Delegating involves five distinct steps for you as the manager:

  • Deciding on objectives
  • Selecting the right mode
  • Following up
  • Following through
  • Tracking the results

A lot of people start by delegating tasks, which can be very demoralizing. Everyone — regardless of their level of experience— needs to understand why they are being asked to perform a particular task. So the first step in delegating is to translate the task into a higher level objective. Objectives should be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Action oriented
  • Realistic
  • Time sensitive

So “generate 10,000 sales of Product X by March, 2002” is a SMART objective. “Demand generation” is not.

Style Best For Do Don’t
Loose Seasoned people Make it clear you are available to help Provide detailed directions at the task level; for an experienced person this feels like (and is) micromanagement.
Moderate Experienced people tackling new a new type of project

New hires who have “been there and done that” … just not on your team

Ask to see a detailed work plan … that breaks the project down into bite-size chunks Make the person show you that one task is finished to your satisfaction before they go on to the next. If you do, this will feel like micromanagement.
Tight New Hires

People experiencing performance problems

Be prepared to help the person prepare the work plan delineating all the tasks involved in a particular project Let the person move on to the next task in the project without your say so.

Do the work yourself.