Documentation Team: How to Delegate Tasks

Posted in TechComm on 9/12/2017

How to delegate tasks

It’s time to accept the facts: you can’t do it all by yourself. As skilled and task-oriented as you may be, juggling multiple projects at once can take a toll on you. You need to let others help you and take some of the pressure off your shoulders.

However, delegating tasks isn’t as simple as it may sound. You need to find the perfect technical writer for the job so that the result is par excellence. For example, if you are pressed for time, look for the writer with the lowest workload and fastest work speed.

But, most importantly, you must avoid falling into one of these two traps: micromanaging the entire user documentation process or failing to supervise your team properly.

This article will teach you how to avoid getting caught in either one of those scenarios.

The Basis of Delegation

You must learn how to assign clear tasks to your team, express expectations, and set deadlines. You also need to implement a tracking system that allows you to give autonomy to the person completing the task, while still being able to supervise them.

Delegation

Don’t get the wrong idea, though. You are still part of the working process, and need to make yourself available for your team should any question arise. User documentation can take a lot of complex forms, depending on the subject or the intent behind the content, so it is quite possible you will have to assign two or more people on that particular project.

It is quite important for a manager to know what’s his team’s capabilities are. Try using our blog post on key skills for technical writers to analyse your own team. It is always helpful to keep this picture in one’s mind.

The Five Steps of Delegation

Here are a few things that can help you ease the delegating process and avoid any inconvenience.

  • Assignments Are Individual: When you are telling your team what they have to do, it’s more efficient to assign each task to a person directly and check to see if everyone is on the same page. Provide clear and accurate instructions, so that they can complete their duties. For example, one person is responsible for writing new topics, another one for making tutorial videos, and so on.
  • Set the goals

  • Give Them the Bigger Picture: It is always easier to work on something if you know what the goals are. Especially when we’re talking about a complex task like creating a knowledge base, each team member should be aware of the outcomes they need to deliver.
  • Give Deadlines, and Stick to Them: It’s very important to tell your team right from the start how much time they can work on something. Explain the importance of them handing in their work on time in correlation to other processes of your business.
  • Use Reports Periodically: When you delegate, you are not actively taking part in the completion of each task, but you have to have a sense of what is going on. The best way to do that is to ask team members to provide reports of their work status. As such, you can have an overview of the process and intervene whenever you have to, thus allowing you to stay within your documentation plan.
  • Tell Them How They Can Contact You: Ideally, a weekly meeting should not be the only chance your team gets to interact with you. They need to know that in case something arises, they can quickly get a hold of you.

It is necessary to mention that keeping most of such info in one place is a great idea. So, think about creating a documentation plan to give employees something to refer to.

Pay additional attention to your working environment - make sure you have all the right tools for better and faster delegation. A lot of help authoring tools contain features improving team workflow and allowing more efficient task delegation, just like teamwork features in ClickHelp.

It’s About Trust

Delegation doesn’t mean the manager isn’t working on anything. It has more to do with the final result itself.

There is a level of trust that needs to exist between the delegators and their team. No management technique can ever replace that.

Good Luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Online Technical Writing & Documentation Tools

 

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