4 Steps For Better Project Delegation

As a project manager, it’s easy to feel solely responsible for the overall outcome of the project. Project managers are often held accountable if the project fails or succeeds, which is often stressful.

However, the project manager must be willing to delegate responsibilities to members of the project management team if all aspects of the project are to be completed appropriately. Fortunately, you can achieve better project delegation by following these four steps.

1. Set Scope, and Consider the Benefits of Project Delegation

Delegating responsibilities implies the necessity to set the scope for responsibilities. Project managers should assign responsibilities in whole pieces, not specific tasks and activities. For example, the project manager may assign all welding oversight to a single manager within the project management team.

Better project delegation will also serve project managers by improving the satisfaction of members of the project management team. This goes back to how responsibilities translate into a sense of ownership within the project.

2. Define What Should Not Be Delegated

Although delegation provides benefits to both employees and project managers, certain parts of the project should not be delegated unless the responsible party carries the same title and skill set of the project manager. For example, the project manager may be unable to delegate tasks involving the review of financial information for a given project, especially if confidential, proprietary information is viewable as part of this task and responsibility.

However, project managers should not delegate tasks simply out of a dislike for the responsibility. Assigning menial tasks to members of the project management team will only serve to decrease employee morale and build a sense of hostility between members of the project management team and the project manager.

3. Be Willing to Let Go

The job description of a project manager is practically a list of responsibilities. Since delegating tasks is in direct conflict with this basic description, many project managers have a difficult time allowing a responsible party to control entire portions of a project. Delegation requires a project manager to let go of control of a given project portion and trust an appropriate party to complete the project to the best of his or her ability.

If a project manager has a difficult time with letting go, he or she should delegate parts of the project in smaller pieces to start. As time passes, the project manager will learn to trust the judgment and skills of members of the project management team.

4. Offer Feedback and Guidance

Every error or experience is an opportunity for educational improvement. Project managers should provide feedback to members of the project management team on how delegated project portions reflect the goals of the delegated activity. This will help members of the project management team learn how to best complete assigned responsibilities.

By following these four rules, project managers can work towards better project delegation. Although it may be difficult, the benefits of delegating parts of the project outweigh the potential drawbacks.

Key Takeaway

  • Define the scope of delegated activities, and consider how delegating responsibilities within a project will help to benefit the project manager and the responsible party.
  • Consider what should not be delegated.
  • Learn to let go of control when delegating.
  • Provide feedback to members of the project management team on how the final outcome of delegated responsibilities reflects with the original, assigned responsibilities.