When, To Whom, and How to Delegate

WHEN to Delegate...
To determine when delegation is most appropriate there are five key questions you need to ask yourself:
  1. Is this a task that I should delegate? 
  2. Is there someone else who has the expertise to complete the task?
  3. Is this a task that will recur, in a similar form, in the future?
  4. Do you have enough time to delegate the job effectively?
  5. Does the task provide an opportunity to grow and develop another person's skills?

TO WHOM to Delegate...
The factors to consider include:
  • The experience, knowledge and skills of the individual as they apply to the delegated task.
  • What knowledge, skills and attitude does the person already have?
  • Do you have time and resources to provide any training needed?
  • How independent is the person?
  • What does he or she want from his or her job?
  • What are his or her long-term goals and interest, and how do these align with the work proposed?
  • The current workload of this person.
  • Does the person have time to take on more work?
  • Will you delegating this task require reshuffling of other responsibilities and workloads?

HOW to Delegate...
Use the following principles to delegate successfully:
  • Clearly articulate the desired outcome.
  • Clearly identify constraints and boundaries. 
  • Where possible, include people in the delegation process. Empower them to decide what tasks are to be delegated to them.
  • Match the amount of responsibility with the amount of authority.
  • When delegated work is completed, set aside enough time to review it. 
  • If possible, only accept good quality, fully-complete work.
  • If you accept work you are not satisfied with, your team member does not learn to do the job properly. Worse than this, you accept a whole new load of work that you will probably need to complete yourself to fix the inadequate performance. Not only does this overload you, it means that you don't have the time to do your own job properly. 
  • When good work is returned to you, make sure to both recognize and reward the effort. As a leader, you should get in the practice of complimenting members of your team every time you are impressed by what they have done.