Delegation for Project Managers


Despite occasional appearances to the contrary – especially if the supply of free coffee is at stake – good project managers aren’t control freaks.

Yes, they like keeping things organized, and they enjoy crossing things off a to-do list. But control? No, good project managers aren’t obsessed with it. Rather, they’re much more focused on delegating. They appreciate the various skills that team members bring to the project, and they have a knack for empowering useful people to be, well, as useful as possible.

Plus, good project managers know that leading a project and implementing one shouldn’t be combined. On occasion this may be necessary, such as when project teams need temporary help or if a team member is ill. Or, in rare cases, if the project fundamentally breaks down and its very integrity is at stake, guerrilla project management may (unfortunately) be necessary. But hands-on project management should always be the exception; never the norm. And that means delegation, delegation and more delegation.

So, if good project managers are good at delegation, does that mean that all project management software is designed to make delegation easier and more efficient? In a word: NO.

In fact, there are plenty of (so-called) solutions out there that, ironically, make delegation harder and less efficient. Instead of empowering project managers to be effective leaders and visionaries, they make things more complicated and confusing.

Is this a pretty miserable scenario? Yes. Is it common? Yes. Is it inevitable? Fortunately (and some project managers may say mercifully), no, it’s not.

Solving this problem at the source simply requires choosing project management software that enhances delegation among team members – instead of diminishing it. For example:

  • Team members should be able to access the software from any device
  • Team members should be able to connect with the software using any email client, so they can update tasks and projects automatically without logging in
  • Team members should receive pre-defined mailboxes so they can access common functions
  • The software should allow customization, so that team members can perform almost any action without logging on

Ultimately, all of this spells out a clear message: delegation for project managers isn’t about increasing the Project Manager’s control – it’s about empowering team members, so they can be engaged, authorized, accountable and motivated to take ownership of tasks and see them through to completion.

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