Friday, November 07, 2014

When To Delegate

(Image: Some of the bathrooms didn't have an electrical outlet. Weird, right? I hired a friend who's an electrician and we spent a weekend adding electricity to the bathrooms.)

When buying the apartment building, we knew we were going to hire people to help. The big question though was what I would delegate and what I would do myself. Around that same time Inc had an interesting article called "When to Delegate? Try the 70 Percent Rule" (via LifeHacker). Here's the main point:
"Smart CEOs, on the other hand, use the "70 percent rule." Put simply, if the person the CEO would like to perform the task is able to do it at least 70 percent as well as he can, he should delegate it. Is it frustrating that the task won't be done with the same degree of perfection or perceived perfection that the CEO himself could achieve? Sure! But let go of perfection. Is it easier said than done? Yes, certainly. But there is no place for perfection when it comes to delegation. The upside for the CEO is that he doesn't need to spend any time on the task--zero. The "return on time" doesn't spend on that task is infinite, in addition to gaining that same time to invest in a higher impact project."
This helped point me the right direction. It also helped that I'm not a master craftsmen, so the barrier is pretty low. :)

After a few days of observation, I got a good idea of their skill level and was able to pick the tasks I would do verses the ones they would do. For example, I built a new wall because I had the vision and expertise. I let them patch large sections of drywall because 70% would still look good enough.

It also got me thinking about other aspects of my business, like accounting and record keeping. I'm good at it, but it does take time. Is this something I could delegate? Would 70% be good enough? Honestly, no. It would need to be pretty close to 100%. Then I started thinking about systems. Is there a way to build a system that makes it easy enough to run that 70% is more a question of how long it takes instead of the accuracy? That sounds quite do-able. McDonalds figured it out, I could too.

So that's my next step. To focus on building systems that will enable me to easily delegate a task without having to worry about too many errors being made.

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