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Use These Five Steps to Delegate Project Work

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This content is from the Method123 weekly email dated 2017.06.07

Use These Five Steps to Delegate Project Work

As a project manager, you cannot do all the project work yourself. You can't create all the deliverables, respond to all the risks, solve every issue, perform all communication, etc. You have to be able to delegate. Some of the delegation is natural - such as assigning schedule work to team members. The schedule includes the names of the people assigned to do the work, so that is usually pretty easy to manage. However, other work can be done by multiple people - or by the project manager. Make sure your plate is full, and then delegate the rest. Here are fibe key steps to take.

Step 1: Look for team members that can take more responsibility

Delegation is when you assign responsibility to another person to carry out a specific task. The task could be large (such as "revamp our training department" or small (such as "write and distribute the meeting minutes"). It doesn't matter how large or small the task is. What matters is that there is another person that you can delegate the task to. You have to have good people on your team that can take responsibility for work, even if it requires them to work outside their comfort zone.

Step 2: Get comfortable asking others for help

You need to have a mindset where you feel comfortable delegating to others. You may be hesitant. You may feel that it will be faster to get something done yourself rather than having to explain it to others. Or, you may feel as if the other person already has enough to do and you don't want to add more to their plate. In fact, it may take another person longer to do the work - the first time. But you will have something off your plate and the team member will have a chance to learn a new skill.

Step 3: Create your full "to-do list"

Every day you should have a list of the things that you need to do that day. As a project manager, some of this work is your responsibility. There will be meetings, reminders, short-term items, longer-term its, etc. You should include any non-project work as well, such as completing your open enrollment insurance form.

Step 4: Determine which core work you must do

You are going to have a sizable list. You may be amazed at how much stuff you have on your plate to accomplish. Some of these things are extremely important and others may be of marginal value. There may be items on your list that are months old and probably should be deleted. Now figure out the items you and only you can complete. For example, filling out that open enrollment insurance form. Perhaps these can be flagged with a star.

Step 5: Begin delegating

The items that you have not starred are candidates to delegate. Since you did not star these, there must be someone else that can do them. Of course, just because you can delegate them does not mean you will delegate them. Make sure you keep a full plate of work for yourself. But ask others on your team to complete some of the remaining work for you.

This is not an easy process at first. But soon it becomes more comfortable. Delegating work allows you to leverage your time. You are now able to get more work done, with others help, than you could do by yourself.

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