Assign someone responsibility of something with confidence. Ensure that they have the proper understanding, skills and resources to execute on the responbility comfortably. Ensure that the responsibility gets executed in a timely manner and in a predictable way.

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Identify motivation

Identify why you want to delegate. The motivation for delegating something might be to:

  • Take better care of something that is important to the team and for which no one has been clearly assigned responsibility
  • Free up more of your own time to focus on more strategic and long-term work
  • Test out the abilities of someone who has indicated that they are ready to take on more responsibility
  • Ensure that key responsibilities are more widely understood and can be executed by more people (reduce bus factor)
Identify what to delegate

Identify what you want to delegate. You might want to delegate an individual responsiblity, or collections of responsibilities like the responsibility for:

  • Objectives
  • Roles
  • Teams
  • People
  • Topics
  • Health pillars
Articulate intention

Describe the purpose of the responsibility.

The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism, said

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime".

Articulating the intention is akind to explaining why learning fishing is useful in the first place, which outcomes it will help produce and which pains it will help alleviate.

You might also consider articulating which perspectives one should evaluate in order to consider quality of process and outcome, and, if neccessary, which perspectives trumph others.

Indicate regularity

Describe how frequently you expect the responsibility/responsibilities to be tended to.

Identify required skillsets

Which skillsets does the assignee need to master in order to adhere to the responbility comfortably and confidently. How proficient do they need to be?

To properly articulate what it means to be proficient, use the process for describing a skillset.

Identify resources

What types of resources would be benefitial for the person to complete the responsibility quickly, predictably and with less efforts.

Examples of resources include:

  • Step-by-step checklists for how to execute the responsibility
  • Tools or equipment used to carry out the responsibility
  • Budget to cover costs pertaining to the responbility
Identify candidates

Identify people who are candidates for taking on the responsibility. Candidates might include:

  • People who already, or with some training, hold the required skills
  • People with available capacity
  • People who you belive are capable of more

Sell them on what you want to delegate to them and make sure they are open and  motivated to take on the responsibility.

Assign responsibility

Upon agreement with the candidates, assign the person/people responsibility in your responsibility assignment system and inform them of the assignment.


Collect feedback on how famiiliar people feel with the responsibilities assigned to them. Is there anything they find unclear? Is there anything with which they require assistance?


Ensure that the responsibility is predictably carried out at the expected intervals. This includes setting aside recurring timeslots to execute on the responsibility.

Check in

Check in the the assignee regularly to ensure that they feel comfortable executing on the responsibility and address any questions or blockers they may have.


After some time has passed, evaluate wow successful has the delegation process has been.

  • Has the person been ready to take on this responsibility, or was it too soon?
  • Has the person had sufficient capacity to take on this responsibility, or has other, important work suffered?
  • Is the person comfortable doing this type of work?
  • Have we achieved the outcomes we set out to achieve by delegating (our motivation for delegating)?

If the delegation is deemed to be unsuccessful, use a tool like behavioural obstacles to determine where and why the delegation has failed.