Tim, project manager for a large building company in southern Oregon, told Session 9B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"One of the more challenging aspects of our projects with the City of Albany has been their requirements for Operations and Maintenance Manuals. Not only do they want everything in a very specific format, they also require that we provide an electronic copy in addition to the hard copies in ring binders.
The current project is very fast paced. I was overextended and it was time to delegate the onerous task of scanning the volumes of Operations and Maintenance Manuals. My project engineer, Mike, met with me and I used the three step training process to teach him how to scan the documents and ultimately save them on CDís. After showing and explaining to him how to do it, I let him perform all of the steps while I talked him through it. Then I asked him to tell me what he was doing as he performed all of the steps while explaining each step to me. I paid careful attention to see that he not only completed the tasks correctly, and to also be sure he understood what and why he took each step. This was really a way for me to check on me to be sure I had been thorough, complete, and understood.
Soon after this, Laura from the Accounts Payable department joined us. I then had Mike teach her how to complete this task and was pleased when he not only taught her the mechanics of the job, and carefully explained everything, including the why behind the what, I had taught him. In a matter of one hour we tripled the number of people who could now perform this task. I suspected the process was not
optimally streamlined. Now that everyone understood what and how we were approaching the scanning project, we could brainstorm on how we could improve our efficiency when performing this repetitive task. In a short half hour, our ability to perform the process improved substantially and everyone left pleased with the results.
The lesson I learned from this experience is that vocalizing my expectations while teaching a process and delegating a task not only helps to guarantee that the trainee learns to do the task the way it needs to be done, it also helps to make the brainstorming session even more effective.
The action I call you to take is to take time to make sure those you are delegating to are adequately trained, and that when delegating a task, you clearly relay your expectations for success.
The benefit you will gain is improved odds that the task you wish performed will be done to your satisfaction, leading to less stress, less frustration, and greater productivity for all parties involved."