While most everyone in business would agree that delegation is critical to managerial success, how often are we dissatisfied with the results of what we’ve delegated? How often is the “product” that is returned to us not exactly what we’d hoped for? While this is sometimes the fault of the person of completing the assignment, it’s often the fault of the person giving the assignment. And there’s a common root to the problem.
One word, sums it up: clarity. (Or lack thereof)
While those executing an assignment have the responsibility to deliver a professional product, those making the assignment have the responsibility to ensure that the assignment is crystal clear.
Following are four common areas where it can go astray.
Clarity of objective – What exactly is it that needs to be done? Is an assignment as clear as it ought to be? Does the required work need to be a paragraph? A page? Slides? A 20-page report? And analysis of what? Sales? Earnings? Market share? Distribution? Advertising? All of the above? Who knows? All you really know is that the project is important and the delegator is anxious.
Clarity of responsibility – Without a clear project lead, what you’ve mostly been handed is a recipe for confusion.
Clarity of time – A deadline for when the project needs to be completed is a must. Without a timeline, there is no guarantee that it will meet the deadline expectation – which in most cases can impact other aspects of the project being delegated.
Clarity of communication – So often what is intended to be communicated by one person is not actually what is perceived by the other. So often projects (and relationships, for that matter) fail because of faulty communication.
There’s no guarantee you’ll end up precisely with what you want, but you can improve the odds.