5 Easy Steps to Track Delegated Tasks

Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard
Updated Feb 26, 2023
6 min read
Track delegated tasks in Workjoy
In Workjoy you can instantly see all your delegated tasks from the Delegated Tasks tab.

As leaders our job is to delegate - but it all falls apart quickly if we don't have an efficient way of following up.

Most leaders know the struggle and it ends up with us spending a ton of our and our team’s time in status update meetings just for us to be on top.

If you have a proper system that makes tracking delegated tasks easy, you should be able to know where your team is without needing to interrupt their work.

In this article, you will learn how to keep track of delegated tasks, following the following framework:

If it's not written down then it's not work

This is a question about the culture you create as a leader. Should work be implicit or explicit?

If you are not careful, most work becomes implicit. A ton of things are delegated verbally or unstructured through email or chat apps. This makes it impossible for you as a leader to follow your teams true workload. Worse even, it leads to your team losing track of their work and feeling overwhelmed and behind.

As a leader, you have the responsibility to create an environment for them to do their best work. The most effective way to do it is by creating a norm where all work should be explicit : "If it's not written down then it's not work".

Where you write it down is up to you but it should be a place that makes it easy for everyone to access. There are a ton of options - we have built tasks right into Workjoy so your team always has a place to write it down at hand.

Set clear responsibilities and deadlines

Once it is written down, the next problem is to make sure it gets done. The biggest mistake leaders make here is not being clear about basic expectations such as deadlines and task ownership .

How can a team member get things done in time if you have not defined what on-time is? Common misconception is the effectiveness of words like "soon" or "asap". Always replace any of those with exact dates like "Tuesday the 8th at 10:00".

The next problem is not delegating your task to a clear owner but instead to no-one or a whole team. As the famous psychologist Albert Bandura writes:

Where everyone is responsible, no one is really responsible. Albert Bandura, Selective Activation and Disengagement of Moral Control

Why is this? Well, it allows everyone on the team to believe that someone else will take care of it.

There is only one way and that is to appoint one singular person as responsible. If they need help they can then easily delegate sub-tasks to their colleagues - again with a clear delegation to only a single person.

Make tracking delegated tasks and following up easy without a meeting

Now that you have things written down and clearly delegated you have done 90% of the work as a leader! 🥳

The next step is to implement a good framework for following up.

The easiest is just regular meetings like stand-ups or status meetings. But those are crazy ineffective and are repeatedly found to be somewhat a waste of time for your team .

Let's do the math on an 8 person team doing just a weekly update meeting:

A single status meeting costs $13.020 every year! 😱

And we have not even counted in the work that could be done in the 416 work-hours that are spent on just updates every year.

This is a huge waste of time. Especially with most professionals preferring doing their work to doing status meetings.

All of this is just to highlight how costly the default solution for updates is.

This is why using task managers for all work is so valuable. Your task manager knows how to monitor delegated tasks and can show you all delegated tasks in one place so that you can track delegated tasks without interrupting your team or having a status meeting.

Don't be afraid to re-prioritize

A big mistake all humans make is seeing a task as a dedicated commitment once written down. This leads to a huge backlog of work that stresses us out and for many it is why they don't write down agreed tasks.

As a leader you need to help your team with removing tasks that are no longer the most important ones.

Either by pushing the deadline far out in the future or simply by deleting them.

Your colleagues can only handle a certain amount of work and having a big backlog will only slow them down.

A good rule of thumb is simple: For any overdue task, the deadline should either be pushed or deleted. It is you, as a leader, who makes that decision.

Free up your team for the important work.

Build feedback into your workflows

Most professionals know they need feedback to grow and progress in their career - but why is it still so uncomfortable to receive (and even to give)?

A big problem with feedback is timing - it usually does not come at an expected time. If you have delegated a task that you think could have been done better, the chance is that the feedback is not given in the work loop but instead:

But if you have feedback as an expected part of your workflow, it becomes you helping them instead of them getting unexpected criticism.

Summary: Tracking delegated tasks effortlessly

To conclude, here is how to keep track of delegated tasks in 5 easy steps :

All of the above are hard to find in a single tool which is the sole reason we have built tracking delegated tasks natively into Workjoy.

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