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Make a Delegation Sandwich in 5 Easy Steps

September 9, 2014

"Cartoon Chef With Hamburger" by Mister GCDuring the visioning and goal setting module of Reach Your Peak – the 6-month producer coaching, mentoring and performance enhancement program — “climbers” frequently ask how to make their lives more efficient.  The key to achieving goals and to being more efficient is to delegate…the right way!

When you have a project, divide it into the beginning, middle, and end – 10%/80%/10%.  Get the project started off the way you want it.  Then give the middle 80% – all of it – to your team.  When your team has the project almost completed, help them finish the final 10% – and make the delegation sandwich!

Start building your delegation sandwich by developing a strong first 10% of content or work.  Outline it clearly so that you feel comfortable handing it off.

During the first 10%, be sure to complete the following five tasks:

  1. Share the big picture – your vision and desired outcome – with the team. Make sure you’re all on the same page and have a shared goal.  Ask your team questions so you can determine if they really understand the big picture.
  2. Break each of your goals down into four or five specific objectives. Tie each objective back to the overall goal and make sure the objectives elaborate on how you’re going to achieve that goal.
  3. Give each member of your team specific responsibilities. If every person knows what he or she is expected to complete, everything will get done without conflicts and each person will be accountable for his or her own action items.
  4. Determine what resources the team needs. To accomplish their assigned responsibilities, will they need other people’s assistance?  Will they need outside vendor support?  What type of budget and financial resources will each person require?  What is the deadline for the project?  Make sure you give your team the proper resources to accomplish their assigned job.
  5. Don’t forget to provide a date for your team to complete their 80% of the project- and review the results with you.

While your team is working on their clearly defined tasks and building out the project, you can move on to other projects.  This a great opportunity to return to any unfinished projects or begin mapping out any new ones..

Finally, to make the delegation sandwich work, you must add the final slice, the remaining 10%:

  1. Start by listening to the team. Ask them to describe what they’ve done during the middle 80%.  Remember, this is now your opportunity to provide insights and experience that may help the team solve any final problems.  Ask about their contingency plans, questions a client might ask.  Get them to articulate what they will do if an unexpected scenario occurs.  Finally, probe for any great, brilliant ideas.  Often one will bubble to the top.  Is there anything you or the team can do to make the project even better?  By forcing the entire team to review the project, you can work together to make it rock solid.  Finish the project together – remember, during this final 10%, you are there to assist.  You are not there to take it over!

When you and the team have added that extra topping to your delegation sandwich, do not forget to give them the credit.  When you empower your team to work on a project, knowing they have your full support and help on the front and back ends, you will find that the results will be more significant than you ever envisioned.  Even better, you’ll discover that you’ve freed up time of your own to complete other projects.  The Delegation Sandwich is the ultimate secret to enhancing office efficiency!

What are your project management secrets?

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