Project Management Institute

A Matter of Trust

We Asked the Project Management Community: What's Your Best Tactical Tip for Delegation?




“Project delegation becomes a nonissue with the right team culture. If you have created a positive project team culture built on trust and have team members who can lead themselves and lead others, then you will always be able to delegate and share the workload. Gone are the old days of the project manager being the head of a large work breakdown structure distributing and managing packages of work. Project managers are becoming dynamic leaders who enable their teams to produce outcomes.”

—Liz Connolly, executive, project and asset management, city of Gold Coast, Gold Coast, Australia


“Knowing your team's potential will help you delegate more effectively. Know the work history of each person and their current position within the structure of the organization. Take note of their expectations and their limitations. Identify unresolved personal conflicts in order to detect possible risks for teamwork. Identify natural leaders to be able to propose an interesting role for them. Identify key skills not yet exploited to consider in the future, based on the organization's interests and objectives. Plan an adequate and feasible training based on each team member's profile. Engage your team members in fun off-work activities that will boost team spirit. Delegating is a complicated task, and you might not always have the full consensus of the people taking over the job. Therefore, it is important to achieve an optimal agreement based on a bond of respect and trust in the team.”

—Marcela Terzi, development manager, Grupo ILHSA S.A., Buenos Aires, Argentina


“Delegation starts with trust. That means trusting the person you're delegating a key task to and empowering them to complete it. I make sure to let them know how this task fits into the bigger picture and when it's needed by. Also, when I delegate I feel accountable to assist the person if or when an issue arises, so they don't fall behind.”

—Jason Orloske, PMP, vice president of operations, ImmunoPrecise, Fargo, North Dakota, USA


“When it comes to delegating, I believe my role is to facilitate coordination among team members and stakeholders. Team members are the subject matter experts in their area, and I need to ensure the right work is done at the right time by the right people. Rather than give explicit direction, I try to use the SMART format for goals and tasks: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. I use more humble inquiry to guide the team, and they provide the answers. If I need to get explicit, the topic is usually the timeline. I acknowledge I need to have dates to meet milestones, and the team always responds.”

—Colleen G. White, PMP, senior project manager, OhioHealth, Columbus, Ohio, USA


“Delegation is about trust, faith and confidence in others—and especially in you. So be yourself, set reasonable goals and build on your strengths while accepting your weaknesses as an opportunity to leverage other people's strengths.”

—Sergio Luis Conte, PhD, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA, PMP, global process and methodology steering committee member, PepsiCo Latin America, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Unclear Expectations

Poor communication can be a barrier to project success.


Source: Communication Barriers in the Modern Workplace, The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2018


Email responses to [email protected] for possible publication in a future issue.

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.



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