Breaking Down the Delegation Process

The delegation of authority is a difficult skill for most new managers. The first time I found myself preparing to delegate a task I had an overwhelming sense of worry. After all, up until that point I had taken responsibility for every single project I’d ever worked on. What if my team didn’t live up to my expectations?

As a manager, this is exactly the sort of thought process you need to break away from. As we’ve discussed before, you’ve chosen the members of your team for a reason – they’re all skilled enough to get the job done!

Now you simply have to learn HOW to delegate a task. There are three main components to consider:

  1. Assigning the task;
  2. Granting your employee the authority to complete the task; and
  3. Creating accountability.

Assigning the task is all well and good, but if your employee doesn’t have the authority to access certain files or perform certain functions than you may as well have done the project yourself. When you make the assignment you must tell your employee exactly what he has the authority to do, especially if that means granting authority he doens’t necessarily have.

You also need to make sure your employee is accountable for the project once it’s been assigned. Make it clear that the task is not optional – it must be completed within a reasonable amount of time.

The three parts of the delegation process don’t happen automatically just because you decide to delegate a task. You must clearly communicate your ideas, visions, and goals to the employees you’re working with. Make sure you touch all of the bases and you’ll have a properly completed project exactly when you expect to receive it!

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Originally published: 23 January, 2009

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