The Critical Role of Delegation in Project Management

Project management is a multifaceted and indispensable discipline that transcends organizational boundaries involving all departments. The success or failure of projects relies not solely on the shoulders of project managers but significantly on the organization’s ability to provide them with the requisite support, collaboration, and insights. The strength of project management is contingent on its weakest link, as any gap in the process can send an entire project spiraling out of control. Therefore, supporting designated roles and delegating seamlessly in project management is paramount, enabling teams to maintain control and execute projects flawlessly. When empowered to exercise leadership, project managers can optimize internal systems and drive necessary changes.


The Importance of Delegation

Effective delegation in project management is integral to a company’s delivery because it ensures projects remain on course and are executed precisely. Delegation allows project managers to distribute work among teams, providing comprehensive coverage of planning and delivery processes. This, in turn, leads to better control of the project portfolio.


The Six Roles to Delegate in Project Management

Project management entails six core roles that collectively form the foundation of control. The compelling interplay of these roles is vital for project success. Delegation of responsibilities within these roles helps maintain the integrity of the project portfolio. These roles are categorized into three complementary pairs:

  1. Leadership and Expertise

    Leadership involves overseeing the big picture and handling escalating circumstances with the support of stakeholders. Project managers may not always be subject matter experts, so they require the freedom to seek knowledge from experts in various aspects of the project.

    Subject matter experts provide contextual insights when needed. For example, a project may require marketing expertise or technical insights, and a subject matter expert can guide the project manager in resolving such issues.

  2. Analysis and Scheduling

    Project management involves continually aligning plans with project execution reality. Data analysis and scheduling are critical for comprehending project progress and updating plans

    Many project managers lack the necessary analytical and scheduling skills; sometimes, the right technologies are not in place. Without these skills and tools, project managers cannot accurately determine if their projects are under control, making it difficult to assemble the required expertise and leadership.

  3. Coordination and Administration

    Effective project management necessitates meticulous attention to detail, such as clear communication, schedule adherence, and comprehensive documentation.

    Missteps, such as communication lapses or a lack of documentation, can disrupt a project’s progress. Regardless of their leadership skills, project managers must ensure everyone is on the same page to prevent errors from derailing the project.

Delegation in project management is a linchpin for success. Project managers need the support of designated roles to ensure comprehensive control over projects. The interplay of the six critical roles is essential, and delegation allows project managers to harness the necessary expertise and resources to drive projects to success. Delegation empowers project managers to focus on leadership, optimize internal systems, and make strategic changes when required, resulting in a higher return on the project portfolio. Conversely, project managers may become mired in tasks below their expertise level without these supportive elements, potentially jeopardizing critical initiatives. Effective delegation is the compass that ensures projects stay on course and reach their desired destination.

WiserWulff helps companies achieve successful project outcomes by implementing effective portfolio, program, and project management and adopting leadership and delegation strategies to deliver business results.

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