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How to Delegate a Project Work Package & be Confident it will be Done

Delegating project work-packages is a force-multiplier. It is how you get your project done without having to be there to do it.Sure, on a large project, that’s how it works. But far too many project managers find it hard to hand out what they consider to be important tasks.What if they don’t do it right?I need to be in control of thisIf I don’t do it, people will wonder what I am doing.I don’t want to over-burden my team membersWhat if they keep bothering me with loads of questions?Only one of those excuses is even remotely plausible…It’s the second. The rest is, frankly, signs of insecurity or bad management. Not only does delegation amplify your personal effectiveness, but it is also a powerful way to:develop peoplebuild motivationshow trust andoptimize your use of resourcesWith so many reasons to delegate a project task well, you should be doing it as much as possible. But that still leaves a lingering doubt in your mind. “How can you be sure it will be done and done right?”The Top Ten Secrets of Delegating with ConfidenceLet’s take a look at the ten tips to improve your project management delegation if you want to do it effectively.1. Right ReasonsLet's face it, there are plenty of poor reasons to delegate:to offload an unpleasant work package,to punish a colleague with extra work,to show favoritism with the plum roles, orto lay off the risk of your own failure.Good project managers, however, choose to delegate:to open up opportunitiesto develop people,to enhance team efficiency, andto show trust.As with so much else, intention matters.2. Right WorkCarefully select the work package that you are going to delegate. Avoid choosing something that absolutely requires your full attention, for example, because it is confidential. Nor should you delegate work that is so trivial as to be an insult.Delegate worthwhile work packages that provide an opportunity to:demonstrate real achievement,learn something new, ormake significant progress in a worthwhile skill.3. Right PersonMatch the person to the task:The right person can do the task well, yet can learn from the process.They have some relevant skills and experience, but not all the knowledge yet.They must also have the time available to do a good job, andThey should ideally have the right strengths and interests to savour the job.This is not just for their benefit. You will be able to have much more confidence that the right person will finish the work properly, than others whom you have not selected carefully.4. Right LevelRemember that work packages that you delegate are part of your project. Therefore, you remain accountable for them.So, to manage the risk to you, to them, and to your organization, you need to delegate the right level of responsibility. This will depend on:the amount of their experience,the criticality, and difficulty of the task, andthe consequences of failure.Delegate full authority where you can, but reserve more right to check, review and intervene, as the risk level increases.5. Right BriefingA common fear with delegation is the constant interruptions when the person you delegated to needs more and more information. Pre-empt this by taking the time to brief really well."It would be quicker to do it myself" you might think. Yes, maybe it would... the first time. Think of delegation (and the briefing part in particular) as an investment.For big work packages, consider drawing up a Work Package Description. This should contain:Some background to provide contextThe outcome you require, along with detailed specifications or quality measuresThe deadline that they must meetThe level of authority you are grantingYou may also want to includeA work breakdown that specifies necessary steps or a detailed processAny admin or reporting requirementsThe budget and resources that go with the work package6. Right CommitmentsWhen you have briefed, check their understanding.If you get a yes, check that they believe they have everything they need (knowledge, skills, and resources).If you get a yes, finally check "are you committed to getting this done, by this deadline?" Look them in the eye. Indeed, if you have drafted a Work Package Description, ask them to sign it.7. Right MonitoringThe ultimate risk of every work package will always remain with you. So, for your sake as well as theirs, be sure to monitor their progress regularly.The frequency and depth of your monitoring will depend partly on your assessment of the risk, and partly on how they are progressing.8. Right ReviewsWhen you monitor, the way you conduct a review will often determine the level and motivation and learning you leave in your wake.As a simple rule of thumb…For poor performance, find what is wrong and show how to do it right. Better still, start by asking them how they would do it next time. People learn more by figuring things out for themselves.For good performance, find what has worked and show how to make it a habit. Use the "what one thing that will make the most difference?" formula for recommending performance improvement.9. Right RewardsIf I do something for you, I deserve a reward. My own success and feelings of improving skill-level will be a part of that, but the three things you can offer that will enhance my feelings of reward are:recognition - to show that you are aware of my achievement,praise - a simple compliment goes a long way, andrespect - by granting me a little more influence over the work I do and how I do it.10. Right FeedbackTo really grow individual capabilities and organizational strength, make time to help them reflect on their work. The most important feedback is that which they generate for themselves.Help them to draw positive, constructive lessons from the experience. Not just what went wrong and how to fix it. But, crucially, what went right and how to institutionalize and enhance it.

