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Delegating Effectively

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For the busy professional, delegation is a key to success. But the act of delegation is just one step. You must also consider when to delegate, how to communicate and when to follow up. Following is a brief guide to help you delegate effectively.

When to Delegate?

Every time a task arrives at your inbox, you must determine whether you will do it, delegate it or defer it. The key questions to determine if the task is something that should be delegated are:

Is this something only I can do?

Can someone else do this?

It's as simple as that. If the answer to the first question is yes, then create an executable plan and get it done. If the answer is no, figure out who you can delegate to at a lower cost that it would take for you to do it. Make sure to consider time in your cost considerations.

If you can't think of a person, consider using ThemBid.com to get several bids on the task.

Describe What You Need

Use this guide http://blog.thembid.com/index.php/2007/09/10/describing-your-project-to-a-contractor/ to help you write a clear description. Many times you may not know exactly what you need. That is where a service such as ThemBid.com comes in handy, as the bidders will ask clarifying questions to help determine what you truly need.


I prefer to delegate to someone both verbally and in writing. Then have them send back a description of what you want in their own words, preferably with an action plan. The level of detail will depend on the size of the delegation. The key thing to remember is to focus on detail and clarity.


Many stop the delegation process at the previous step, feeling great that item is no longer on their plate. This is a grave mistake. The task is still your responsibility, and therefore you must ensure that task is completed according the original requirements given to you.

Schedule regular follow up times with as much ceremony that is necessary for the job. Make sure the person delegated to understands that problems should be communicated diligently. You don't want to micro-manage, but you don't want to be consumed with a disaster later either. Experience will help you learn the proper balance.

Please send all feedback, topic suggestions and/or questions to TechTalk@AboveTheLimit.com.  Digital archives can be found at BlackVoiceNews.com and IngleWoodToday.com.

Elmer Thomas Jr. is Co-founder of ATL Innovations, Inc., an award winning web and software development company dedicated to bridging the digital divide and ThemBid.com, a service offering free advertising for businesses and makes finding services and products easy for consumers. You can find out more about Mr. Thomas at ATLInnovations.com and ElmerThomas.com.

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