When Not to Delegate the Workpdtcseo
Delegating work is the only way successful companies are run. No one can do everything by themselves, and for their own wellbeing, they frankly shouldn’t try.
However, there are cases in which it is detrimental to delegate work.
The Problem with Delegating Work to Assistants
In our own field, we struggle working with the decision-maker’s assistant. These assistant’s are always very nice. They’re smart, capable, and lovely to work with. However, they don’t get the final say in any given design. They’re trying to interpret what is said to them, then convey it to us to then interpret.
We get this most with website design (though it happens elsewhere, as well). A business owner is busy and is delegating work they don’t have the bandwidth for. They give an assistant oversight of the web project because they don’t have time to attend the meetings, view the proofs, send over corrections, and start all over again.
So instead, they tell the assistant what they want and go about their day. The problem is with interpretation. The more hands information passes through, the less accurate it gets. You see this in the playground game Telephone.
By the time we get a design proofed back to the assistant, the end product usually isn’t anything at all what was originally asked for, thanks to the game of Design Telephone we just played. Delegating work to the assistant in this case has gone awry.
Example of Assistants Gone Wrong
In one instance, a conversation took place between the business owner and the assistant (which we were not part of). The assistant came back to us and said, “Basically she wants it to look like her old site, just refreshed.”
So we gave it a more modern template on a better platform. But all things considered, we more or less duplicated her old site.
When it came time to get owner approval to launch, she became extremely distressed and sent us a long email. It said she didn’t understand what she was paying for, if we were just going to copy the old site. If she had wanted the old site, she would have just kept it. She threatened to hire a different company.
Now we were distressed and frustrated, because we had done as the assistant asked. We spent hours on this design, following instructions, only to be threatened with losing the job entirely. Eventually, after working directly with the owner, we were able to clear up the confusion and come up with a design she loved.
In another, we were told the assistant had a design background and would be handling the entire process. The owner was extremely confident that delegating work of this nature was failproof. The assistant was given free reign to design to her tastes (within certain parameters), with final approval going to the owner. However, it (unsurprisingly) turned out that the owner actually had very specific things he had in mind which did not coincide with the assistant’s taste or decisions. Once again, we were in hot water for designing a website that was “all wrong.”
This went back and forth for several months before we finally had to have a discussion with the owner. We needed to solely work with him going forward or we needed to part ways. We were wasting hours of his time and ours (and therefore losing money) going back and forth the way we were.
Once communication directly with the decision maker began, the website was completed in a matter of days. We’re working with him again on another project as we write this.
The Delegation Paradox
People delegate work to save time and money. Efficiency is profitable, after all. However, if a project that shouldn’t be delegated is given to someone else, it will always, always, always, end up taking longer and costing more than if you had handled it yourself. Trust us, we have plenty of experience with Delegation Gone Wrong(™).
With that in mind, we’ve put together instances in which delegating work is not beneficial to our clients.
When Delegating Work is Counterproductive
- When a project is unique and needs to be done a certain way
- When the person put in charge does not fully understand the project or what needs to be done
- When the project has not been fully thought through and fleshed out
- When it will take more time to explain what you need to be done (as well as manage) than it would to manage it yourself
- And mostly, especially in regard to working with creative projects, when the person put in charge does not have decision making authority/final say
The Bottom Line
There are times when delegating work is counterproductive. It results in more time, money, and headache spent than if you handle the project directly. Polarity Design Team prides ourselves on our ability to communicate with our clients. We take even more pride in the work we produce. Working directly with the decision maker ensures both of those items happen effectively. When you’re ready to take on your own project, you can contact us here.