You can rotate routine tasks between people, too.
- Know your team’s strengths: Identify to whom you can delegate work. You don’t want to hand off highly technical work to a creative team member whose skills aren’t well matched for the task at hand, for example. Set your team up for success.
- Delegate, rinse and repeat: Actually hand out assignments and, as noted before, rotate some of the work among the team.
The team functions best when collaborating together for the good of the project. It can be difficult to instill new processes and a culture of collaboration into your team, but worth the work to get a team running smoothly. If you need a tool to help you determine what routine tasks to delegate, try ProjectManager.