How to Delegate a Project Work Package & be Confident it will be Done

326
  • by Mike clayton
  • 28th Sep, 2018
  • Last updated on 02nd Mar, 2019
  • 3 mins read
How to Delegate a Project Work Package & be Confident it will be Done

Delegating project work-packages is a force-multiplier. It is how you get your project done without having to be there to do it.

Sure, on a large project, that’s how it works. But far too many project managers find it hard to hand out what they consider to be important tasks.

  • What if they don’t do it right?
  • I need to be in control of this
  • If I don’t do it, people will wonder what I am doing.
  • I don’t want to over-burden my team members
  • What if they keep bothering me with loads of questions?

Only one of those excuses is even remotely plausible…

It’s the second. The rest is, frankly, signs of insecurity or bad management. Not only does delegation amplify your personal effectiveness, but it is also a powerful way to:

  • develop people
  • build motivation
  • show trust and
  • optimize your use of resources

With so many reasons to delegate a project task well, you should be doing it as much as possible. But that still leaves a lingering doubt in your mind. “How can you be sure it will be done and done right?”

The Top Ten Secrets of Delegating with Confidence

Let’s take a look at the ten tips to improve your project management delegation if you want to do it effectively.
1. Right Reasons
Let's face it, there are plenty of poor reasons to delegate:

  • to offload an unpleasant work package,
  • to punish a colleague with extra work,
  • to show favoritism with the plum roles, or
  • to lay off the risk of your own failure.

Good project managers, however, choose to delegate:

  • to open up opportunities
  • to develop people,
  • to enhance team efficiency, and
  • to show trust.

As with so much else, intention matters.

2. Right Work

Carefully select the work package that you are going to delegate. Avoid choosing something that absolutely requires your full attention, for example, because it is confidential. Nor should you delegate work that is so trivial as to be an insult.

Delegate worthwhile work packages that provide an opportunity to:

  • demonstrate real achievement,
  • learn something new, or
  • make significant progress in a worthwhile skill.

3. Right Person

Match the person to the task:

  • The right person can do the task well, yet can learn from the process.
  • They have some relevant skills and experience, but not all the knowledge yet.
  • They must also have the time available to do a good job, and
  • They should ideally have the right strengths and interests to savour the job.

This is not just for their benefit. You will be able to have much more confidence that the right person will finish the work properly, than others whom you have not selected carefully.

4. Right Level

Remember that work packages that you delegate are part of your project. Therefore, you remain accountable for them.

So, to manage the risk to you, to them, and to your organization, you need to delegate the right level of responsibility. This will depend on:

  • the amount of their experience,
  • the criticality, and difficulty of the task, and
  • the consequences of failure.

Delegate full authority where you can, but reserve more right to check, review and intervene, as the risk level increases.

5. Right Briefing

A common fear with delegation is the constant interruptions when the person you delegated to needs more and more information. Pre-empt this by taking the time to brief really well.

"It would be quicker to do it myself" you might think. Yes, maybe it would... the first time. Think of delegation (and the briefing part in particular) as an investment.

For big work packages, consider drawing up a Work Package Description. This should contain:

  • Some background to provide context
  • The outcome you require, along with detailed specifications or quality measures
  • The deadline that they must meet
  • The level of authority you are granting

You may also want to include

  • A work breakdown that specifies necessary steps or a detailed process
  • Any admin or reporting requirements
  • The budget and resources that go with the work package

6. Right Commitments

When you have briefed, check their understanding.

If you get a yes, check that they believe they have everything they need (knowledge, skills, and resources).

If you get a yes, finally check "are you committed to getting this done, by this deadline?" Look them in the eye. Indeed, if you have drafted a Work Package Description, ask them to sign it.

7. Right Monitoring

The ultimate risk of every work package will always remain with you. So, for your sake as well as theirs, be sure to monitor their progress regularly.

The frequency and depth of your monitoring will depend partly on your assessment of the risk, and partly on how they are progressing.

8. Right Reviews

When you monitor, the way you conduct a review will often determine the level and motivation and learning you leave in your wake.

As a simple rule of thumb…

  • For poor performance, find what is wrong and show how to do it right. Better still, start by asking them how they would do it next time. People learn more by figuring things out for themselves.
  • For good performance, find what has worked and show how to make it a habit. Use the "what one thing that will make the most difference?" formula for recommending performance improvement.

9. Right Rewards

If I do something for you, I deserve a reward. My own success and feelings of improving skill-level will be a part of that, but the three things you can offer that will enhance my feelings of reward are:

  • recognition - to show that you are aware of my achievement,
  • praise - a simple compliment goes a long way, and
  • respect - by granting me a little more influence over the work I do and how I do it.

10. Right Feedback

To really grow individual capabilities and organizational strength, make time to help them reflect on their work. The most important feedback is that which they generate for themselves.

