Does it happen that someone from your team spent the whole day working on something that wasn’t really necessary? Are you overloaded with questions like “What should I work on today?” Or do you hear “I thought that you do it” during the meetings? All those questions and problems take a lot of energy that you could invest better.
In this post, we will show you how to delegate tasks in a way that increases your teams’ performance. Thanks to our simple framework you will be able to provide better service to your customers and It will help you manage your team with ease.
We prepared a simple framework that will help you to eliminate the most common mistakes made when delegating tasks.
According to our framework, every task should be defined in the way that answered 5 key questions:
- For how much?
- Does it worth the price?
As simple as it seems the most problems start with what. People tend to assume that everyone else knows what they know so a lot of misunderstandings start here. Make sure that your team understands why they have to do the task. Sometimes people are doing something without understanding the context and at the end of the day you find out that they spent twice as much time on it as they could. In this case question “For how much?” is very helpful.
For how much?
Maybe you think how could I say for how much to my team? The answer is “time estimates”. Time is money. Usually when you say “What” has to be done everyone looks like everything is clear and they hurry up to finish the task without even thinking if it worth it.
Once you say how much time your team has to finish the task, then people start thinking differently. Give your team less time you think is necessary and you will see how much questions will arise.
Thanks to these questions the task will be not only better understood, but your team will also go deep to the core of the task to find out what is really important to do.
The key to providing world-class service to your customers is also the ability to see it from the customers’ perspective and ask the third question.
Does it worth the price?
I think that services are divided into three levels and this question differentiates those levels. Let’s say the levels are Basic, Medium, and Experts.
The basic level is when a company does what you want even without thinking about how they could do it better. I experienced this while building the house. We talked about two different ways on how to heat the house. I talked to a basic level company and said that I thought technology X might be good. Company 1 said OK it will cost X$.
Then I met a medium level company. The medium level company tells you about possible alternatives. In the described case, I told the medium level company that I thought about the technology X. The company told me. That is a good choice, but other customers also think about technology Y or Z. if you haven’t heard about it here are the materials. Check them and let us know your final decision.
I don’t have time to study materials about heating technologies. So I reached to expert level company. I told them about the information I gathered and that I thought technology X might be good.
They didn’t tell me anything about the technology, they had “Does it worth the price?” attitude. They asked me a couple of questions about the house and isolation and then they calculated the costs of heating. In the end, they gave me a single page where was a comparison of all three technologies. Complete costs analysis with all pros and cons. In the end, there was a recommendation based on the data that showed technology X was a bad decision. Who do you think got the deal?
The fourth question is Who. Who means, who is responsible for the task. There are usually more people participating in the task, but it is important to always establish one person who is ultimately responsible for the outcome.
I saw many meetings where people discussed the topic, they agreed what has to be done and then they say “Ok we all know what has to be done, so now let’s go to work”. This is all wrong. There must be always the information about “Who is responsible for the task that must be done”.
“I thought that you do it” is the sentence you don’t want to hear during any meeting because it always means that something is out of control.
Every task must be framed in time. If the task is assigned to someone always make sure that you say when it must be done.
There are definitely exceptions. Sometimes you have other priorities and you don’t know when this task must be done. In this case, just say “Ok, this task is for John and we will set up the due date next meeting”.
There is also something very important to do while setting up the due dates. Once you go from client to client or project to project during the meeting you are losing the idea about the workload of your team. So there is a trap that you will plan deadlines of tasks on the project, but your team won’t be able to meet those deadlines, because they will be overloaded with tasks from other projects and you will have to set up priorities every day for each team member.
This is where the team schedule makes your life much easier.
Team schedule is a tool that will show you all the tasks your team has across all projects so you can immediately compare your team availability vs tasks planned and set up the deadlines and priorities easily.
So at the end here is the quick recap.
If you want to move your service to the next level make sure that the questions below are answered when delegating a task:
- What? – Make sure everyone understands also the context of the project
- For how much? – Set up a budget or maximum time that can be spent on the task
- Does it worth the price? – Ask from the customers perspective
- Who? – Always set up a responsible person
- When? – Set up a due date and check team schedule to make sure that it is doable