John Maxwell shares project delegation tactics in his latest blog post. Within the 10-80-10 delegation framework, the leader is most active at start of project where they set vision, direction, and help define the blueprint for project success.  Then the project manager delegates detailed responsibilities to team to carry out the plan. Finally at the end, there is a need to “seal the deal” and ensure a thoroughly completed project, including satisfaction by the stakeholders.

QUOTE: If you know me, you’re already aware that I’m a big fan of delegation. I delegate almost everything. But there are right ways and wrong ways to delegate. The 10-80-10 Principle is what I consider the best way to delegate.

Here it is in a nutshell. For any project, I divide the total process (100%) into the first 10%, the middle 80%, and the last 10%. Then, I involve myself in the first and last 10%. The middle 80% is carried by my team. I pour myself into the first 10% in order to get the project started on the right track. Then I hand it off to the team. I interact a little bit with them, but not much. It’s really their baby. After the team has taken the project almost to completion, I dive back in again and help with the final 10%.

I call those two parts the bookends of success. I could also compare the process to piloting a plane. The crucial parts of the flight are the takeoff and landing. They’re the most dangerous, and the most complicated. By involving myself in the team’s project during those crucial times, I’m able to help them make a successful trip.  Here’s what I provide when I involve myself in the first 10%:

  1. The Big Picture
  2. Objectives
  3. Direction
  4. Resources and Support
  5. Responsibility