5 Tips to Improve Your Project Management Delegation

As a project manager, you have a duty to ensure the delivery of goods or services are as close as possible to stakeholder expectations. However, you are only one person, and you cannot hope to take on this role without the assistance of your team members.

Think of a project as a football game. You need to win to please the crowds, but you can’t let your teammates—workers—feel as you are erroneously handing out responsibilities or being overly demanding. By following these five tips, you can improve your project management delegation skills.

Improve Project Management Delegation by Providing Plenty of Time

Skilled workers on a project do not have any supernatural abilities, and they cannot possibly complete tasks without being given adequate time. As soon as you have received notice that a specific activity needs to be accomplished by a certain time or date, pass along this information to those working on the affected tasks or activities.

Provide Rationale Behind Your Delegation

Throughout a project, some skilled workers may feel as though your delegation was unwarranted, which can result in feelings of animosity or distrust. When you are assigning a task to a specific person or group of workers, provide your rationale for your selection. For example, you might select someone to oversee the installation of a new piece of equipment due to the previous week’s accomplishments.

Delegate Activities to People, Not Mindless Drones

When you take on the role of project manager, it can feel as though you are to bark out orders and ensure obedience. However, you must remember that your skilled workers all have a common goal: to provide the best outcome for your project as much as possible. When you delegate tasks or activities, keep in mind that your workers have feelings and will perform better when appreciated.

Communicate Your Expectations

Keeping with our theme of treating your workers as humans, remember people may interpret delegation or instruction differently. Therefore, you need to fully communicate your expectations when assigning responsibilities.

Be Specific When Providing Deadlines

Although we have already discussed the importance of communicating expectations, you must take another step when delegating tasks as project manager. You must provide an actual time frame for the completion of delegated responsibilities. Avoid using colloquialisms, such as “as soon as possible,” “when you can,” or “after your other duties are completed.” Give your workers a set time and date for a task or activity to be completed.

As a project manager, you will be faced with countless tasks and responsibilities. You must delegate tasks and activities to appropriate parties without falling into the trap of ambiguity. By following these five tips, you can improve your project management delegation abilities. Furthermore, the increased morale and confidence of your workers may exceed your expectations when you follow these tips.

Key Points to Remember

  • When you get notice of something, give your workers the same notice. This is especially important for ensuring adherence to deadlines.
  • Your workers will be appreciative of your time and effort spent explaining why you opted to delegate tasks as you have.
  • Take command of your workers without acting arrogant or aristocratic. Show your humanity, and command respect without being disrespectful towards your workforce.
  • Provide your workers with a clear set of expectations following your assignment of responsibilities, such as activity details and available resources.
  • Always set an actual deadline for those who you delegate tasks to. If you do not have a set deadline, make one up. Do not allow your inability to provide a deadline to cause workers to misconstrue your own deadlines.