Is Delegation a Continous or Analog Function
In electronics, signals may be either analog or digital. Analog signals are smooth and continuous while digital signals are composed of small discrete steps. In binary systems, a digital signal is either on or off.
Think about the difference between a staircase and a ramp for a real-world example we can use to visualize the difference between an analog or continuous system and a digital or binary system. If you have a single step, you are either on top of the step or at the bottom. However, if you have a ramp covering the same space you are located at an infinite number of locations between the top and the bottom.
As a manager when delegating responsibilities, it is best to treat delegation as an analog function. The responsibility for a task is not solely yours or your teammates, employees, or associates. Since the buck stops at your desk as a manager any responsibility, any activity you delegate, ultimately is yours.
When you delegate responsibility, you are not handing it off to someone else you are sharing it. I recommend the following simple process to ensure smoother sharing of responsibilities with a goal that maximizes your long-term effectiveness as a manager.
After assigning a new task to a team member, check with them often, perhaps every couple of hours to ensure they clearly understand the activity. Then as you gain confidence in their understanding back off to daily check-ins, then a couple of times a week and depending on the activities and the impact of failure on the organization ultimately monthly. You are implementing delegation as a continuous or analog function, and not a binary function where you either own it or your associate owns it.
This analog or continuous approach to delegation builds trust and confidence between managers and team members. It limits risks to the organization, and it works.