How to delegate tasks to make your project a success

Each member of a project team has a different idea about what the project manager does every day. These ideas can range from being overly arbitrary (“Without my Project Manager, I wouldn’t be able get anything done”) to downright negative (“Project mangers just tell me .”),” but they all boil down to some form of task delegation. It’s not difficult to see that task delegation is one of the most important responsibilities of a project manager. Have you ever considered how the task delegation of a project manager to a team member can impact the project’s outcome?
It’s not task managing, but task delegation
Over- or under-delegating tasks is one of the most common traps project managers fall into. Over-delegating tasks is a sign that a project manager doesn’t understand the project. This type of project manager assigns every aspect of the project to his team members. He then spends his day asking questions like “What’s the status?” or “Can we check back in in a few hours?” The answers to these questions are rarely acknowledged with additional queries. Instead, he rushes off to update his project plan.
Avoid falling into the trap of only distributing responsibilities and following-up as your only form of interaction with your team members. Read the project documentation. Ask questions about why a task is not meeting its deadline and how it might impact other parts. As the project manager, you are responsible for the product. Be prepared to explain to stakeholders how a component was built or the strategy behind a decision. Also, be able to report on percent slippage from the original timeline.
Your team members are more than just resources
You may be familiar the story of the bossy project manager who needed your comments yesterday on the document in her inbox. Just as you’re about to take a deep breath, she tells you that she needs another document by tomorrow afternoon. You arrive at the office the next day to find that she has already sent two emails asking about the status of the new document. This project manager seems to only bark orders at the team. This type of project manager refers to team members only as resources. This is one of your fastest ways to discredit your team.
Remember that the project team was selected for their expertise. Each member of the team has a role to play. Task delegation allows them to fulfill their roles. You must also work hard to keep their end of the bargain. Your role is to support your team, not to rule them. Although resource is the correct terminology, team members should not be viewed as an expense. Your team is made up of humans and people are diverse. You shouldn’t treat them as sub-humans.
You can’t always do everything
Others project managers make it difficult for their teams to delegate too much. They are skilled at the tasks they delegate and take on more than a fair amount of the work. Although this person is obviously hardworking, how much of the work is unnecessary?
This is a trap that’s easy to fall for. You have been doing this job for years and you notice that the delivered product is not up to your standards. Before submitting the final product, you decide to make significant changes to it. The final product may be shared with the person you have delegated it to. You decide to save time and complete it yourself the next time you have a similar task or later iterations. You think, “It will be faster if you do it.” and “At the very least it will be done right first time.”
Do not hesitate to collect $200 if you find yourself in this situation. This is the main way project managers overwork themselves. Are you?