First plan collaboratively
The planning phase is the first phase in project management and an important one as well. In order to be able to delegate properly it is essential that all the project stakeholders come together to plan so that everyone is on the same wave length. Planning collaboratively together will do justice to the roles and responsibilities of each team members. Once everyone understands the constraints, requirements and the possibilities of the projects, the project manager can delegate the tasks of the project efficiently. And all the team members will be willing to accept the delegated tasks easily.
Then choose the right task to delegate
A project consists of a diverse range of tasks. Some tasks can be delegated and some not. This will depend on the type of project, the project manager, the work environment, the stakeholders and the objective. So, it is important to choose the right tasks to delegate. Important decisions such as hiring or firing a team member or important tasks such as negotiating with senior management or stakeholders shouldn’t be delegated! By the way, “important task or decision” is relative and will depend on the company or the project.
Be careful while assigning roles
Once the project manager has decided on the tasks to be delegated, it should be assigned to the team members according to their roles, responsibilities, real capabilities, availability and work load. It is recommended to use a RACI matrix (who is responsible, who is accountable, who should be consulted and who should be informed) to assign roles and responsibilities. This ensures transparency and conflicts of interest.
Once the project is in the execution phase, it is not recommended to assign tasks beyond someone ‘s duty.
Communicate regularly and to everyone
Once the project tasks are delegated and carefully assigned to team members it is essential to communicate. The first communication should be with the concerned team member to whom the tasks are delegated. They should be given guidance by proper briefing of what is to be done and what is expected. Then everyone should be informed globally of every one’s roles and responsibilities. It is important for each team member to know what his colleagues are responsible for so that they can collaborate efficiently. Finally, the project manager and the team members should communicate regularly with each other to understand the progress of each tasks and to calibrate accordingly.
And finally let go. Don’t micro-manage
Micro-managing is the devil of project management! It is the evil that hampers the efficient progress of a project. Once you have delegated a task to a project team member with some briefing then make sure you let go. It is important to let the team members work according to their own thought processes without constant micro-management.
Control the quality of tasks executed
Without micro-managing the project manager must monitor the execution of tasks from a distance. And once the tasks are executed it is necessary to analyze its quality. It is good to create some sort of safety net around the delegated tasks in case the task is not well executed. For example, the safety net can be having other resources on stand-by, putting in place a monitoring or measuring parameter or using stage-gates to make sure that the tasks are executed according to the set standards.
In the end, it is important to remember to monitor and control without exerting pressure or micro managing