Leaders often want to get tasks done themselves to ensure quality and timely completion, but no leader can do it all. Delegating certain tasks to other members of your team frees up time so that you can get more accomplished and continue to grow in your leadership position. And as tech leaders play increasingly large roles in companies, it’s essential for them to embrace the art of delegation.
IT leaders have a lot of unique opportunities to delegate work, from automating repetitive tasks to appointing someone to oversee product management. Here, 14 members of Forbes Technology Council share some tasks IT leaders should get off their plates as soon as possible.
Even the hardware industry is going through Agile transformation, where teams are empowered to make decisions independently and focus on bringing new innovations to market quickly. The software industry has widely embraced the Agile operating model, but with the emergence of increasingly digitized physical products, more traditional industries should follow. - Maciej Kranz, KONE
I believe the best tasks to delegate need to meet two requirements. 1. They shouldn’t require your leadership skills to do successfully. 2. Delegated tasks should help the person the task is delegated to learn and grow in meaningful ways. For instance, I delegate internal documentation to other team members so they can better understand our processes and workflows. - Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
The principle of “highest and best use” means tech teams need to let go of the notion that all technological or operational challenges should be owned by them. Outsourcing is one option, but specifically, I’m referring to the “trust” of delegating work to a machine—a machine that can perform highly repeatable and lower-level work that is best suited for nonhumans, both for job satisfaction and for HABU. - Amit Eyal Govrin, Kubiya.ai
It depends on your role, but a common one for IT leaders to delegate is project management. As a senior engineer, you likely have your hands on many different projects, especially if you’re in charge of hiring. Project management is something you can easily hand off to another engineer. - John Giordani, NCheng LLP
For a tech leader who has to head strategic decisions, delegating regular day-to-day responsibilities and repetitive tasks to the team is more of a necessity. The key is to surround yourself with people who have the right skill sets to steer operations while you focus on the things that demand your attention. Give them enough power to make wise decisions on your behalf within their roles. - Dharmesh Acharya, Radixweb
It’s easy to see that today’s most influential tech leaders depend greatly upon their team and greater organization to achieve today’s most incredible technological feats. To this end, IT leadership should only focus on operations that guide the greater business and delegate implementation to their team. Together, organizations can achieve unimaginable success. - Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC
There is not one single task that should be delegated to other team members. Rather, find out what their individual strengths and passions are and delegate appropriate tasks to appropriate team members. This will ensure the best outcome for your business. - Matt Pierce, Immediate
As technicians, we will always want to “solve” the problem. The key to good delegation is to remove yourself from the decision chain. The risk of our jumping in on the “crisis du jour” is too high if we don’t separate ourselves from the inbox. - Patrick Emmons, DragonSpears, Inc.
Leadership comes down to using the team you have well, and it looks very different depending on who the personnel are. Get to know your team—especially your top leadership team—very well and play to their strengths. Don’t be afraid of delegating roles that you normally keep close to the chest when you have exceptional people. - Abhinav Sharma, Insight Browser
Follow a set of standard delegation rules. 1. Identify a set of repetitive tasks that take up a good chunk of your time, and transfer them to someone else. 2. Verify a successful execution. 3. Repeat for the next set of repetitive tasks. This approach allows you to systematically free up your time for something better, while the repetitive nature of the tasks makes it easy to offload them and to verify the expected results. - Andrei Kasyanau, Glorium Technologies
One thing you should delegate is the product roadmap—it should be handled by the product manager. While it’s tempting to want to have this responsibility under your control due to its importance, the product roadmap is a complex task that requires its own dedicated person in order to be taken care of adequately. As an IT leader, you should manage the product manager, but not the product roadmap itself. - Peter Abualzolof, Mashvisor
Strategic leaders tend to hire a team where each individual does at least one thing better than them; in this way, the company can innovate collaboratively. Following this principle, IT leaders must delegate strategic innovation to department heads, while their role should be the orchestration of the creative process according to the company strategy and goals—but not the implementation of their ideas. - Aleks Farseev, SoMin.ai
The role of any leader is to see the big picture and ensure everybody understands and follows this vision. To accomplish that, one should delegate technical, recurring tasks or tasks that require little skill. Tasks your employees learn from should also be delegated, especially if you know the strengths and weaknesses of your employees and can help them develop by assigning the right tasks. - Igor Khalatian, Iris Dating
Innovative technology leaders will delegate large portions of annual performance reviews—particularly those related to team and employee development—to their team members. This will ensure complete transparency on department goals and incentives and will require leaders to ensure their actions are promoting the interests of their employees. - Malcolm Hawker, Profisee