Techniques for Successful Team Management
There are a number of important techniques that have developed over time supporting effective delegation management. Techniques represents process and procedure that have proven their ability to get results when applied effectively. One such technique worth mentioning is what I refer to as “Circle Back.” When implementing a plan of action involving one or more team members and multiple action steps, the ability of the manager to stay on top of assignments and in-touch with progress is critical.
In utilizing delegation best practices, a number of the processes for tracking progress are more formal. Your Project Plan established time-lines for each action step assignment. On larger projects with extended time-lines you may set one or more formal “milestones”. These are specific dates when important sub-objectives of the Project Plan need to be on schedule. The use of “Gant” time project plans and schedulers also represent part of the formal methods used to track and manage assignments.
Informal Delegation Techniques
Just as important are the more informal delegation processes used by top managers and executives. The “Circle Back” technique is one of the most important. I think of the” Circle Back” as touching bases periodically more on an unscheduled basis. Often the manager circles back between established checkpoint dates. The purpose is to touch base with your employee, informally inquire about progress or ask for an update on “how things are going?”.
Here is an example of how to use this technique effectively. Suppose you have delegated an assignment and the team member is experiencing some difficulty or an obstacle. You may have provided some suggested alternatives or coached the individual on how to proceed and agreed to a completion date. In between, you make it a point to stop by to see the employee, ask them to have lunch or purposefully run into them during the day. You simply check and ask “how’s it going?”. This also gives you the opportunity for some coaching or to point out a change of direction. It also alerts you to problems that may be stalling progress.
Just because this is an “informal technique” does not mean it should be left to chance. The effective delegation manager will make a note or mark their calendar for dates that they want to “Circle Back” for a status update. The interaction should feel informal and low key to the employee but the intention of the process and it’s implementation are very much part of the execution plan.
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