Unlock potential through delegation

Unlock potential through delegation 13.10.2017 - The traditional interpretation of the term ‘delegation’ is closely linked to the Eisenhower Principle. This interpretation is changing, however, due to digitalisation and the increased use of Agile methods in projects. Methods that can be employed by managers to ensure that tasks are properly delegated will be discussed in the following article.
When delegation is hard work

The Eisenhower Principle states that managers should only delegate urgent tasks to their members of staff. Important tasks need to be carried out by the managers themselves. When it is presented as a black and white issue in this way, it is difficult for many managers because it becomes a question of either delegating the task completely or managing it all alone.

Yet, there are many different steps between these two options which enable each employee to be self-sufficient to a greater or lesser degree. Mangers should decide how much to delegate and to whom to delegate depending on each situation.
At this point, managers can play a game of Delegation Poker with their team leaders and/or team members.

Delegation Poker

In this game, the people involved meet to decide whether and to which degree it is worth delegating tasks. Each player receives seven cards which show various forms of delegation. After a question relating to delegation has been asked, the players place what they each believe to be the most suitable card face down on the table. This is then turned over and the players discuss the options and come to a decision.

Personal Kanban

Personal Kanban is a method which optimises the Eisenhower Matrix. The four quadrants (important/urgent and not important/not urgent) are still used. The difference between the two methods is the division of responsibilities in the different quadrants.
Whilst according to the Eisenhower Principle, managers are responsible for the important and urgent tasks, this quadrant should not exist according to Personal Kanban because this relates to an emergency situation. Should an emergency occur, these tasks will be delegated to a responsible member of the team.
Important but not urgent tasks should be carried out by the most competent team members because these are generally tasks that have specific quality requirements which can be dealt with thanks to the capabilities of these members of staff.
The managers themselves deal with the unimportant tasks – this is not in order to delegate them, but to look for potential and to ideally increase productivity.
Trust rather than loss of control

By changing the management style from command and control to self-organised Kanban teams, the concept of delegation needs to be reassessed in order to change with the times. Managers need to trust their team members and delegation should not be regarded as the same as losing control.
This is a summary of the following original article:www.cio.de/a/4-thesen-zum-delegieren-in-der-digitalisierung,3559206

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