1. Understand what is on each person’s plate
In order to delegate, you need a clear understand of each team member’s bandwidth. This can be tough assuming you aren’t micromanaging everyone. You should get an idea of bandwidth during team meetings, and by having everyone share a recap of their week using a tool like Weekly Update.
2. Clearly define roles and responsibilities
To efficiently delegate, we need a clear understanding of everyone’s role and capability. To be sure, this doesn’t mean that everyone should have a narrow scope. However, it’s unlikely we’re going to delegate engineering tasks to the VP Marketing.
3. Have a conversation before delegating
Before assigning someone to a new task/project, it’s important to brief them on why the task is important, what role they will play and how success will be measured. Doing that together and agreeing on the performance indicators make it feel less like an assignment and more like collaboration.
4. Never delegate your core competencies
If the CEO is a former head of sales, s/he may struggle to let the current head of sales operate their own way. This may be a scenario where the CEO is more involved in the sales process, and delegates more of his responsibilities related to product and engineering. To be sure, I’m not suggesting that the CEO serves as the VP of Sales.
5. Track progress and make adjustments
Similar to other experiments, it’s important that you track the results of tasks/projects that are delegated. This makes it easier to delegate the right items to the right team members in the future.