Are you a control freak of a manager?

Friday, November 8th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

Are you an office control freak?

You're probably tempted to answer, "No, of course not." Sure, you have always felt that important tasks are best left in your hands, and you have never been completely comfortable with delegating work to your subordinates, no matter how full your plate gets. After all, don't they say that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself?

You're not alone. Plenty of project managers, especially those with years of experience, have a hard time letting go of certain tasks when that means handing it over to a less experienced team member. But while many managers think they are doing the team a favor by shouldering the bulk of the work, they are actually dooming the project to a near-certain failure.

As an experienced manager, it's not your job to do everything yourself. Your job is to guide your team members and teach them how to do the work for you.

In other words, it is time to brush up on those delegating skills.

A recent article in Lifehacker offers some examples of how the best managers delegate, based on one very important, 2-minute rule: "If the thing you are trying to do can be done by you in two minutes or less, do it and do it then and there. Otherwise, delegate."

It's not always easy to let go, but you can channel your energies into a far more important area by establishing a consistent follow-up system. That way, you can spend your time more productively, making sure that the critical project tasks get done by monitoring your team. Lifehacker recommends using a simple Excel spreadsheet, or a more complicated task management system.

Above all, resist the urge to jump in and take back control. Sometimes, the delegated work will not go smoothly, especially if the person doing the work is less experienced than you are. Unless your intervention is absolutely critical to the success of the project, sit down with the person and show them how to do the work. Over time, you'll end up with a team that you can delegate anything to.

The ability to delegate tasks is essential to good project management. New Leaf Project Management's program, "Leading Project Teams," provides the details of effective delegation. You can augment this program by taking our online QPM quizzes and earning PDU credits for PMP recertification.

"PMI®," PMP®," and "PMBOK®" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

"QPM™" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

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