Effective managers know how to optimize the value provided by their departments and groups by effectively delegating tasks to their direct reports in a way that also continuously increases the skills and competencies of their direct reports. I am sure I was not the first new supervisor who had a hard time tracking who was doing which delegated task at a given moment. The template I am sharing is a great way to keep track of not only who is working on which delegated task, but also what was the overall purpose of the delegated task.
Try to match the task or activity/project you need to delegate to the right person in your team given their current skills and competencies and also matched to current development needs each of them have. The template is based on a list of categories to consider: (see second tab in template for the definitions shown below)
(Teaching and coaching the person by demonstrating what needs to be done and then give him or her a task that is similar for them to repeat what you have shown him/her)
(Similar to show me, but in this case it is just a verbal discussion on how this kind of task can best be approached)
(Tasks that the person can do already. So all you need to do is tell the person what needs to be done/ accomplished)
(Delegation which shows readiness for more challenges. Review what the person did to make sure it complies with expectations. In this case you may not need to be so specific on what the expected outcome will be since you will review a person’s contribution as they have devised it independently)
(Person may already have the needed competencies and understanding, but may lack contacts of those who can help and support and should be involved in completing the task/project)
(Tasks that will develop the person in a specific area in order to become promotion-ready or able to take on future stretch-assignments)
(Person has successfully completed a task and recognition is due. Mention the success at a meeting or group gathering – more informally)
Use the drop down list in column B to select the category that applies to that task/project and the person that you are delegating to. You can create more lines for delegated tasks by just inserting a line between the existing lines.
Reasons why this list can be very useful:
- Keeping this list up to date and referring to it in a regular basis will help you remember when to check in on someone working on a delegated task or project.
- You keep track of the reasons why you gave a specific task to someone – from a developmental perspective. This means you know how much support and coaching may be needed while the person is working on this task.
- Avoid giving the same task to more than one person. There is nothing more demotivating than finding out another colleague is working on the exact same project as you are after you have already spent several hours doing research and talking to people about the project in order to deliver a great result.
- You can do more and accomplish more as a manager when you don’t have to rely on your memory alone to remember who is working on which tasks and projects for you.