Delegation

by Unre Visagie

Case study from Barry du Plessis
Why delegation?
Barry’s workload increased to the point that he could no longer manage the number of projects. As a team they identified the need to delegate.
Which individual career would benefit the most?
Elsabie was identified as the person to whom they would entrust a number of projects. She was presently functioning as a PA. She had experience in customer care but had no formal project planning knowledge or experience.
She was identified because she was someone who could grow from this opportunity. Her current workload could be rearranged with others to afford her the time availability. She had the potential to succeed.
What to delegate?
Barry identified those projects that he could assign to Elsabie that he did not need to be directly involved in.
How to delegate?
The following process of situational coaching took place between Barry and Elsabie:
Directing: Structure, close supervision, clarification of understanding
Delegatee has low competence, high motivation
Barry and Elsabie had an initial meeting in which the specific responsibilities Elsabie would be handling were detailed. The success parameters were also identified. In other words it was clearly outlined what the project would look like when it was completed and successful.
Barry and Elsabie initially met daily and on occasion bi-daily to discuss her progress. For these meetings Elsabie was required to bring five questions. The questions had to be written and there had to be five. This was hard for Elsabie at first but Barry refused to engage with her until she had got into this habit. In this way only the issues relevant to where Elsabie was at her stage of development and knowledge required were addressed.
Barry dealt with these questions mainly by asking further questions! He also asked questions that made her aware of possible issues she may not have thought of that she needed to address at that stage. Barry’s meetings with Elsabie were an investment of his time but he was motivated by the longer term value of Elsabie’s role in managing projects in the company. They also were innovative in finding time, sometimes talking while doing gym at the office gym, or telephonically, or via email.
Coaching: Some directing and some supporting
Delegatee has some competence, some motivation
Barry and Elsabie continued the method of using Elsabie’s five questions to guide their discussions. The number of their meetings decreased however, over the months, as she gained confidence and competence. They began to meet two or three times a week rather than daily.
Supporting: Listening and giving positive feedback
Delegatee has increased competence, sometimes lacks confidence
Elsabie began running with the projects. She began moving in the direction of the success parameters set for her. She increased her value to the company step by step. She would still occasionally phone Barry and ask some questions. He would occasionally check in to see how she was doing.
Delegating: Task is being handled on a day to day basis by delegatee
Delegatee has high competence and high motivation.
Over a period of four to five years Elsabie increased her earnings from R60 000 pa to R280 000 pa. She was promoted to the position of Senior Project Manager. Every now and again she will give Barry call as he remains a resource for her, but this happens rarely.
Read more on delegation
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Case study from Barry du Plessis

Why delegation?

Barry’s workload increased to the point that he could no longer manage the number of projects. As a team they identified the need to delegate.

Which individual career would benefit the most?

Elsabie was identified as the person to whom they would entrust a number of projects. She was presently functioning as a PA. She had experience in customer care but had no formal project planning knowledge or experience.

She was identified because she was someone who could grow from this opportunity. Her current workload could be rearranged with others to afford her the time availability. She had the potential to succeed.

What to delegate?

Barry identified those projects that he could assign to Elsabie that he did not need to be directly involved in.

How to delegate?

The following process of situational coaching took place between Barry and Elsabie:

Directing: Structure, close supervision, clarification of understanding

Delegatee has low competence, high motivation

Barry and Elsabie had an initial meeting in which the specific responsibilities Elsabie would be handling were detailed. The success parameters were also identified. In other words it was clearly outlined what the project would look like when it was completed and successful.

Barry and Elsabie initially met daily and on occasion bi-daily to discuss her progress. For these meetings Elsabie was required to bring five questions. The questions had to be written and there had to be five. This was hard for Elsabie at first but Barry refused to engage with her until she had got into this habit. In this way only the issues relevant to where Elsabie was at her stage of development and knowledge required were addressed.

Barry dealt with these questions mainly by asking further questions! He also asked questions that made her aware of possible issues she may not have thought of that she needed to address at that stage. Barry’s meetings with Elsabie were an investment of his time but he was motivated by the longer term value of Elsabie’s role in managing projects in the company. They also were innovative in finding time, sometimes talking while doing gym at the office gym, or telephonically, or via email.

Coaching: Some directing and some supporting

Delegatee has some competence, some motivation

Barry and Elsabie continued the method of using Elsabie’s five questions to guide their discussions. The number of their meetings decreased however, over the months, as she gained confidence and competence. They began to meet two or three times a week rather than daily.

Supporting: Listening and giving positive feedback

Delegatee has increased competence, sometimes lacks confidence

Elsabie began running with the projects. She began moving in the direction of the success parameters set for her. She increased her value to the company step by step. She would still occasionally phone Barry and ask some questions. He would occasionally check in to see how she was doing.

Delegating: Task is being handled on a day to day basis by delegatee

Delegatee has high competence and high motivation

Over a period of four to five years Elsabie increased her earnings from R60 000 pa to R280 000 pa. She was promoted to the position of Senior Project Manager. Every now and again she will give Barry call as he remains a resource for her, but this happens rarely.

Read more on delegation

Read a coaching session

About Unre Visagie
I am a master coach with 30 years of career and business coaching experience. I have built and sold many of my own multi-million dollar companies. I have always built my companies based on the principle of successful people make a successful company. I invest in people. As your coach you get 30 years of experience to help you do the work you love and earn the salary you want.

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