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How to delegate an assignment

1) Get title of assignment
2) Maybe ask a very simple question for clarification, like... what airplane model is this for?
3) Send to new guy
4) If you're afraid new guy can't handle it, maybe send it along with "my step 1 would be ____"
5) If you don't hear anything from new guy, go ask how it's going

How to NOT delegate an assignment

1) Get title of assignment
2) Ask ALL relevant questions in personal meetings with interested parties
3) Schedule 1-hour meeting with new guy
4) Present new guy with detailed list of all considerations, possible risks and pitfalls, based on your meetings and 20 years of experience
5) Smile and say "this is an opportunity for you"
6) If you don't hear anything from new guy, go to all other interested parties, gather more information, tell new guy you're just taking this one back after two days but you'll cc him on your emails.

In other words... the best way to delegate is to step back and depend on the other person to sort out the gaps. Do not sort out every single thing in your head and speed ten miles down the highway from the person you're trying to delegate to, shouting back, "Why aren't you wiiiiithhhhh meeeeee..."


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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 5th, 2016 04:47 am (UTC)
Wow, this is weirdly timely. I am going to have to start doing less of the second and more of the first.
Feb. 5th, 2016 08:24 pm (UTC)
It's so funny, but true, especially that last sentence.
Feb. 5th, 2016 09:10 pm (UTC)
Haha. My former (not my current) boss sent me an email today which read:

ironphoenix, could you please look into sourcing $Stuff. [...] You can ask $Company: 'We understand you make $Stuff called $PartNumber with the following specs: $Specifications. Could you please quote on that or similar $Stuff. We do not need proprietary marking on the $Stuff, off-the-shelf $Stuff with these specs is fine.' We then need to get a new $Design similar to $OtherDesign but made with this stock, and $Processed. The description should be '$FullProductDescription'."

Let me just say that I, as an engineering manager, was pretty fricking thrilled to have an e-mail dictated to me, by email, from someone who isn't even my boss anymore.

In this case, I wasn't left ten miles behind on the highway... I was tied to the trailer hitch and dragged.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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