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    The Art Of Delegation Is Fundamental To Growth

    The Art Of Delegation Is Fundamental To Growth

    Delegation is vital for effective leadership. Effective distribution of activities can make better use of restricted time and generate opportunity for development.

    Delegation is the assignment of responsibility to another individual for the purpose of carrying out specific activities. Improved time management, increased teamwork and sense of achievements are the key benefits of delegation.

    Auditor need to find ways to maximize the available time. Mixture of reduced workforces, greater stakeholder expectations, the productivity and concentration challenges associated with multitasking leave many auditors wishing there are more hours a day. One approach is to delegate activities. Delegation of activities is important for the auditors who are at Supervisory role.

    Auditors at time are hesitant to delegate work for reason like “it take less time if I do it myself”, such excuses keep auditors from benefiting from one of the best time-management tools. Involving others can help develop their skills and abilities, so next time a similar requirement arises, tasks can be delegated with confidence. Effective time-management requires a lot of candid effort on the part of the delegator. When delegation is approached correctly it allows for the growth of everyone involved in the process.

    Delegating can be helpful in the following situations

    • When the task offers valuable training to an employee
    • When an employee has more knowledge related to the task than delegator
    • When the task is recurring and all employees should be prepared or trained
    • When the task is of less priority and high priority tasks requires your immediate attention

    Describe the Task

    It is important to clearly articulate the task to be performed with time lines for completing the activity, clarification for the situation that requires additional effort. Any specific formatting, style or such other criteria to be followed should be recognized at this stage, for this a high –level picture of what “complete” Job shall look like shall be established. Very often auditors go into delegation without giving clear thought to the full scope of the activity and steps to be performed, decreasing the probability that the delegation will be successful.

    Skill Identification and select the individual or team

    It is important for the delegator to comprehend the necessary skills required to accomplish the task and identify who within the team exhibits those attributes. Adopt an appropriate strategy to delegate the right task to the right people at the right time and in the right way if a task is delegated to a person without adequate skills, it is unlikely the task will be performed adequately and within the expected time frame. Hence the possibility of delegating the similar activities in the future will be reduced. With that in mind, auditors should consider who may be best positioned to complete the activity within the established time frame.


    Support and Communicate Expectations

    Use a systematic step-by-step approach to brief people on what you want to delegate to them. Clear expectations are not always established and shared with the delegate about the specific tasks to be performed. Communicating the expectations in a clear and precise manner prevents errors caused by miscommunication. Common failures in communicating expectations include:

    • Lack of adequate information regarding the task must be performed
    • Unclear direction about the way to carry out the task
    • Not sharing with the intended audience about purpose of the activity
    • Not providing relevant background information
    • Not discussing in advance specific formatting, style or other such criteria

    Understanding the Task

    It is important to ensure that the delegator and the delegate have a mutual understanding of the task. The person who will be performing the task should be encouraged to ask any clarifying questions necessary to better understand the activity, timelines and any other requirements. For clarity the delegator should consider having the delegate repeat back a summary of the activity to provide visibility into any areas in which the expectations may be unclear. Face to face meetings are better suited than email to ensure there is a common understanding; such meeting allows the delegator to read the body language of the delegate to help identify any areas that may be unclear.

    Monitor Regular Progress

    It is important to set regular checkpoints for all delegated activitieswith the person who will be responsible for completing the task especially those that may span several weeks or months. These checkpoints allow the opportunity for the delegate to ask any clarifying questions that may arise during the course of performing the activity. They also enable the delegator to confirm the task is being performed as intended and it is always better to identify early in the process.

    Scope for Improvement

    Delegation sometime may be a skirmish and may push delegator and delegate out of their comfort zones, it can give a fresh set of eyes to an activity that has traditionally been performed by one person. This not only maximizes audits limited time, but new insights can create opportunity for improvement all around. Good delegation saves time, develops employees, grooms a successor and motivates.

    This article is contributed by Partners of SBS and Company LLP - Chartered Accountant Company. You can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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