Simple Delegation Formula

Delegation Chart
Delegation is a complex skill to learn, especially for individuals who are experts within their own field. It is sometimes hard to trust others to perform to one’s own high standards; however, this fear can limit everyone within a team, as the failure to delegate prevents people from learning as old roles are never properly transitioned.

Basically, delegation only involves two big question questions:

  • What to Delegate?
  • How to Delegate?

Today, I’d like to focus on a simple way to determine which tasks one should keep and those that would be best to delegate called the Simple Delegation Formula (SDF). This is quick review method that I designed. From 2000 to 2005, I used this technique regularly as my management role kept expanding, as I continually was being asked to tackle both an increased number of complex projects and oversee more direct reports. Eventually, the workload was beyond what is human possible for a single individual to accomplish without giving some tasks, including high-level ones, to other qualified staff members.

Step 1: Write down all the current tasks that repeat with a regular frequency (daily, weekly, monthly, or annually) and all other job related responsibilities for your position.

Step 2:  Rate each task for how well you can perform it yourself from 1 to 10, where expert status equals a 10. If you believe that you do this better than anyone else at your firm, this would be given a ranking of 10. If you feel that your performance is substandard, give yourself a 1.

Step 3: Rate each task again for how important it is to overall productivity or how it impacts the most important goal. Critical task should be given a 10 while low-value items should be given a 1.

Step 4: Multiple the two rankings together. Any task that has a score below 30 should be immediately delegated. Tasks that have a total composite score between 30 and 60 should be reviewed further to determine if it is possible to delegate it to someone else. Tasks scoring above 60 are usually worth keeping, unless they rarely occur or could be done better by another individual.