Delegation Tips for Project Managers

Filed under Becoming a PM, Leadership | Posted by MMeloni

A project manager is undoubtedly one of the busiest persons in an organization. 

What makes a project manager so busy? Everything which is required for the success of the project falls under the PM’s umbrella. This makes the to-do list never-ending.

Everything right from project kickoff to project closure is definitely the  PM’s job. So, the project deliverable, quality, risk management, human resources management, scope, schedule, and cost management comes under the umbrella of PM. Moreover, it is not only about a project but multiple projects are handled at the same time by a project manager. 

Now, let’s look at what you can delegate to your associates or team.

By default, scheduling and hosting meetings come to the project manager. You can ask your team leads or some team members to schedule scrum ceremonies, internal product/project discussion, code or architecture review meetings, etc. 

Create a job description for replacement requisition when a team member is moving on – this is usually standard. Work with your recruitment or Human Resources team to make this task go more quickly for you.

To create invoices for T and M (Time and Material),  projects, see if you can have an assistant project manager or invoicing team member perform this task. By providing them with correct billable hours,  it should be simple for them to process the invoices.

To perform or extend resource allocations in the system. Get the rights assigned to your team lead so that resource allocations can be handled by him/her. 

Perform profile scanning to shortlist the candidates for interviews – You can definitely give this profile screening work to SME or domain experts from your team.

Set up a buddy for new team members instead of handholding the candidate personally. Assign a buddy for every new resource who can help the new comer to understand team structure, team ethics, and way of working. This buddy will be the go-to person in resolving any setup and induction-related issues for the newcomer. This way you can promote the bonding of team members and also save valuable time for yourself. 

Creating meeting notes or MOM – This is another task that you give away to save daily at least 30 mins of your time. Otherwise, take notes while talking in the meeting and send those right at the end of the meeting to avoid extra time in writing the notes. 

Approval of timesheet – This could be done by the assistant project manager or project lead. 

Creation of weekly report – This can be created by the project lead can review should be done before presenting to stakeholders 

Creating schedule using tools like MS project – This can be done by the project lead or assistant project manager and can be reviewed by the project manager 

These are some of the tasks which could be taken up by the assistant project manager or project/team lead under the guidance of the project manager. 

Delegation can be done at any level. Trust is most important when you start delegating your work. Trust the person to whom you are delegating; direct the person if needed, supervise the work done and provide review comments as the person progresses. It is important to delegate some of your tasks so that you can get some breathing space in your day to learn something new and upgrade yourself. In fact, delegation is the only way to grow. Unless you give the opportunity to your team to take up your tasks, you cannot make time to grow and take up tasks from a senior role.  Give away so that you can make room for learning something new! 

There are responsibilities that should NOT be delegated.

  • Budget discussions and discount discussions with clients.
  • Change request discussions.
  • Critical project presentations and stakeholder communications.
  • Important proposals and negotiations with potential customers.
  • Important decision-making with stakeholders like strategic decisions for products, make or buy decisions, costing, and margins related discussions.
  • Any escalation discussions with stakeholders.
  • Risk assessment discussions and clear communication with stakeholders about risk or opportunity responses.
  • Product roadmap and release strategy discussions.
  • Release planning, delivery milestone planning meetings.
  • Resignation retention discussions with important resources.

A project manager has to keep a fine balance in delegating the tasks versus trying to do it all. At the same time, delegated work should be reviewed regularly to ensure that work is performed correctly.

Wishing you every success as you delegate your way to project success!

Contributed by Sonali Malu Find Sonali on LinkedIn –