If you have reached the stage where you are delegating tasks to free up your time, you will now have the role of “reviewer” rather than “completer” of those tasks. But here’s where delegation can come unstuck.
You’ve handed over tasks, created a system around them and even created checkpoints in the process to allow for your review.
However, you may be so relieved that you’ve finally got some of the tasks off your plate that you become complacent in the review process that you actually implemented. You’re not making the time to review things and you’re holding up the system.
It’s all very well to outsource and delegate but if you’re not assisting your team to ensure they can complete the work for you, you are not managing the process. This means that you’ve effectively become the “bottleneck” in your business and you’re holding things up. Bottlenecks slow your business down, even bringing projects to an abrupt stop. Obviously this defeats the purpose of delegating in the first place!
Remove yourself from the review process
First of all, take a step back and analyse the tasks that are not getting reviewed. Which tasks really require your review? Are you guilty of “micromanaging”, when in fact you could remove that particular review point from the system and let your team member get on with it?
If this makes you feel a bit nervous, you could try reducing the frequency of the review from weekly to fortnightly for example, until you’re confident that that particular task is being completed to your satisfaction.
Not only does this free up your time and allow the process to run more smoothly, your team members will feel empowered that you have put your trust in them.
Schedule time in your calendar
Inevitably there will be tasks that still need your regular review and feedback. It’s easy to procrastinate on this and get distracted, unless you schedule time in your calendar. As you are no longer the “doer” (which I’m sure you used to schedule time for!) you need to ensure you give the process the review time it requires. There are potentially two types of appointments to be scheduled.
Firstly, you need to schedule set review times with yourself to ensure the momentum continues in your business. This appointment will be for you to review tasks that you’ve handed over. Once the process is reviewed, your team member can get on with the next stage of the work and the momentum keeps going.
Schedule meetings with your team
Secondly, make a list of team members who are not getting enough assistance from you. Schedule regular meetings with them to ensure their questions are being answered. This could be a phone meeting, weekly email wrap up report or a face-to-face meeting.
You need to set a designated day and time to conduct your team meetings. If it’s not over the phone or face-to-face, this scheduled time could also be used to both create and respond to a weekly email report. Train your team to save “non-urgent” questions and observations for your scheduled meeting time. This will also eliminate unnecessary email and interruptions.
Work towards engaging a project manager
Eventually, you may reach the stage where you feel confident enough to engage a senior team member as a project manager to perform most of the review process for you. This means you have one main point of contact regarding the status of projects, rather than multiple points of contact. The senior team member could set up and complete a weekly “scorecard” – a spreadsheet giving you a snapshot overview of the status of each project. This will give you peace of mind that projects are in hand, and alert you to any potential issues so you can address them in plenty of time.
So, what review tasks can you let go of? For the other tasks that need your input and feedback, schedule times in your calendar today. I encourage you to set this process in motion as soon as you can! You’ll reap the rewards in terms of improved efficiency, peace of mind and increased profits in times to come.
P.S. Want to learn how to stop being the bottleneck?
And do you struggle to get things done in your day? Are you super busy keeping up with all the “busy” work in your business? And what about those projects you’ve been dying to implement but can’t find the time?
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