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Three Ways to Practice Effective Task Delegation

written by: Haley Montgomery • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 4/24/2013

Effective delegation is an integral part of effective project management. Knowing how to choose the best team member for each task is a vital component in resource management for any project. Read on to discover three project management tips for effective delegation.

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    Delegating: Necessary But Challenging

    Delegating responsibilities is a necessary skill in project management. However, it can also be a challenging process. How can you delegate tasks effectively so that project goals and deadlines are met? How do you know which team member is the best person for a specific task?

    Resource management is an integral part of ensuring successful project outcomes. When practicing effective delegation, three considerations are key to making the right choice to handle each responsibility. If a team member or stakeholder meets the appropriate requirements in each of these areas, he is likely a good fit for delegating the task. Use these project management tips to make your decision.

    Knowledge and Skill. Does your team member have the knowledge or skill set necessary to complete the required tasks? Regardless of how experienced or dependable a team member is, if they don't have the specific skills needed for the task or the knowledge required, they aren't a good fit. Managing projects effectively means getting tasks completed in the most efficient way. While a team member may be perfectly capable of gaining new skills or expertise, dealing with the learning curve can be detrimental to meeting project deadlines and maintaining a positive team culture.

    Workload. In addition to knowledge and skill, a major consideration for effective delegation is a particular candidate's current workload. Part of the delegating responsibility of a project manager is knowing the limitations of the team. If a team member or stakeholder already has a full plate, delegating more tasks to him will create additional stress and may decrease the quality of his work. Overworked team members tend to be less creative and more careless--killers to positive project outcomes. When considering the right person for delegating tasks, consider if the person with the best skills has the time required to do an effective job. If not, look to other team members or consider rearranging some of his previous responsibilities so he can produce the best results.

    Reliability. When considering which team member is the best choice for delegating various duties, think about whether the candidate will be reliable to complete the task on time and correctly. Although you have likely chosen all your team members based in part on their dependability, people excel at different types of tasks. For example, some team members may be better at repetitive or administrative tasks while others are more suited to idea generation or conceptual tasks. Delegating tasks outside of a candidate's most successful work situations will make them much less reliable in completing the tasks within the given parameters. To effectively delegate, work to your team members' strengths