Delegate

The portfolio management team delegate responsibility to the project steering group for delivering a commercially or strategically beneficial outcome. The project steering group delegate responsibility to the project manager for delivering the products on time, on budget and to specification. In turn, the project manager will usually have to delegate most of the responsibility for developing those products to the teams working on the project.

When delegating any form of work, care must be taken not merely to describe what is required, but also the constraints within which the work must be carried out. The relationship between the delegator and the delegatee depends on knowing both what must be delivered and the degree of authority within which the delegatee may operate. Therefore, whenever work is delegated, the agreement (formal or informal) must take account of both aspects.

Both parties must agree on the following:

e Product description - to describe what is expected from the delegate.

e Planned start/finish date - to ensure that the work does not commence until a specified date and when it must be finished.

e Planned effort/cost - to clarify what is involved in developing the product and how much budget is available.

e Dependencies - to ensure that the delegatee is aware of who and what else is dependent on the product(s) to be delivered, and what will be required to produce them (a product flow diagram is helpful here).

e Prerequisite products - to allow the delegatee access to previously developed products which may be needed to develop a required new product (for instance, to develop a course definition document, the developer will need the "gathered requirements").

This list focuses on the outcome expected from the delegatee. However, as the delegator remains accountable for the success or failure of the work being undertaken, care must be taken to agree a further set of terms that describe how the delegated work will be controlled:

e Timesheet code - to allow the delegatee to charge hours or costs to the appropriate project account so the delegator can monitor spending.

e Skills/experience required - to make sure the delegatee sufficiently understands the competencies required by the individual(s) who are to do the work (for instance, it may have been specified that the work could be suitable for a trainee). e Roles - to explicitly describe the responsibilities of each party so that there is no confusion about who is accountable for the work. The delegator remains accountable despite having given some limited authority to the delegatee. e Reporting arrangements - to make clear when and how the delegator and delegatee will monitor and report progress. e Escalation conditions - to make sure that the delegatee knows the terms for escalation as soon as any risk to the timescale or budget is identified, thus enabling the delegator to intervene well in advance of the targets being breached. e Techniques, processes, procedures - to describe any approaches or standards to which the delegatee should conform.

Some projects require a structured approach to delegation, particularly where external suppliers are to do some of the work. In such cases, the arrangement between the delegator (the client) and the delegatee (the supplier) should be set out in the contractual terms of reference and cover the points identified above. Even when not using external suppliers, many organisations use terms of reference to describe the relationship and commitments between client and supplier departments. In large companies especially, these enable project managers to monitor and control the packets of work for which they remain accountable.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment