Delegation Planning Worksheet

Tool/Example by Joan FriedlanderOnce you know what you might want to delegate (see my article Dare to Delegate for an introduction to effective delegation), it’s time to start to think about whom to delegate it to. Depending on what the task, project or area of responsibility is, you may or may not have someone identified. The purpose of the Delegation Planning Worksheet is twofold.

  1. It helps you think a little more about your reason – and motivation – for delegating, and about how much responsibility you want to give someone.
  2. It helps you plan for the delegation meeting, to think about the tools you need on hand and the steps you need to outline.

Believe me when I tell you that stopping to plan for delegating will go a long way to make it easier. Many people either just dump a project on someone with little explanation, or are so reluctant to delegate that they end up not doing so (thinking, “It’s easier to just do it myself”).

Here’s how to use the Delegation Planning Worksheet (you can download it below).

  1. Task or Area of Responsibility – Identify this in as much detail as you need to.
  2. Statement/Purpose for Delegation – Make the case for delegating this task, project, or area of responsibility by writing a short statement of purpose. This is your motivation, and helps you see how it fits the bigger picture. Take the long-term view of your business when you articulate the purpose. Remember to tell the person you delegate to about the purpose. This helps create ownership.
  3. Level of Responsibility – Make an assessment, on a scale of 1-5, what level of responsibility you’ll be giving this person for this task or project. Level 5 means that they’re completely in charge of how it gets done. Level 1 means they must follow your directions exactly.
  4. Benefits to Me/Business – Write a short statement about how this will directly benefit you and/or your business. The “Purpose for Delegation” above is a bigger picture look at the benefit. Your reply here should point to the specific problem you’re solving by delegating this task or project. Examples: get something off your plate that you hate doing, become better able to respond to requests in a more timely manner, have someone with much more skill in the area get it done twice as fast as you can, etc.
  5. Benefits to the Person Being Delegated to – What’s in it for them? A sense of productivity and contribution? Learning a new skill? More money? It doesn’t matter how big or small. In our owner-centered world where we want everything to be just so, it helps to think about how what we delegate will benefit someone else. Why is this important? I once had a client who was reluctant to delegate things she didn’t like doing. It made her feel guilty. She assumed that because she didn’t like it, the person she delegated to wouldn’t either!
  6. Tools/Resources Needed for Effective Delegation – Make a list of the things that you’re going to need on hand to make it easier to turn this project or task over to someone else. Think about equipment, software, instructions, Internet connectivity, examples, etc. Just this one step, although it may take some time, will make the delegation go much more smoothly. It may also show you some things you need to put in place first, that if you don’t have them will make delegation much more difficult.
  7. Important Steps of the Process, Position or Procedure – This is where you outline specific steps, and other areas you’ll want to cover, when you are with the person you’re delegating to. If needed, you may want to utilize a more comprehensive project planning worksheet for more detailed tasks or projects.

For lots more about the delegation process, be sure to read my article Dare to Delegate.

Delegation Planning Worksheet (Word)

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