In order to achieve effective delegation, it is necessary to begin analyzing the objectives to be achieved and then decide which functions must be personally performed and which ones can be done by someone else. Therefore, to delegate in an effective manner, it is necessary to establish the basis of the new delegation relationship, in other words:
- Define accurately the competences, authority and responsibility which is delegated.
- Communicate these competences and responsibility to the persons on the team or not who may be affected by them.
- Help your collaborator and provide him/her with the training and information needed; especially in the initial phase, in which the novelty will, inevitably, lead to problems.
- Establish controls that ensure the necessary follow-up, with decreasing frequency.
But, in addition, we must be aware of the possibility of error. Some causes of failure of delegation may be:
- Not granting the right of error.
- Fear that the subordinate will do better.
- Distrust of the subordinate´s capacity.
- Fear of risks and criticism.
- Mistaken belief that it has already been delegated.
- Disagreement on the peculiarities of delegation.
- Delegation of activities to be performed rather than proposal of results to be obtained.
- Not defining performance standards.
- Inadequacy of competences for the responsibility.
- Lack of training and practice required.
- Short circuits or interferences from above.
- Excessive desire to please the subordinate Inadequacy of monitoring and control methods.
Moreover, the delegation of responsibility does not entail the delegation of authority, although the responsibility can be totally delegated; but even though it was delegated, it is completely kept by the boss. Delegation does not release from any responsibility; it is fully retained and is exercised through the required monitoring and control.
When delegating, it is necessary to consider a series of questions: What has to be done? Who can do it? Why is it necessary to delegate? How must the task be carried out? When must it be done? Based on these questions, the conditions for an effective delegation are:
- Specify the goals and steps to be performed by the other person.
- Determine the most appropriate person to perform the task, taking into account the requirements of the work to be performed.
- Give clear and precise instructions to ensure they are understood by the other person.
- Define the scope of the liability assumed by the delegate.
- Facilitate procedures, auxiliary means and information to carry out the task.