Delegate and Outsource for Greater Result
Today, I’d like to continue in the series, Managing Plenty Tasks within Limited Time, by sharing with you another insight. Meanwhile, if you are joining me in this series for the first time, know that this is the third I had earlier shared. In the first episode, I said that the first and most important step you have to take when you have plenty tasks to execute within limited time is to calm down and not panic so that you can approach your work in the best frame of mind. In the second episode, I shared that you should prioritize to enable you focus on the key tasks first and eventually increase your efficiency. My focus on BrojidStepUp today is to share with you how to delegate and outsource to get sure result despite the time limitation.
Let me remind you that your time doesn’t get doubled because you have lots of things to do; yet you don’t have to fail in reaching your target because of time constraint. This puts you in a kind of dilemma since there is a limit to how much you can do as a human being. That’s why you have to delegate and outsource certain tasks you haveif you have to meet up with deadline and reach your target.
Before I get into that properly, let me explain delegating and outsourcing a bit. Delegating involves assigning certain tasks and responsibilities that you should have carried out to another person. The same applies to outsourcing; but outsourcing differs in that it usually involves another organization and most times you have to pay for the service the outside source will render.
Now, whether you run a business, lead a team or just live your life, you can deploy these systems in getting result when you have plenty tasks at hand with limited time.In the remaining parts of this post, I will share with you how to apply this principle.
The first step is determining what can and should be delegated or outsourced. If you get it mixed up here, you may run into trouble as you will commit tasks that people can’t deliverinto their hands. The consequence of delegating to the wrong person is that you make promises you can’t fulfill or fail to satisfy your customers when the person delivers poor job. In fact, I believe it’s better not to accept a job you can’t deliver on time and in good quality than to delegate and outsource and disappoint your clients, boss or spouse.
Just by the way, every work you do has your name on it. Your client may not know that you outsourced and the person you outsourced to. All he knows is that he gave you a job to do and you have to deliver. In fact, if you ever mention that it’s the person you outsourced to that spoiled the job, you shift responsibilityand by that sell yourself as not worthy of being given jobs in future.
One way to determine the task you can delegate is to check if you are the only person that can deliver on that task to the level that is expected. If, for instance, you run a business, there are key areas of your business and your customers must have come to trust you for it. If you delegate it to someone that can’t deliver to the same degree of excellence as you, you run into problems. Even if you are a house wife with loads of task to attend to, it’s not everything you have to outsource. If the way to your husband’s heart is his stomach and you are an expert in taking care of his stomach, you can’t outsource cooking for him to the house help unless you don’t want to get into his heart.House help or any other person can help you with some other things but not the actual cooking.
When you have determined the tasks that can be delegated, the next step you should take is to decide who should be assigned the tasks. In deciding who to assign a task to, please endeavour to ensure it’s someone that will deliver quality service in good time. These two factors go hand in hand and should be considered closely before making your finical decision.
It’s not enough to know how to get something done; one should be able to do it within the right time frame. I have come across very skilled people who seem naturally incapacitated to deliver jobs in good time. Such one will most certainly not be a worthy delegate if time is priority to you on a job or a task. In the same vein, a mediocre who can deliver on time shouldn’t be an option when you want to outsource unless you intend to improve on it to the level that you are satisfied with the work.
When you have made a choice of your delegate and assigned the tasks to them, it’s important to ensure that there is clarity of communication between both of you. Please don’t work on assumption so that there won’t be any case of, ‘I thought you meant that….’ If it’s possible, put your expectations in writing; the least should be a text message or an email. But if you can, please have everything spelt out on paper and if need be him sign before you start so that if for any reason he can’t meet your expectations, you look for another person or adjust it.
Here is another thing that can help you get the best from your delegates. Don’t just delegate, motivate them to commit to excellent deliveryand monitor them to ensure continuous and meaningful progress until the job is completed. When I say you should motivate them, what I actually mean is that you should give them an incentive that will set them on their feet to work. You can use money, an advantage or favour; but it has to be something that the person considers important.
Most times, prompt payment and promise of more jobsto the delegate work magic. Please I don’t mean you should promise people what you can’t fulfill. My point is that you should commit parting with some money just to get the best from the delegate or outsource. By the way, know that money doesn’t work all the time. My experience is that people who have not cultivated a work culture to deliver on their jobs in good time won’t be motivated with money; not because they don’t want the money, but because they just can’t suddenly become who they are not!
Of course, know that there are people that don’t need to be motivated by money. They like what they do and would gladly offer to help you. The fact that you need something done is enough motivation for them to postpone sleep or deny themselves some luxury. To people like that, giving them material motivation is not a crime, but just know that it’s not the language they really understand. In fact, for some people, the threat of losing the businesses you give them or their job is enough motivation. I guess it’s important to discern what moves your delegate and use it to move him. I am not teaching you manipulation; I am just showing you how to get the best from your people.
In monitoring your delegate, demand to see the progress they have made in your work per time. Don’t allow him tell you, ‘I am in control’ and not show you the degree of their control. My experience is that people like this are leaving your work till the last minutes and that’s a risky zone to leave your work, especially when time is a priority to you. Nwanne, at the last minute zone, a computer may crash, there may be sudden power failure, okada may suddenly get scarce and when any of these go wrong by that time, very little damage control can be effectively applied to ensure that you still reach your target.
When you have plenty tasks to execute within a limited time, one of the things you can do is to delegate and outsource. However, be careful that you don’t delegate the work you shouldn’t and even when you discern the delegable task, be sure you don’t delegate to the wrong person otherwise, he will mess your life and work up. Know that when you outsource to the right person, you still have to ensure clarity in your expectation from him/her. Furthermore, motivate the delegate to commit to excellent deliver and monitor them to ensure prompt delivery.
PS: We are not done with this subject matter; so, join me tomorrow as I share with you another insight on managing plenty tasks within limited time. Meanwhile you can listen to our 10-minutes podcast on this subject HERE.
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