Help them to draw positive, constructive lessons from the experience. Not just what went wrong and how to fix it. But, crucially, what went right and how to institutionalize and enhance it.

Mike

Mike clayton

Blog Author

Mike is a UK-based Project Manager, who has built a second career training and coaching project managers, and speaking and writing about project management. He is the founder of Online PM Courses.com, offering high-quality video training to new and experienced project managers

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1 comments

kurunapi karthik 28 Nov 2018

How Much Does a Construction Project Manager Make?

KnowledgeHut Editor 28 Nov 2018

As of May 2015, the median annual wage of construction managers (AKA general contractors, project managers) was $87,400 (USD) per year or $42.02 per hour.

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The credential mandates holders to be proficient in the six prime focus areas: Governance, Prioritization, Escalation, Resource Management, Benefits Realization, and Stakeholder Management.PgMP Demand: Credentials from the PMI are known for their rigorous standards and testing, which is why they are well accepted in industries across sectors. PgMP holders are better able to promote integration and coordination of multiple projects for the overall benefit of the program. According to PMI’s 2015 Pulse of the Profession® report, an organization’s projects are far more successful with program management than without it — 76 percent compared to 54 percent. This further compounds the demand for PgMP professionals. Benefits of getting PgMP certifiedGet in-depth knowledge of tools and techniques to handle complex multiple related projectsUnderstand Program Lifecycle and its processes, competencies, tools and techniques with practical sample templatesLearn to implement large-scale programs to align with business strategyOpen yourself to lucrative job opportunities and leadership rolesWork in projects across geographiesEarn high salaries, upto $139,000 on averageTop companies that hire PgMP professionalsAmazonGoogleMicrosoftCognizantCapgeminiDeloitteJP Morgan ChaseErnst & YoungWhere to take training for certification: Aspirants must train from an Authorized Training Provider of PMI®Who should take the training for certificationTeam LeadsSponsorsProject DirectorsProgram ManagersPortfolio Managers  Project Management Office (PMO) HeadsEligibilityA Four-year Degree (Bachelor's or Global equivalent), with at least four years of Project Management experience and four years of Program Management experience.ORA Secondary Diploma (High school or Global equivalent), with at least four years of Project Management experience and seven years of Program Management experience. Exam FormatNo of questions: 170 multiple-choice, of which 20 are considered pretest questions which are not scored.Question type: Most questions are scenario based and test a professional's understanding and clarity of thoughts on different Program Management concepts.Time: 4 hoursDifficulty level: DifficultDuration to get certified: You have to complete your 24 hours of training from an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMI. Make a study plan and stick to it religiously. The PgMP is considered to be more difficult than the PMP and requires a fair bit of preparation. Once you pass the 4-hour exam you will be PgMP certified.  Course fee for certification: INR 13,999; USD 1199Application fee for certification: For PMI membership: USD $ 129 plus USD $10 for application fee.Exam fee for certificationIn IndiaMember: ₹46,338.00Non-member: ₹77,230.00In U.S.Member: $800Non-member: $1000Retake fee for certificationMember: $600Non-member: $8006. PMI-ACPPMI-ACP Demand: Agile is a fairly new concept in the context of product development. Though organizations reap immense benefits by adopting Agile, the road to transformation can often turn out to be expensive if not well executed. PMI-ACP professionals are therefore in huge demand as they can bring in project management best practices in Agile environments and ensure project success.  Benefits of getting PMI-ACP certifiedThe shortage of Project Managers has increased job opportunities in the Agile environmentYou will qualify for Agile jobs with expertise in Agile methods like Scrum, FDD, Kanban, etc. which are in demand in the industryEarn salaries in the range of $108,000 on an averageEquips you with knowledge of various Agile methodsMakes you more marketableTop companies that hire PMI-ACP professionalsStandard CharteredOracleIBMVMWareSource: IndeedWhere to take training for certification: Aspirants must train from an Authorized Training Provider of PMI® Who should take the training for certification?Project ManagersProject PlannersQuality Assurance StaffDevelopers/ProgrammersDesigners, TestersProject ControllersProduct OwnersScrum MastersScrum Team MembersEligibilityTo apply for the PMI-ACP®, candidates must meet the following requirements:1. General Project Experience2000 hours of working on project teams within the last 5 years or having an active PMP®/PgMP® credential2. Agile Project Experience1500 hours of working on Agile Project Teams or with Agile Methodologies, in addition to “General Project Experience” above;3. Training in Agile Practices21 contact hours earned in Agile PracticesExam FormatNo of questions: 120 MCQ, of which 20 are pre-testDuration: 3 hoursDuration to get certified: Once you complete the course, you need to schedule the exam date. Exam applications have to be submitted and approved by PMI. Online applications m ay take upto five business days to get processed. Once your application is processed, you can schedule your exam date, and on passing receive the PMI-ACP credential.Course fee for certification: INR 10,999, USD 1099Application fee for certification: For PMI membership: USD $ 129 plus USD $10 for application fee.Exam fee for certificationFor members: $435Non-members: $495Retake fee for certificationMembers: $150Non-members: $200SummaryProject Management is among the most sought after job roles, not only in the tech industry but any industry that executes and manages projects. By 2027, 88 million individuals will need to be skilled in project management-oriented roles. This makes it among the hottest job trends in the coming years, and a credential will go a long way in helping you capitalise on this trend.
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Best Project Management Certifications in 2021

