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Delegating Successfully

If you would like to increase the chances of the delegated task being completed to your satisfaction use the CPQQRT approach and make sure you communicate the following points when giving instructions

Monday 8 October 2012


By Mark Johnson

Many managers and leaders I work with find it difficult to delegate effectively.  By effectively I mean ensuring the person to whom a task is delegated has a good understanding of what is expected and is motivated to do it.  Usually the problem lies with how the task has been delegated and not the individual who is being asked to perform the task. 

Of course you need to first identify who you will delegate the task to, the risk involved, the skills required and the reason why you are delegating the task to that specific person.  Then you need to have a clear and specific conversation.

If you would like to increase the chances of the delegated task being completed to your satisfaction use the CPQQRT approach and make sure you communicate the following points when giving instructions:

  • Context – This is the “What” of the task – what must be done, what is to be achieved
  • Purpose – This answers the “Why” – why is this important
  • Quality and Quantity – this gives the “standards” to be met
  • Resources – This says how the task can be achieved.  Resources includes other people, money, technology, tools & equipment or materials
  • Time – This says “When” the task has to be done by.

So for example if you need a report completed you might say something like . . .

“Gary I need you to complete a report on this year’s team survey results so we can discuss recommended initiatives at the next senior manager’s meeting (Context & Purpose).  I’d like you to analyse the results for trends and areas of concern by category for team, department and business unit levels and use graphs where possible with general commentary (Quality and Quantity).  You’ll need to talk to each of the HR Managers in the business units for their input (Resources).  So we can be ready for the next meeting I will need it by close of business next Tuesday (Time).

This approach won’t guarantee the task will be done right the first time, but it does give you a conversation to refer to if it is not completed in accordance with your expectations.


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