Monday, April 07, 2014

Soft Skills: Instilling stewardship delegation.

Stewardship delegation is a form of delegation where the responsibility for the delegated task is transferred to the delegatee.  Stewardship delegation requires upfront effort, but the long term effectiveness it creates is second to none, so I recommend learning and applying it.

To establish stewardship delegation you must convey five concepts to your delegatee.  The desired results, the operating parameters, the available resources, the measurement system and the consequences of their stewardship.

 I strongly recommend the delegator spend significant time ensuring the delegatee  understands these five concepts. Most of my failures to delegate are caused by the delegatee not understanding the concepts.  Having the delegatee involved in defining the concepts, especially the accountability model and the consequences helps build their buy in and tests the delegatee's understanding.

The desired results is the outcome the delegator wishes to achieve.  Desired results should be conveyed in terms of what is desired, not in terms of how results should be achieved. By specifying what, not how,  the delegatee has the maximum freedom to achieve the desired results.

The operating parameters are the guard rails within which the desired results should be achieved.  While the delegator should give as few as possible, they tend to have experience and prevent the delegatee from making obvious mistakes.

The resources available are what the delegatee may use to get the desired results accomplished.  Because the delegator tends to have experience they can often suggest useful resources, however the delegatee should have the freedom to ignore the unneeded resources.

The accountably model defines how the delegatee will be measured. This includes the measurement function, the measurement frequency and the way the measurement will be reported.

The rewards and consequences defines how the delegatee will be rewarded for their efforts. This includes the both rewards for success, and consequences for failure.

By using these delegation guidelines you should be able to kick off steward ship delegation. Even though it takes more time upfront, the overall return on investment is excellent.

By the way, I'm trying to leverage the stewardship delegation method with myself, by taking a desire I wish to achieve and going through the five delegation concepts. I expect I'll find this method very effective.

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