While nothing can replace industry work experience... Read More

Project Contracts – A Vital Legal Binding

One of the key knowledge areas discussed in the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification is Procurements Management. As part of project procurements management a project manager is mainly expected to be able to initiate, execute and manage projects based on the project contracts. This article is an attempt to discuss about project contracts, to discuss the importance of such contracts and to give an introduction to types of contracts as a precursor to subsequent articles. The PMBOK® defines a contract as follows. “Contract represents a mutually binding agreement that obligates the seller to provide the specified products, services or results, and obligates the buyer to provide the monetary or other valuable consideration in return. A contract can also be called an agreement, understanding, undertaking or a purchase order.” (PMBOK® 5.0) Any project involves two or more parties. One main party that is the buyer and the other the seller. In addition to these there can be other 3rd party elements that are not directly involved in the contract but are interested in or are impacted by the same. The contract between the buyer and the seller happens to protect the interests of the two parties entering into the agreement. The seller provides goods or services to the buyer for which the buyer compensates the seller monetarily or through other financial or non-financial means.   A contract is a formal agreement between the two parties and it is a legal binding amongst the two entities. A formal contract must be in written format and can be used even in court of law in the case of either party failing to honour their commitment or in the case of an appeal against any misdeeds. Dishonouring contracts may actually lead to settlements even in court but should ideally be settled mutually among the disagreeing parties, most probably through a mediator called an ‘arbitrator’. Normally in large organizations contracts are managed by a separate contract manager or a procurements manager. The management of contracts are done in 2 separate ways namely; centralized contracting and decentralized contracting. In centralized contracting, one contract manager manages all the contract related matters for multiple projects. This requires expertise in contracting, standardization of contracting practices across the organization and more focused management of contracts. In decentralized contracting, separate contract managers are allocated to manage the procurements for individual projects. This results in full time management of contracts and the contract manager must report progress to the project manager. This results in more focused management of project contracts and with time creates specialized expertise in contracting. However, this may result in duplication of contracting expertise and less standardization of contracting practices across multiple projects in the company. There are three main types of contracts. They are Cost Reimbursable OR Cost Plus, Time and Material or Unit Price and Fixed Price or Lump Sum contracts.  The applicability and use of these contract types based on the type of project, complexity and the parties involved may decide on variations based on the charges involved in order to ensure that the contract terms are mutually beneficial for the two parties. Hence, these contracts vary based on the cost, time and price.  A cost plus or cost reimbursement contract is a contract in which the contractor is reimbursed or paid all the actual expenses they incur when carrying out the work. In addition to this they are also allowed to charge an extra fee allowing them to obtain a profit. For example a contractor taking up building a contract may claim resource costs as well as any miscellaneous expenses incurred for travel, food, purchases as well as charge an additional amount from the customer in order to make a profit from the tasks carried out. A fixed price contract on the other hand does not depend on the resources utilized or time expended. A fixed amount is agreed upon between the contractor and the customer where the amount is paid to the contractor even if the resources expended is lower or higher than the agreed upon amount. Time & material contract is where the contracting party is paid only for the amount of time or resources spent. For example if there is a software development firm which assigns 4 resources for a project on a T&M basis the company will be paid an hourly rate for each resource based on the amount of time they spend on tasks in the project.  Each contract type has its own pros and cons for both the contracting and implementation party. For example a fixed price contract is suitable for an organization as they would know the amount due before hand and know that they won’t end up paying extra if the triple project constraints are not met. Similarly, a time and material project may be suitable for both parties, as amount will be charged only based on the amount of work done in the project and for the time spent. Advantages and disadvantages of each contract type depend on the context. Thus, it is important for stakeholders involved in projects to negotiate on contracts wisely.
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Project Contracts – A Vital Legal Binding

One of the key knowledge areas discussed in the Pr... Read More

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