Success at Work : Techniques : Delegation

Jan 16 00:36 2005 Stephen Bucaro Print This Article

... is granted for the below article to ... ... use for ezine, ... ... as free bonus or part of

----------------------------------------------------------
Permission is granted for the below article to forward,Guest Posting
reprint, distribute, use for ezine, newsletter, website,
offer as free bonus or part of a product for sale as long
as no changes are made and the byline, copyright, and the
resource box below is included.
----------------------------------------------------------

Success at Work : Techniques : Delegation

By Stephen Bucaro

Many people don't understand delegation. When they think of
delegation, they think of the old slogan "shit always flows
down hill". Proper delegation can make your team into a
high performance machine. Poor delegation can result in
mistakes, poor quality, and missed schedules. In this
article, I'm going to reveal some powerful delegation
techniques.

Most people think delegation always flows downward. An
executive delegates a task to a manager, who delegates the
task to a supervisor, who delegates the task to a worker.
That is typically the way delegation flows, but powerful
advantages can be gained when delegation flows sideways
and upwards too.

Responsibility Flow

Although sometimes there are advantages to sideways and
upwards delegation, responsibility always flows upwards.
Let's say a worker makes a serious mistake and doesn't
meet the schedule. Should the worker be fired?

The supervisor was given a task along with the authority
and the resources (the department's workers) to get the
task done. The supervisor's manager is not going accept
the supervisor putting the blame on the employee. The
supervisor should have been monitoring the task and taking
action if it wasn't going right. Should the supervisor be
fired?

The manager was given a task along with the authority and
the resources (the manager's department) to get the task
done. The executive who assigned the task is not going
accept the manager putting the blame on the supervisor.
A manager has the responsibility to make and break
supervisors in their department. If the manager didn't
select and train a supervisor they can rely on to get the
job done, it's the managers fault. Should the manager be
fired?

The executive in charge of the manager needs to explain to
the CEO or President of the company that the job did not
get done right. I think you're beginning to see the pattern.
Although delegation usually flows downhill, responsibility
always flows uphill.

That's not to say that an under performing employee can't
get fired for making a mistake or failing to get work done
on time. But somewhere up the chain of command someone
should have taken action to get the task back on track
before it became a problem.

- When you delegate a task, someone else does the work, but
you are still responsible for the results.

Downward Delegation

One of the biggest mistakes made with downward delegation
is bypassing the chain of command. For example, a manager
bypasses the supervisor and delegates a job directly to a
worker. That manager has just made two mistakes.

The manager relieved the supervisor of all responsibility
for that task and all other tasks, because a supervisor
can't be held responsible if they can't control their
resources. The manager also removed the supervisor's
authority over the worker because the worker now feels
that they report directly to the manager, the same as the
supervisor does.

- If you are an executive or manager, never bypass the
chain of command. This will destroy the effectiveness of
your department, and since responsibility always flows
uphill, you will be cutting your own throat.

Sideways Delegation

Let's say you are given a task and a part of this task
requires a skill in which you are not proficient. You might
choose to sideways delegate the task to a more proficient
resource. Sometimes this is done officially via a multi-
departmental project team. Sometimes a manager just asks
the manager of another department to perform that part of
the task. Even a worker may ask a co-worker to perform part
of a task for them.

Sideways delegation can improve a company's performance if
done properly. To be done properly, all parties involved
must be informed of the delegation and the advantage to
gained by the company from the sideways delegated task.
Even when all these conditions are met, the original owner
of the task remains responsible for the task.

Upwards Delegation

Let's say you are given a task and a part of this task
requires authority above your level. You will be forced to
upward delegate that part of the task. For example, your
job is to order parts for a project. You select the parts
and fill out the order form, but you don't have the
signature authority to actually order the parts. You
delegate the job of signing for the parts to your boss.

Sometimes it's necessary to upwards delegate. But even
though you delegated the task to your boss, you remain
responsible for the task. In other words, if your boss
forgets to sign the order, that's your fault. It's your
responsibility to keep checking with your boss to make
sure the task is completed.

- Sometimes a task is upwards delegated even though the
individual doing the delegation is completely capable of
doing the task themself. This is called "putting the monkey
back on the bosses back". If you're a manager or supervisor,
you need to know how to recognize the monkey and toss it
back to whom it belongs.

Choosing a Delegatee

You would assume that it would always be advantageous to
delegate a task to the individual most qualified to perform
the task. That is not always possible because the most
qualified individual may already be carrying a full load of
assignments. There are several reasons why it may be
advantageous to delegate a task to an individual who is
not the most qualified to perform the task.

- Growth Delegation. If you always delegate a task to the
individual most qualified to perform the task, you will not
be expanding the competencies of your department. It's
better to delegate a task to an individual that will be
required to "stretch" a little to complete the task. If all
tasks are delegated to individuals who are required to
"stretch" a little to complete the task, the competency of
the department will always be increasing.

- Fairness Delegation. Some tasks are boring and tedious,
while others are interesting and challenging. If you always
delegate the boring tasks to the same individuals and the
interesting tasks to the same individuals, the moral and
performance of the individuals always getting the boring
tasks will decline. Tasks should be assigned so everyone
gets a little good with the bad.

How to Delegate

- Make sure the delegatee has the resources to complete
the task; the tools, the time, and the authority.

- Make sure the delegatee knows the task deadline. Make
occasional checks to be sure the task is progressing. It's
not uncommon for a delegatee to receive a higher priority
assignment and not mention that they have stopped working
on your task.

- Describe in detail what the final result of the task
should be.

- It's not uncommon for an individual to accept a task
without the faintest clue how to get started. Ask the
delegatee what their first step will be to begin the task.

- Leave as many of the details as to how to accomplish the
task to the delegatee. Not everyone applies the same skills
and methods to accomplishing a task. Let the delegatee take
ownership and you may be pleasantly surprised with the
results.

Multitasking

Some people can work on the same thing for hours or days
without getting bored. Other people will show a productivity
drop after working on something for only a short time. The
secret to keeping easily bored people productive is to let
them multi-task. When they get bored working on one project
they can jump to something different, eventually getting
bored with the second task and returning to the first task.
Being able to jump from one task to another keeps their
overall productivity up.

To make this work, you have to let the worker in on the
plan; otherwise, they will think you are loading them up
with too many tasks. You must explain the relative priority
of each task so they understand which task should get the
most attention.

Many people don't understand delegation. Proper delegation
can make your team into a high performance machine. Poor
delegation can result in mistakes, poor quality, and missed
schedules. Use the delegation techniques described in this
article and watch your department's productivity soar.

----------------------------------------------------------
Resource Box:
Copyright(C) Bucaro TecHelp. To learn how to maintain
your computer and use it more effectively to design a Web
site and make money on the Web visit bucarotechelp.com
To subscribe to Bucaro TecHelp Newsletter visit
http://bucarotechelp.com/search/000800.asp
----------------------------------------------------------

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

About Article Author

Stephen Bucaro
Stephen Bucaro

To learn how to maintain your computer and use it more effectively to design a Web site and make money on the Web visit bucarotechelp.com To subscribe to Bucaro TecHelp Newsletter visit
http://bucarotechelp.com/search/000800.asp

View More Articles