How to Delegate Effectively 🤝
Practical advice to do it well.
There is a saying about management that goes: just hire the best people and get out of the way.
But get out of what, exactly?
The problem with such advice is that it assumes that delegation is binary: you either let people do the whole thing, or you will step onto their toes and prevent them from reaching their full potential.
The real world is, of course, more nuanced than this.
The best managers I know don’t simply choose to delegate something: they design how delegation works like they would with a process, or a system.
Delegation is often portrayed as a simple choice, while it is, in fact, a skill. And a tough one.
There is no standard playbook for delegating stuff, because each situation is unique, based on project and people:
🔨 Project — each project has peculiar goals, constraints, and requirements.
🙋♀️ People — each person has their own set of skills, strengths, and weaknesses.
This article wants to be a primer on how to delegate tasks effectively.
As with many management topics, this is part science, part art. The goal of this piece is to illustrate solid principles and techniques, to help you find your own style.
We will cover:
🪴 Benefits of delegation — why you should replace yourself continuously.
🔍 What you should delegate — spoiler: it’s more than you think.
🤝 How to delegate effectively — the three key elements.
➡️ How to get started — a simple process to get the ball rolling.
💡 Tips and mental models — memorable ideas and techniques you can use.
Hey 👋 this is Luca! Welcome to a new ✨ weekly edition ✨ of Refactoring.
Every week I write advice on how to become a better engineering leader, backed by my own experience, research and case studies.
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