Use “Task Sharing” Features with Caution

Many collaboration features mean well but are poorly implemented for team TRO or GTD. Problems include: losing control of the assigned task (so it is stuck in your lists without being able to re-process it), contention over task editing, convoluted permissions, losing sight of shared tasks, inadequate notifications and follow-up for assigned tasks, seeing someone else’s tags in your task lists, and much more.

When delegation is important, use the approach below, or check our lists for tested and recommended team TRO apps (look for the TRO symbol and collaboration support), or ask a coach. You’ll be glad you followed our advice on this one!

To delegate an assignment using your task manager:

Delegation = Asking

To delegate, just ask them if they will do it. Asking allows them to say “yes,” which increases buy-in. If they have concerns, it makes it safe to discuss them, so you get a good handoff instead of a fumble.

  • Ask them to do it. Communicate what the look, feel, objective, and motivating reasons are for the task/project. Listen to what they think you are asking them to do. Good communication will ensure that the right task is accomplished with minimal supervision. If you can ask them in less than 2 minutes, do it now (email, phone). Otherwise, the next step is Ask [person] to [action].
    • Ex: Ask John to create patent description
  • After it is assigned, follow up on tasks you handed out. The next step is always “Waiting for [person] to [action]”. When you schedule that step, you will flag it for follow-up and choose smart dates to check up if you haven’t heard back yet. This ensures that the task moves forward.
    • Ex: W/F John to create patent description

    Waiting For steps will be explained more in the next lesson.