Delegation begins by determining tasks necessary to reach project goals--and then finding the best people to do it. But you still have to check results regularly.
I suggest the following four steps for effective delegation:
1. Define the purpose, importance, deadline and scope of the project, along with the responsibilities of everyone involved. But be clear. You can't just expect team members to ask enough questions.
2. Provide the authority, resources and support team members need to get the job done. Otherwise, their requests to others for help and information may be ignored.
3. Set standards and then make sure staffers know they are responsible for meeting those standards. The key here is accountability. And when a problem arises, don't second-guess your staffer. Use the opportunity to show him or her how to handle it.
4. Set deadlines and enforce them. This establishes a commitment, ensuring decisions and tasks are handled promptly.