Saturday, October 11, 2008

Delegation & Leadership

The key to successful delegation is to focus on the end result utilizing a team approach that doesn't mandate how tasks are done. It starts with a clear picture of the desired result, a team built schedule to achieve it and an understanding of the business goals to be met. In some instances it's a team of two -- leader and contributor. Schedules should always consist of measurable elements and for longer team efforts group milestones. No schedule is perfect but can still be successful if slips are identified early so adjustments can be made. It's most important that the expectations for the result are managed. In a well thought out plan some tasks take longer and other are done faster allowing adjustments to meet the original delivery date. There are times when meeting a schedule can be accomplished by adjusting expectations while still creating a positive result that will meet the project goals. All projects should have milestones and agreed upon due dates.

Micromanagement is the ultimate no no. There may be many ways to accomplish some tasks but only a few are flat wrong. Any contributor will zero in on one of those ways based on experience and personal preference -- it works well for them. The big beginner obstacle in team leadership is not to impose the way that is your preference. With few exceptions any method that achieves the desired result should be accepted. Some global constraints need to be applied to all for a quality result in a team effort to insure for example, a consistent user interface. Agreement on these team project rules should be negotiated up front in the development process. Contributor buy in and task ownership yield the best results.

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