The following appeared in the Monthly Newsletter of Kaplan Virtual Education – September 2009.  (KVE was the Division of Kaplan Education, a subsidiary of the Washington Post and later sold to K12, Inc.)

The Art of Delegation  

–  from an interview with Matthew Levy, CEO, Results Management Group

For the past six months, Matthew has worked closely with KVE management, guiding employees as individuals and teams toward greater vision, clarity, alignment, collaboration, and committed action. In the following article, he shares his insight on how to effectively communicate requests and promises to achieve better results.

Do you ever not get the desired results when you assign a task or project? Ever had someone ask you to do work or an assignment without being sure about what is being asked of you? Do you ever get those emails that say, “Can you review?” with a document attached, but without context, due dates, expectations, specs, or parameters?

Ever receive a “forwarded” email, where the sender simply says “see below” and the recipient is meant to scroll through the string and determine what action is required?

Whether intentional or not, the message here can be that “my time is more valuable than yours.” In almost every case, it’s going to save everyone time and money to share the info up front. If we all agree on some basic details and get into the habit of communicating them as standard operating procedures, we will become more efficient, effective, and productive.

Matthew Levy, CEO of Results Management Group, shared his insights on Effective Project Delegation.

His points below are focused on clarifying expectations for team leaders and team members, and provide a quick, straightforward guide for those who are tasked with delegating projects.

Topics to cover when agreeing to produce a result or be accountable for something:

1. RESULT: What is the specific desired result?

2. DATE: By when must it be accomplished?

3. WHO: Who are you delegating to?

4. PARAMETERS: Are there specific requirements or parameters related to how it is accomplished?

5. PLAN: Do you want an execution plan created? By when? Containing what?

6. COMMUNICATION: How/when do you want to receive communication about progress?

7. INPUT/INFLUENCE: What decisions do you want to be a part of and how do you want to be a part?


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Matthew Levy is the Chief Catalyst and principal of RESULTS MANAGEMENT GROUP, LLC, a growth management consulting and executive coaching firm that dramatically shifts business results by facilitating the creation of compelling visions and strategiesaligning executive and other management teamsdeveloping an organizational capacity to manage execution and designing organizational environments and family business governance that support collaboration and the attainment of dramatically better results in any area.