Delegation – A Leader’s Framework

Following is a great framework for how to properly delegate to subordinates. This is from a good friend of mine – Arlan Friesen.

“The following framework can be used to delegate work and perform problem solving.

The Supervisor’s role:

1. Define the GAME.
2. Select the PLAYER.
3. Provide the RESOURCES.
4. Monitor RESULTS.
5. Define the GAME.

OBJECTIVES – Did I make clear the expected results, goals, or objectives? The most important part of delegation is the initial communication. Be sure there is clear understanding of why the task is being delegated and how it fits into the bigger picture.

RULES – Did I set clear limitations? Make sure that the parameters and perimeters within which the task is to be accomplished are clear. Usually there are budget limitations, regulations, ethical considerations, etc. If necessary, did I clearly specify the process or methodology for the assignment?

An important limitation is the delegated scope of authority, which is one of the following:

• Act, do not inform
• Act, then inform
• Inform, then act
• Inform, do not act

Select the PLAYER

ATTITUDE – Did the person I am delegating to have an appropriate attitude? Did the person accept the delegated responsibility and have a desire to perform the assignment?

ABILITY – Did I delegate to the appropriate person? Do they have the necessary skills, knowledge, maturity, personality, etc.? Set them up for success.

3. Provide the RESOURCES

TOOLS – Did I actively appropriate sufficient resources? It is the supervisor’s job to equip the person with all the needed tools so that the task will be successful. Tools may include:

• Money – capital and expense
• People – additional people with necessary time and skills
• Mantle / Scepter – delegated leadership authority that others have been told of
• Tangible resources – e.g. equipment, computers, etc
• Environment – safe, clean, and suitable environment for the type of work being done

TRAINING – Did I provide the training necessary for the person to be successful? Did I consider various learning styles including information, experience, and insight?

4. Monitor the RESULTS

SCOREBOARD – Did I initiate a self-monitoring control system? It is ideal if the person can clearly monitor his/her own success via measurable accountabilities. Set clear milestones and measurable outcomes along the way. Also establish a “review” process at the end for a project and performance “post-mortem” evaluation.

REWARD – Did I consider how I will reward the achievements of the delegate? Did I also consider what I will do if the person fails to complete the assignment according to the criteria?

5. Provide FEEDBACK / Coaching


What went right?
What could be improved?
What was learned?”

This is really a good approach and I am grateful to Arlan for sharing with me. Let me know what you think about Arlan’s approach.

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