The Art of Delegation

The Art of Delegation: Five Behaviors of Effective Delegators Managers of companies of all varying sizes often will have multiple tasks to perform. Good managers need to decide which tasks they will perform themselves and which tasks will be delegated to others. When managers delegate assignments they must be aware of the five behaviors used by effective delegators. These behaviors are as follows:
1. Clarify the assignment
2. Specify the employee’s range of discretion
3. Allow employees to participate
4. Inform others that delegation has occurred
5. Establish feedback controls
This discussion will analyze the five individual delegation behaviors and how they apply to the scenario at the end of chapter 10. Scenario:
Ricky Lee, who is a manager of a contract group of a large regional office supply distributor, is given a project from his boss Anne to develop the department’s new procedures manual. This manual will outline the steps followed in the company’s negotiating contracts with vendors. Anne’s requirements are for the project to be completed by the end of the month. Ricky Lee informs Anne that he is currently working on another major project and asks Anne if he can delegate this project to Bill. Anne agrees to the delegation as long as Bill is aware of the parameters and expectations for the completion of the project. Ricky Lee must be aware of the following behaviors regarding delegation when delegating this project to Bill. Clarify the Assignment

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Bill has worked for three year in the contracts department, and Ricky Lee has determined that Bill is the most qualified person to do the job. Ricky Lee had deemed that Bill has the right motivation, experience, and drive to complete the project successfully. Ricky Lee must clarify the assignment to
Bill, laying out responsibilities of the project, expected results, any confidential natures, and performance expectations. Because the project needs to be completed by the end of the month, Ricky Lee needs to make sure Bill understands the time constraints. The clarification of the project should be done in person, through a meeting with all the stakeholders, and followed up with an e-mail that summarizes the meeting. Specify the range of discretion

Ricky Lee needs to communicate to Bill what his authoritative constraints are regarding this project. Ricky Lee must also determine if Bill should have the authority to delegate part of this project to others. Questions and clarifications regarding the project should be addressed directly to Bill, but ultimately, Ricky Lee and Anne will review, and make the final decisions. Ultimately, Bill must have enough authority to complete this project effectively, but enough constraints should be put in place to monitor Bill, so that he does not exceed his authority. Allow all employees to participate

Ricky Lee should allow Bill and any other employees involved in this project to make suggestions regarding how to complete the procedures manual. Ricky Lee must be aware of Bill’s own self-interests and biases, and use this knowledge to evaluate how Bill and other employees involved in the project, create the manual. Allowing Bill and other employees to participate in how to complete this project will empower and motivate them; leaving everyone believing that they are part of the process, instead of another cog in the wheel. Inform others that delegation has occurred

It is imperative that Ricky Lee informs both internal and external stakeholders of the delegation of this project to Bill. Additionally, Ricky Lee should make sure everyone is aware of Bill’s authorities. Some internal stakeholders who should be aware of the delegation are other employees whose jobs may be affected by the delegation, other managers who would be affected by the delegation, and Ricky Lee’s boss Anne. The external stakeholders may include software vendors as well as other consultants/contractors that Ricky Lee’s company has contracted to assist with this project. Establish feedback

Establishing feedback channels will enable Ricky Lee to identify any problems regarding completing the task on time and with the correct specifications. These controls will also identify if correct policies and procedures are followed. Setting these controls will allow Ricky Lee to get status checks on the project and will enable him to ensure that Bill is not abusing his authority. Without out setting these controls, Ricky Lee runs the chance of major problems arising. Conclusion:

In conclusion, it is important for managers to understand the five behaviors of delegation, so that any issues involving the project will be resolved quickly and effectively. Effective delegation means possessing good communication skills. Managers must have good communication skills so that all parties involved know what their assignment is and understand everyone’s authoritative discretion. Finally, establishing feedback channels are necessary to ensure all aspects of the project run smoothly.

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