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Tracking delegated projects

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  • Tracking delegated projects

    I am struggling with how to track delegated projects. I am a manager in a software company. I am responsible for dozens of projects at one time (directly and indirectly). I use Outlook, and I use the Netcentrics plug-in.

    Here is a sample scenario. I have delegated a project to a team member. Do I create a W/F task for the entire project? If I want updates on particular tasks as the project rolls forward, do I just add my questions to an @Agenda list for the project manager of the delegated project?

    Just looking forward some hints from others on how they have successfully used GTD for delegated projects.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    @WaitingFor is a wonderful thing

    I don't tend to distinguish between my projects and delegated projects - purely because anything I delegate I still need to be involved in - even if it's only seeing the results.

    The way I tend to work (also using the NetCentrics add-in) is:

    Project = 3000 - Research Project A
    (where 3000 is the study number at our company)

    Under that project, I normally have a series of actions - but if it's a delegated project, I'll normally just have one action (for the person it's delegated to):

    Bob Jones (18/06/07) Update on 3000 - Research Project A
    (tagged @WaitingFor)

    This way, I can review all the projects (and waiting fors) in my (ahem) not-so-weekly review, and since all the projects are in one place (and in one format) I find it easier to view and act.

    Hope this makes some sort of sense




    • #3
      My interpretation of GTD is that a waiting for item is something that does not have a next action. If you are responsible for the delegated project and need to follow up on it, then you are going to want to have a next action on it. Therefore, I would put it on my active project list and set a next action depending on your management style. If you want to ask the team member for an update in two weeks, that NA would go into the tickler or calendar. If you know you are going to have a meeting with that person within an appropriate amount of time, the update can go onto your agenda for that person. If you expect to be sent a status update by Friday, then that could go on the waiting for list and/or you could set a reminder (calendar or tickler) to request it one day later in case it is not received. It seems like giving the person the responsibility to update you and then following up on it if it does not happen would be the most efficient from your perspective. It also allows the team member to get their thoughts organized for the update rather than being surprised by you sticking your head in their door and asking for an impromptu update.


      • #4
        For me, the notation on your @WF list that indicates you've delegated the project is the NA placeholder on your list.

        I agree that if you've delegated an entire project, you're going to want regular updates. When you delegated the project (or as soon afterward as possible), I would sit down with the person, come to agreement on how often they should provide an update, and indicate how you want the update (in a standing meeting, in an email, etc.) and what information you want. If you or your organization provides a template of the information you want, so much the better. You will get a better status this way than you will with an impromptu request by email or in person.


        • #5
          Delegated Projects

          I too am a manager in a software company and I manage 7 direct reports and about a dozen matrixed reports, partner resources and consultants. I currently have work related projects on my plate. I set up each as a project within the Outlook/Netcentrics add-in and for delegated projects I simply set the custom "Delegated To" field to the appropriate person. My next action on each project is generally an @Waiting For or an @Agenda. (Of the 118 projects only 24 belong only to me).

          I track the progress in the notes section of the project item in outlook. This seems to work reasonably well for me.