Sunday, August 29, 2010

You delegated the task. How likely are you to get satisfied with outcomes?

In a typical task/role/responsibility delegation, you share your tasks but do not want to lose ownership. You just grant permission, allow certain access, convey to delegatee, how dear or important is the task to you and hope the delegatee will take up and complete the task as you wanted.
Not a wrong expectation. All of us do this.
What can ensure your success in a delegated environment are certain intangibles of relationship and understanding between the delegator and the delegatee, other than administrative aspects as mentioned in the above paragraph.
Here we are talking about the downward delegation as I want the importance of the task not just remain administrative in sense of responsibility transfer as would normally happen in cases of cross delegation.
Between the two human beings, the delegator and delegatee, the delegator has a larger responsibility at the moment of task transfer. She is in the hot seat , who has to ensure, the delegation has to work!
The four (4) stages in the act of delegation are as given below- (CLICK ON THE PICTURE FOR BETTER VIEW)

1.Understanding transfer
2.Retention settlement
3.Focus balance, and
Here, we are talking about ensuring success of delegation and not just delegation and the knowledge transfer process.
The truth of the moment is that, many a times you don't have control over the selection of delegatee. Knowing this, you always have to ensure that transferring the understanding is your first level of challenge.
At the understanding stage, both delegator and delegatee have to be in active stage. The delegator has to establish the fact that delegation is a bi-partite agreement and it would require serious interest and attention from the delegatee. Certain ground rules of absolute attention to facts and details will help ensure, understanding. While delegator maintains active state of building understanding of for tasks, she has to keep confirming, if the understanding is getting acknowledged with the delegatee by asking confirming questions. At this first stage, both the parties have to be in very active stage and remain focused. Loss of attention can be detrimental. That is the risk.

The second stage is Retention. This stage is highly dependent on the capacity of the delegatee to keep the understanding with them. This capacity to retain the knowledge and skills transferred is highly dependent on the kind of professional the delegatee is. We all know about A, B and C players.

The third stage, Focus is again very much the territory of the deleagtee as it is state of motivation, capacity to remain focused, perseverance, capacity to collaborate, network, make it happen. Here a supervisor can ensure constant touch-base with delegatee, help keep motivation level high and focus intact.
This is the stage which ensures quality of delivery to a larger extent. Here delegator's role becomes important as she would know where can she expect the motivation level to dip, understanding the level of task assigned and complexity or detail orientation involved in the task.
It is always advisable for a delegator to keep tab on development stages in the task accomplishments and keep confirming that things are running smooth. Provide help and direction when and where needed.

Delivery is the final stage which is ownership of not only delegatee but delegator as well.
Remember as a delegator, we always try to keep control with us. Accountability remains with the delegator as primarily, the task was owned by the delegator.
This model can be named 'UR-FD model' as abbreviated term that can be coined out of the four words, Understanding, Retention, Focus and Delivery (UR-FD).
The separation here between UR and FD is intentional as they are two set of stages in delegation, While UR is pre-action stage FD is action stage.

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