Delegation and co-ordination

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We are all angels with one wing, it is only when we cling to one another that we can truly fly

Basics of Delegation

Delegation is necessary because you cannot do all jobs yourself. Delegation does not mean shirking your responsibilities or palming off your work. It is the wise use of the assests of team members to ensure maximum benefit to the organization.As an educational manager, delegation allows you to make the best use of your time and skills, and it helps other people in the team grow and develop to reach their full potential in the organization.

Pre-delegation process

Before work is actually delegated, it is necessary to find if it is worth delegating.

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Choose an upcoming event in your institution where you would want to delegate responsibilites.Ask yourself these questions.

1.Is there someone in my team, who given the necessary information and opportunity, will be able to complete the task? This will help you decide if the task is fit to be delegated or is it something you need to do yourself.

2.Does the task provide an opportunity to nurture the skills of your team members?

3.Is this a task that will recur, in a similar form, in the future?

4.Do you have enough time to delegate the job effectively? Time must be available for adequate training, for clarification, for checking progress, and for revision of work if necessary.

5.Is this a task that should be delegated? (If as a Principal of a school, you have to make a new appointment, I wonder if the task can be delegated. However arranging an inhouse elocution competition , definitely is a task to be delegated.)

If most of the answers are Yes, then it could well be worth delegating this job.

Carry out the above exercise and decide on a task to be delegated before you go to the next phase.

Delegation Process

Finding the right person to delegate a task is most vital. A good way would be to consider the following assets of the team members: Experience, knowledge and skills of the individual, resources you can offer to support the person, time available to train if necessary, committment displayed by the person in the past, interests in the task, work style of the individual, present availabilty and workload of the person, expectations of the person. You may not find someone ideal fulfilling every expectation of yours, but settle for the most viable option. In case the task involves interacting with people , be mindful of the person's rapport with others. In case it is a task that means interacting with computers, be aware of the tech-savviness of the person.If you find difficulty you can use the tool shown below.

Team member Expertise Interest in task Task and Workstyle compatability Status of present Workload
Aaron very good average well matched quite free
Bessie poor average poorly matched quite free
Cindy very good high perfect match a bit busy

In the above example, you can keep adding columns under different heads. It is seen that Cindy is the best choice to delegate the task to, that is if her present workload is taken care of. Now that you have chosen the person, comes the actual delegation time. Be mindful of some principles. Read through the following case study and see if you can identify these principles.

Principles of good delegation

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Case Study
Mr. Johnson is the Principal of a High School. The school is preparing to host an inter-state teachers' conference. Brochures have to be prepared. Mr Johnson has delegated the task to Ms. Suzie and Ms. Karen.This is the conversation that has occured.

Mr. Johnson: Good morning ladies. We need to prepare a good brochure that will explain details of our forthcoming conference. Remember it should be attractive enough to have good participation. We need the brochures by the end of next week, so the designing ought to be done in the next couple of days.
Ms. Suzie: Sir, could we use the Computer Section?
Mr Johnson: Of course, also you could ask our Art Master to help you.
Ms Karen: What about finances, Sir? How much do you intend spending on the brochure?
Mr Johnson: Well, we have about 200 dollars allotted for this. So keep that in mind. I will hand over details of the conference as were chalked out during our last meeting. Ms. Sheikh who is the Co-ordinator of the Conference will provide you any clarification you need. I trust you to do a good job since you are adept at graphic designing. Your command over the language is good as well. Since we need the brochure designed as soon as possible, do you need to be relieved of your regular duties?
Ms Karen: No I don't think so...I think we can manage to show you a draft by tomorrow. Thanks Sir for the trust displayed by you. See you tomorrow.
Mr Johnson: Oh yes, I will take a look at your work and then we decide the final look for our brochure.

What features of good delegation did you notice in the above conversation?
Match your observations with the Principles listed below:
1.Clearly state the desired outcome
2. Clarify all limitations, restraints and conditions.
3. When you delegate, check on the work from time to time.
4.Even if you delegate, you still remain accountable.
5. Answer queries. Provide support to the task.
7. Make adjustments in schedules if required.
Above all, remember.... the task may not be done the way you do it. Everyone works differently. Fine tuning is always possible. Review work submitted and revise if necessary.

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Delegate a task to one or more members of your team bearing in mind the principles of good delegation. Reflect over the outcome. Ask your team members to help you evaluate your own delegation skills.

Traits displayed Agree (3 points) Unsure (2 points) Disagree (1 point)
The desired outcome was clear while the task was delegated
Adequate resources were supplied
Doubts were clarified
Necessary supervision was done before the task was completed
Motivation was provided.
Adjustments were made to ensure that the task was well executed.

If you score below 7 points it means you have delegated poorly. A score between 7 and 14 indicates average skills of delegation. Scores above 14 mean you are quite good at delegating.