When you can't or shouldn't DIY, delegate tasks using a Responsibility Grid
Scott Belsky is the author of Making Ideas Happen, a productivity book I haven’t yet read. However, his post at lifehacker caught my eye because of its suggestion to create a Responsibility Grid — something I think a lot of DIY projects could use.
As a Do It Yourself filmmaker I don’t have the most experience delegating tasks and managing teams, because I’ve had to, well, Do It Myself. However, for my upcoming crowdfunding campaign I’m going to have to learn to get over this DIM mentality and empower others — something that I think many of us are often hesitant to do. This isn’t as much of a problem on a film shoot as it is for everything else on a project — on the shoot responsibilities are pretty clear because everyone has specific jobs, but outside the shoot responsibilities tend to blur. In the past I’ve witnessed a sort of paralysis through redundancy — an email comes in and no one on the team is sure whose responsbility it is to answer it, so it takes longer than it should or doesn’t get answered at all. Scheduling becomes a nightmare because it’s decentralized and no one is empowered to handle calendaring and make decisions. Belsky’s responsibility grid seems like a straightforward and elegant solution to this problem:
I’m creating a more refined version in Google Docs right now, which allows for different levels of responsibility (indicating, for example, whether a video requires sign-off from someone else). If this document proves effective over the next few months — and after I’ve refined the system through a trial-by-fire — I’ll post the template here.
Belsky’s article also includes some general productivity tips worth reading. I’m sure all of us can identify with what Belsky calls Creator’s Immediacy:
As leaders of creative projects, we feel an impulse to solve everything quickly. I call this “Creator’s Immediacy”-an instinct to take care of every problem and operational task, no matter how large or small, as soon as it comes up, similar to a mother’s instinct for the care of a newborn baby. However, it becomes nearly impossible to pursue long-term goals when you are guided solely by the most recent e-mail in your in-box or call from a client.
What about you guys, what have you discovered works best for you? I’d love to hear any tips you have for effectively working with a team.