Mastering the Art of Delegation: An Update
Back in December, I shared my ONE Goal for 2016 and my plan for Mastering the Art of Delegation. I was inspired by the book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, written by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller and their repeated question, “What is the ONE thing you can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
Just a couple week’s back, in episode 114 of EntreArchitect Podcast, I shared my thoughts on building a strong balanced team in architecture by using the Three Rs of Team Building; Roles, Responsibilities and Results.
How do small firm architects find more success in architecture by doing less?
Strong leaders lead; they focus on the few roles that they are best suited to perform and they delegate everything else. Every other role required to run their organization is assigned to other members of their team; members who are better suited for those roles. Strong, successful leaders in architecture have mastered of the art of delegation.
As a reminder, here are my 6 steps for Mastering the Art of Delegation:
Step 1: Education and Research
Educate yourself in the process of delegation by reading books, meeting with mentors and taking courses on delegation. Research the psychology of delegation. I know from my own experience, that the biggest hurdle to clear in successful delegation is our own mind. By educating ourselves, we arm ourselves with the tools required to breakthrough the mental barriers and find the life of freedom waiting on the other side.
Step 2: Establish Roles
Update your Three Lists to Freedom. Organize the “Three Lists” tasks into roles that will remain your responsibility and those that may be performed by others. This is the step where Episode 114 may help. Whether you own a firm of 500 or you are practicing alone, the list of roles required to perform may be longer than you ever imagined. The best way to understand the few roles for which you are best suited is to list them all and select the few that only YOU are qualified to perform.
Step 3: Develop Systems
Systems are the key to any successful business (I know I sound like a broken record). If you haven’t read the The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It yet, order it today. If you have read it in the past, go find your copy and read it again. Develop a process for performing each role to be delegated. Prepare written, audio and/or video documentation for each system and organize it into a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) manual for your firm.
Tip: Use screen capture software like Screenflow, Camtasia or Jing to record your screen while you perform your daily tasks. Then add audio commentary to coach your team member(s) on how to complete the work as you desire. Using this type of software will allow you to quickly develop an entire video library of SOPs.
Step 4: Team Building
Once your roles are listed and systems are developed and documented for each role, identify current team members who are qualified to take on one or more of the established roles. Then identify roles that require new team members. Determine the cost for hiring new permanent team members or outsourced freelancers for specific roles. Follow the 12 Rules for Hiring a Powerful Team and get to work.
Step 5: Assign Roles
With your new team member(s) on board, prepare a Key Results Area (KRA) document for each role, which identifies the responsibility and the expected results for each role. Review the KRA document with the new team member. When they agree to perform the assigned role, responsibility and expected results, require the team member to sign the KRA. This will be confirmation that they are now accountable for the work described, will perform the work as documented in your SOP manual and are responsible for the results associated with that role.
Step 6: Maintain Systems
Systems are only as good as people using them. Schedule regular meetings to review role assignments and maintain the developed systems to confirm that delegated tasks are completed successfully. As the systems evolve and are improved, update your SOPs and KRAs as necessary.
Remember that communication is an essential element of successful teams. Meet regularly with your team and allow for open and honest feedback about the work and the systems being performed.
Did you complete the exercise from Episode 114?
Did you list the many roles required to perform all the work of your studio, assign responsibilities to each role and establish the results expected by each role? I expect that you may have been surprised by how many roles are needed to be performed for a small firm to function effectively. If you did complete the exercise, then you are well on your way to Mastering the Art of Delegation. Having worked your way through steps 1 and 2, you are on your way to more success in architecture by doing less.
I know this process is not easy and it takes time. Since announcing my ONE Goal back in December, I have made some progress. I have successfully delegated several roles to existing and new team members, but I have a long way to go before my team is fully built out and I can claim that I have accomplished my goal of Mastering the Art of Delegation.
I will continue to keep you posted.
Question: How are YOU progressing with your goals for 2016?
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / gpointstudio