Make Assignment Responsibility Specific When Delegating

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In any number of important projects or assignment, the manager of the business unit fails to be very specific about who is responsible for what. Certainly, assignments are laid out, sub-teams are formed and timetables given. This is not enough. The manager must makes it absolutely clear and unambiguous as to exactly Who will be held accountable for results.

Isn’t it enough to make the assignment or give a “team leader” the responsibility to manage to the objective? No. Not really.

There is a big psychological difference between “you are in charge of this assignment” and “you are in charge and totally accountable to see that the objectives are met. You have my full support and confidence. Big difference. the manager leaves no doubt that being in charge means being held accountable for the ultimate results. There will be no room to make excuses that something or someone got in the way.

Techniques for Effectively Delegating

There are several straightforward techniques that will improve the effective delegation of both the assignment and the authority to get the job done.

  1. First, make sure there is no doubt about the accountability. The manager communicates “this is what needs to be done, this is How it needs to be accomplished and this is When it must be completed. You are in charge of the sub-team and with this responsibility goes the full, 100% accountability for getting the assignment completed as outlined. Any questions?”
  2. Set out the requirement for immediate feedback if an obstacle threatens to derail the project. “During the execution of the assignment and management of the sub-group, if any issue arises that could have a negative affect on the execution of this assignment, I will need you to get to me right away. If you can’t get past the problem, I want to know about it in real time.”
  3. People Management – Assign Accountability

    Establish check-points for status reports. “Each week on Friday morning at 8:00 AM, I would like a 15 minute update of the progress on your sub-team in executing the assignment. Include current status, nest steps and any potential issues. Be prepared with solutions.”

Taking these basic but important steps will make it clear to all concerned that this assignment is important, who specifically is in charge and where the responsibility rests for getting the job done right. Communicating responsibility is important but be sure to delegate the “authority” the team leaders has as well. “(name) is responsible for leading the team to execute the assignment, has the full authority to implement the Project Plan for the sub-team and will be accountable for the results.” This is how top managers approach laying out the parameters and nailing down the accountability for results. anything less leaves loop-holes in the project plans execution.

Additional Management Resources



Learn More: You can increase skill and leadership and learn more from our e-books, “Management By Delegation” and “Delegating Through the Lens of the Employee”  bringing real world experience and proven tools to managers world wide. Our Programs provide tested procedures, proven skills and valuable management delegation insights for those who manage people for results.


Michael D. Moore is the publisher of Management By Delegation and is a veteran executive with 40+ years in the Banking and Insurance Industries. A devoted entrepreneur, using his business experience to provide resources for managers and leaders at all levels. For the last 5 years, he has built a growing web presence for helping people with personal and professional development. To learn more about these advanced concepts & join our group Click here 5 Must Have Management Skills

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