Mastering Delegation: A Guide for Project and PMO Managers

This blog explores how delegation has become more than just a skill for managers; it’s now a powerful tool for driving successful projects and teams. We focus on Project Managers and PMO Managers and give practical tips on how to master delegation effectively.

For Project Managers, delegation means giving tasks to team members who have the right skills, and monitoring progress to catch any issues early. PMO Managers oversee multiple projects and must ensure tasks align with the organization’s goals, allocate resources wisely, share knowledge, and empower Project Managers.

We provide nine easy-to-follow guidelines for effective delegation, like understanding team members’ strengths, clear communication, and encouraging learning. We also give advice for when delegation is not possible, like prioritizing tasks and using time wisely.

As project and program management continually evolve, delegation shifts from being a mere managerial skill to a strategic asset imperative for driving successful project and PMO service outcomes, optimizing team performance, and ensuring a balanced workload. This guide delves into the unique aspects of delegation for Project Managers and Program Management Office (PMO) Managers, along with nine practical guidelines for effectively mastering this art.

Delegation Within the Scope of Project Management for Project Managers, who are tasked with steering specific tasks towards the completion of defined projects, takes on a nuanced form, underscored by several unique elements:

  • Task Specificity: Project tasks often come with their own unique requirements and technical prerequisites. Therefore, successful delegation here involves aligning tasks with the specific skills, experiences, and expertise of team members.
  • Risk Mitigation: Delegation in project management requires a proactive approach to risk management. This includes understanding task complexities, gauging team members’ competency levels, and preparing for potential outcomes.
  • Progress Monitoring: Establishing an effective system to monitor the progress of delegated tasks is key. This enables alignment with project timelines and aids early detection of potential issues.

Delegation in the Light of PMO Management for PMO Managers, who oversee multiple projects while playing a strategic role in shaping an organization’s project management practices, expands even further.

  1. Strategic Consistency: It is crucial for PMO Managers to ensure that delegated tasks and projects are in sync with the organization’s strategic goals. This involves communicating the strategic relevance of tasks to their teams to foster engagement and understanding.
  2. Prudent Resource Allocation: As the gatekeepers of an organization’s project resources, PMO Managers should delegate based on a comprehensive view of resource allocation. This demands a profound understanding of individual capabilities, project necessities, and the optimization of resources.
  3. Knowledge Dissemination: PMO Managers are often the reservoirs of project management knowledge. It falls upon them to ensure this knowledge is appropriately transferred and utilized, encouraging learning and skills development, thereby amplifying project management capacity across the organization.
  4. Empowerment of Project Managers: A key focus for PMO Managers should be to empower Project Managers through effective delegation. This can involve assigning them authority over key decisions or entire projects, based on their competence and the strategic significance of the project.

For both roles, consider the following Nine Guidelines for Effective Delegation:

 

  1. Team Insight: Understand the strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations of your team members. Delegate tasks that cater to their skills and nudge them towards their goals.
  2. Communication Clarity: Make sure tasks are clearly comprehended, including objectives, deadlines, and expected outcomes.
  3. Provision of Essential Resources: Arm your team members with the tools, authority, and training they need to excel.
  4. Trust but Monitor: Trust your team members to handle their tasks, but maintain check-in points to track progress and offer assistance if needed.
  5. Foster Autonomy: Allow team members the freedom to tackle tasks in their own unique ways, fostering creativity and innovation.
  6. Promote Learning: Make delegation a learning opportunity. Encourage team members to experiment and learn from their mistakes.
  7. Offer Constructive Feedback: Provide regular feedback to aid team members in their professional growth. Celebrate their successes and guide them through their errors.
  8. Patience is Virtuous: Understand that mistakes are a part of the process and some tasks might take longer to complete than if you handled them yourself.
  9. Recognition and Appreciation: Acknowledge your team members’ hard work and express appreciation for their efforts.

There may be instances where you don’t have people to delegate tasks to. Here are five recommendations to improve your outcomes in such situations:

  1. Prioritize: When resources are limited, prioritize your tasks based on their urgency and importance. Tackle the most critical tasks first.
  2. Time Management: Effective time management can be a game-changer. Utilize tools and techniques that increase your efficiency, such as the Pomodoro Technique or Eisenhower Matrix.
  3. Automation: Leverage technology wherever possible to automate routine tasks. This will free up more of your time for tasks that require your expertise.
  4. Collaboration: If you can’t delegate internally, consider collaborating with other departments or outside partners to accomplish tasks.
  5. Professional Development: Use this opportunity to learn new skills. You’ll not only add to your own professional growth, but you’ll be better equipped to handle a broader range of tasks.

Conclusion

In the ever-evolving landscape of Project and PMO Management, delegation plays a pivotal role. It’s more than a tool for task allocation; it’s a strategic lever that, when pulled correctly, can drive team development and project success.

In the grand scheme, “Delegation Mastery” is not just about alleviating your workload; it’s about unlocking your team’s hidden potential and steering your projects towards their goals. The knack for effective delegation not only fuels productivity but also cultivates a more engaged, empowered team, generating a positive ripple effect on organizational growth. As you refine your delegation skills, you will transform into a more proficient, respected, and successful manager.

Remember, successful delegation is a catalyst that can bolster your managerial acumen, foster employee growth, and ultimately, propel your organization to new heights.

Author

  • AIPMO

    AIPMO is the Association of International Project Management Officers, founded in 2015.