The Voluntary Life: 108 Three Ways To Delegate

15 May 2013

108 Three Ways To Delegate

This episode is about three approaches to delegating work within your business. No business can grow unless the founder is able to delegate work to a wider team of people. It's essential that tasks are properly delegated and that the business owner doesn't abdicate responsibility. However, there are three very different ways to delegate:

  • The Operations Manual Approach is where detailed standards and procedures are defined for how all tasks are to be undertaken. Work is typically undertaken by relatively inexperienced employees, who learn to follow detailed specifications.
  • The Results Only Work Environment is where employees are given clear targets or results to meet and it is up to them how they do so. They create their own work procedures and have maximum freedom on issues like whether to work at home.
  • The Outsourcing Approach is where work is delegated to independent contractors or virtual assistants. Fixed costs are kept low by avoiding hiring employees as much as possible. Work is typically outsourced on a specific fee-for-project basis.

The episode explores the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches.


Show Notes:
Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
Maverick by Ricardo Semler
Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne

Podcast Episode

3 comments:

  1. I think the Results-only-work-environment is difficult to implement, because it exists in a corporation where many people's jobs are inter-dependent. Also, a proportion of the employees will not be sufficiently-capable or sufficiently-motivated to organise themselves for best results. I think a corporation must split its workload between "worker bees" supported by policies, training and supervision; and between well-motivated enternal contractors.

    My own business (paid research) is outsourced no a fee-per-task basis, where the tasks are as small as possible. The downside is that some tasks would benefit from more co-operation between the contractors, but the remuneration model doesn't really support this. As a result, the successful contractors tend to be those who are task-focused introverts. This is not necessarily a bad thing for "work-from-home" contractors.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback Roger!

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  2. In my comment above, the word "enternal" should be "external".

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