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Delegated projects: review and working with assistant

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  • Delegated projects: review and working with assistant

    Recently I got a personal assistant. One of her responsibilities is to control all the tasks I delegate. I need to line up my work with her. I'm a manager so delegate a lot. I delegate on the run. Usually by email with a copy to her so she make a note in an excel sheet with all the tasks I delegated.

    So I have everything in one excel sheet except for my personal projects.

    My weekly review is not the same as a weekly review of my subordinate. I review the projects I delegated. I don't have to think if they have next actions. I just need to check if I have all the projects I want to have. If any should be added. Then I can simply delegate it right there or put into my OmniFocus and delegate later.

    Didn't find anything about delegation in David Allen's works. So would appreciate your support and advice.

  • #2
    I think all the stuff David Allen said about "Waiting-for's" applies to delegation.

    I don't understand what you mean by "control". I wonder whether you've
    defined what your assistant's responsibilities are precisely enough and whether
    you and she both have the same ideas about what they are.

    Maybe "control" just means "maintain a list of".

    As I see it, for each task there are three people responsible: the person
    whose job it is to do the task. Your assistant -- what should she do?
    Check to see whether the task is done? And ultimately you -- you're
    responsible for checking that the tasks are done, even if your method
    is just to ask your assistant "Did all those tasks get done?" and check
    that her answer is "Yes".

    You may also need to communicate the priority levels of the tasks.
    If one of your workers is busy with other things, they might not find
    time to do something unless you make it clear that it takes a higher
    priority than the other things. You might need to provide your
    workers with clear instructions and the things they need to get the
    job done.

    How do you check whether the instructions were understood well enough?
    How do you check whether the way the job was actually done (which
    might not have been predictable in detail by anybody in advance) is adequate
    for the purpose?

    Maybe the workers need to be asked from time to time when they expect
    to complete a task, how they're planning to do it and whether they have
    everything they need.

    What exactly do you want your assistant to do? What exactly do you yourself need
    to do next about all this, and when? (E.g. wait a week and then ask your
    assistant how many of the tasks are complete.)


    • #3

      thanks for your comments! That looks like a great coaching session

      I want my assistant to collect all the tasks and projects I delegate daily on the run. I do it in details and allow for questions or due date negotiation. That allows me to be calm that somebody (assistant) collects after me, not spend my time on copy&paste from emails or from my phone calls to appropriate project and action lists, not to spend a lot of time to maintain a huge time management system. I want her to control the due dates based on that list and that would allow me to concentrate more on new ideas, not on the control part. When something is due that is being sent to financial department for further proceedings That what I did already.

      Anyway my project list still has some projects. I want to be sure all of them are not delegated so I'm not doing a double job of my assistant.