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Delegating Tasks in 2024: 10 Proven Tactics for Project Managers

As a project manager or team leader, you encounter a mix of experiences in your role. There are days when managing projects is effortless, almost as if everything is flowing smoothly on its own. But sometimes, there are challenging days when the influx of task is so overwhelming that you might consider calling in reinforcements to handle the load.

In this scenario, delegating tasks to your team effectively is a healthy practice. But just in case, if you are still hesitant to deligate task, there can be two reasons –

  1. Your team does not possess the necessary skills
  2. You are unaware of the best ways of delegating the work among them

I might not be of much assistance with the former, but if it’s the latter scenario you’re facing, then this blog is for you. I’ll share 10 of the best task delegation practices and discuss some of the key benefits that you may not have heard before.

What Is Task Delegation?

10 Strategies on How to Delegate Tasks Effectively

1. Determine Team Strength

2. Identify What Can Be Delegated

3. Clarify Task Priorities

4. Provide Comprehensive Guidance

5. Invest in Training

6. Foster Effortless Communication

7. Adopt a Powerful Task Management Tool

8. Stay Involved, but Avoid Micromanaging

9. Acknowledge Team Contributions

10. Provide Constructive Feedback

Benefits of Delegating Tasks to Team Members

Improve Your Task Delegation Skills With ProProfs Project

What Is Task Delegation?

Task delegation refers to the transfer of work responsibilities for specific tasks, usually from a higher authority (managers, team leads, etc.) to a team of junior resources, skilled workers, etc.

Harvard Business School further simplifies the process –

“From a management perspective, delegation occurs when a manager assigns specific tasks to their employees. By delegating those tasks to team members, managers free up time to focus on higher-value activities while also keeping employees engaged with greater autonomy.”

Sometimes, people confuse delegation in management with task dumping or task abdication. Let’s have a quick look at what these are –

  • Task dumping is when you assign tasks without providing any guidance and expect the other assignee to figure it out on their own.
  • Task abdication is assigning tasks without any accountability or responsibility.

Contrary to task delegation, these two methods are ineffective and harmful.

10 Strategies on How to Delegate Tasks Effectively

Delegation of tasks becomes a lot easier when you are aware of the right ways to approach them. That’s why, over the last few weeks, I tried connecting with as many industry leaders as possible to know about their recommendations for someone who’s just starting out. The list below is a refined version of their inputs and the top ten best practices among them, in my experience.

1. Determine Team Strength

The first step to delegating tasks is to know your team inside out. Take time to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Who’s great with numbers? Who’s creative and enjoys brainstorming? 

Matching tasks to individual skills leads to happier team members and better outcomes. You can ensure that each task is done by the most suitable person who can perform it with quality and efficiency.

So, how do you figure out who’s your team’s Picasso and who’s the Einstein?

In my experience, you can use various methods, such as –

  • Asking team members to fill out a self-assessment form or a skills matrix
  • Observing their performance and feedback on previous tasks or projects (the best choice!)
  • Having a one-on-one conversation with them to understand their goals, interests, and challenges
  • Using a personality test to identify their behavioral styles and preferences
❗Did You Know: Knowing your team’s strength also gives you a chance to leverage their diversity and complementarity and create a more balanced and cohesive team.

2. Identify What Can Be Delegated

Not every task is suitable for delegation. So, before delegating anything, you need to identify tasks that can be effectively handled by someone else without compromising quality. 

Repetitive or time-consuming tasks that do not necessarily require your personal attention can be considered for delegation. By offloading non-critical tasks, you can focus on higher-value activities that require your expertise.

In simpler words, when choosing what to delegate, you can use the following criteria –

  • Check if the task is not part of your core competencies or responsibilities
  • Ensure there is someone in the team with better efficiency to do the task
  • The task has a clear deadline and deliverable
  • It does not require constant supervision or intervention

3. Clarify Task Priorities

To avoid confusion, it is essential to establish clear task priorities. You should outline project goals and objectives and communicate them to your team. Clearly define deadlines and milestones for each task, ensuring that everyone understands the order of importance. Such clarity empowers your team to make informed decisions and prioritize effectively.

One thing that I have learned from industry experts is that creating task dependencies is a good way to provide clarity. You can also use a Gantt chart or a timeline to visualize the sequence and duration of tasks.

4. Provide Comprehensive Guidance

It’s true that you need to give autonomy to employees over the tasks you delegate to them. But that doesn’t mean you can delegate and disappear.

Good guidance is key to successful task delegation. You need to provide detailed instructions and specifications for each delegated task. 

Also, ensure that you equip your team with the resources they need to succeed. This could include relevant documents, training materials (we’ll talk about that shortly), access to data, etc. Be available to answer questions and offer support as and when required.

5. Invest in Training

It’s always a good idea to train employees to ensure they are updated to the skillset your company needs. 

When delegating tasks, provide training opportunities by offering relevant resources, workshops, or mentorship to facilitate their understanding and development. For that, you may need an LMS (Learning Management System) software that has a library of prebuilt courses, templates, and more.

Investing in your team’s training not only boosts their confidence but also ensures high-quality work. Besides, it also helps your business stay compliant with the local laws and regulations.

Suggested Post: 10 Best Cloud-Based Learning Management Systems (2024)

6. Foster Effortless Communication

Communication has an important role in every team. Team members may often need to seek clarifications, updates, or guidance from you. An open communication channel for everyone even serves the purpose of gathering team feedback regularly.

