Most managers complain of an excessive workload with too much to do in too little time. Learning to delegate is therefore one of the the most vital skills of all to master. Effective delegation can then help to bring relief to a demanding and heavy workload, and also help develop other team members. In order to delegate effectively we first need to reflect on and be able to identify which of the huge number of our daily work tasks could actually be performed by other members of our team.
Before delegating any activity or task we need to consider two critical dimensions: the importance and urgency of the task.
The diagram below illustrates a simple but powerful matrix that can help us decide whether we should be holding onto a task or activity or delegating it to someone else.
The matrix provides an easy and practical approach to thinking about our
workload. Having decided that a task needs to be delegated, we then need to use
our managing performance skills for allocating the task to a team member. In so
doing we need to be clear as to the standard of work required and the requisite
timescales and quality standards. We then have to ensure we have a simple but
effective follow-up process to monitor the completion of the task. If we don’t
apply our performance management skills we may be simply ‘dumping’ tasks on
people. We also have to remember to use the situational approach which urges us
to consider the two questions of a person’s ability and motivation to complete