To foster effortless communication, you can try these methods –

  • Using a communication platform like Google Meet that suits your team’s preferences
  • Establishing a communication frequency and mode that works for everyone
  • Get a project management platform with built-in communication capabilities (we’ll talk about this in a while)
  • Setting clear goals and indicators for the task
  • Asking for updates, reports, or demos of the task

People also read: 15+ Team Communication Tools for Fast-Growing Organizations

7. Adopt a Powerful Task Management Tool

Let’s begin by addressing the “why.” Why do you need a task management tool? Can such a tool help you in delegating tasks? Can you set dependencies there or facilitate communication with the team? Will it send updates and reminders to employees automatically?

Well, the answer to all these questions is a “Yes, it can.”

Usually, a task management tool has features like task assignment, progress tracking, and deadline management. If you want task reports, they can show that, too.

If you want to have a headstart on your search for the best task management tools, read this blog:

Top 10 Task Management Software in 2024

8. Stay Involved, but Avoid Micromanaging

Often, project managers and team leaders mistook staying involved with the team with micromanagement.

For those who aren’t aware of what it means, here’s a quick definition from Gartner –

“Micromanagement is a pattern of manager behavior marked by excessive supervision and control of employees’ work and processes, as well as limited delegation of tasks or decisions to staff.”

Micromanaging employees may deliver some quick results but usually has negative impacts in the long run.

(Image Source: Gartner)

You need to balance your involvement and your autonomy and give team members the space and the freedom to perform the task their way. Trust your team’s abilities and give them the space to excel.

If you are wondering how to maintain the gap between involvement and micromanagement, here are some tips –

  • Delegate the outcome, not the process
  • Focus on the big picture, not the details
  • Empower your team members to make decisions, solve problems, and take risks
  • Respect your team members’ opinions, styles, and preferences
  • Trust your team members’ abilities, skills, and judgment

9. Acknowledge Team Contributions

After delegating the work and seeing it getting done by the team, what do you do? Do you carry on with the delegation process for new tasks, or do you take a moment to acknowledge the stars of the show?

Honestly speaking, there’s no wrong in either of the two. Regardless, a simple “thank you” goes a long way!

This is not really a prerequisite for how to delegate effectively, but it is like how a dessert ends a good meal. Giving recognition to the team, as well as notable individual performances, motivates them to continue putting their best foot forward and fosters team morale.

10. Provide Constructive Feedback

The tenth and final step to delegating in management is to provide constructive feedback to your team members. Much like the last point, this isn’t a must-do if you are just looking at how to delegate tasks.

But here’s a small scenario for you to understand why it’s really important –

Imagine someone in your team has been underperforming for the past quarter. As the team’s manager, how are you going to take care of this? The answer – providing constructive feedback.

(Image created using DALL-E)

Constructive feedback isn’t always about whispering in the ears – “Hey, you need to improve more.” There are better ways to do that, and I’ve shared some of them for you below –

  • You can start and end with positive feedback and sandwich the negative feedback in between
  • Suggest actions or behaviors that can improve the performance for future tasks
  • Ask for self-evaluation and reflect on their strengths and weaknesses
  • Have a two-way conversation where you listen to your team members’ perspectives, concerns, and questions and respond with empathy and respect

Benefits of Delegating Tasks to Team Members

Now that you know quite a bit about how to delegate tasks effectively, some of you may want to know about the need to do this in the first place. My best guess is that you know some of the benefits but still want to ensure if there is anything else.

I’ll help you with that. Let’s check the benefits.

  • Enhanced Productivity: Delegation allows you to distribute workload effectively, optimizing productivity and ensuring timely completion of tasks.
  • Skill Development: Delegating tasks provides team members with opportunities to learn and grow, develop new skills, and expand their expertise.
  • Improved Efficiency: By focusing on core responsibilities, delegation frees up time and energy, enabling you to focus on strategic decision-making and problem-solving.
  • Improved Project Outcomes: A collaborative approach harnesses the collective strength of the team, leading to higher-quality results.
  • Increased Motivation: Delegation empowers team members, boosting their morale and engagement, as they feel trusted and valued for their contributions.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: It enables scalability of operations, allowing your team to take on more significant challenges and adapt to changing project needs.
  • Reduce Burnout: Delegation helps prevent you and your team from drowning in workload, as the workload is divided among everyone.

Related post: 15 Hard-to-Ignore Project Management Benefits

Improve Your Task Delegation Skills With ProProfs Project

If you have read this far, chances are – you have a decent idea about delegating tasks and how to do it in the right way. Empowering team members goes a long way, especially if you want to build a team on whom you can rely for the most complex projects.

Talking about complex projects, once more, I’d like to emphasize the importance of using project management software. Only after you start using one do you realize how effortless a lot of things like task delegation, workflow automation, team collaboration, etc., become.

Personally, I’d suggest you go for any such software ProProfs Project. Why? 

Well, if its easy-to-understand interface, task management features, or prompt customer support do not ring a bell, I bet you’d like its advanced features like resource management, reports, portfolio management, and more.But regardless of whichever software you choose, always test it out first before investing capital. ProProfs Project offers a 15-day free trial, which is like an industry standard for most companies.

FREE. All Features. FOREVER!

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About the author

David is a Project Management expert. He has been published in elearningindustry.com, simpleprogrammer.com. As a project planning and execution expert at ProProfs, he has offered a unique outlook on improving workflows and team efficiency. Connect with David for more engaging conversations on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.