There are only so many hours in the day to do every single task that needs to be done. That’s why effective and efficient delegation (CRM Task Management) is a skill that every entrepreneur needs to learn.
That’s the hard part: learning and mastering how to effectively and productively delegate tasks. There are three basic questions that you need to ask yourself in order to identify whether or not you need to delegate a task:
- Am I the best person to be doing this thing?
- If not, then who else could be doing this thing?
- If someone else was doing this thing, then what could I be doing instead to grow my business?
Asking and answering these questions should become second nature; a mental reflex like breathing or walking. You don’t need to remember, you just do it.
Fortunately, once you get past the hard part, WORKetc CRM task management makes the next few steps a whole lot easier.
Super-fast Delegation in Gmail and Outlook
One of the very first things that people do at the office is check emails. With WORKetc’s Gmail and Outlook add-ins, you can start assigning tasks while you’re emptying your inbox.
With the Gmail gadget, you can turn any email into a new contact, sales lead, support case, project, or task. These items can then be assigned to any employee or workgroup (except for leads) without leaving your Gmail inbox. The Outlook add-in works the same way.
With these two integrated features, you can immediately delegate and assign tasks as soon as you read an email.
Let’s say a new client sends you an email asking for a short bio they’ll use in an upcoming article about you and your business. You can quickly create a task called “Send Bio”, assign it to your secretary, and attach the original email to the task so your secretary has all the details they need.
Finally, remember to set deadlines on any delegated tasks. You can do this by clicking the checkbox next to “Deadline” on the Create a Task pop-up, setting a deadline date, and setting a deadline time.
Taking Advantage of Workgroups
To answer question number two in the three basic questions mentioned above, you need to know who can do what tasks effectively. By grouping up your employees into workgroups, identifying which people to assign a particular task to becomes quicker and easier.
You can, for example, create a workgroup called “Content”, to which you assign any content-related tasks for your company website that you need to delegate. Or you could also create a “Developers” workgroup that can handle all of the code-related issues that you need handled for your company’s app.
I touched on workgroups just recently, but for posterity here’s how you can set one up in WORKetc. Simply mouse over the Contacts tab on the main toolbar and click the “+” icon next to “Workgroups”. You can also easily add or remove people to workgroups via Contacts > Workgroups and clicking the workgroup you wish to edit.
Do note that you can’t assign leads to workgroups. These items can only be assigned to single contacts.
Tracking and Following Up on Delegated Tasks
The more tasks you delegate, the more you need to remember to follow up on.
For example, if you delegate five tasks each to five people every Monday, you’d have a total of 25 tasks to follow up on each week. Multiply that by four to cover a whole month, and you’re following up on 100 tasks.
Remembering to follow up on all of these tasks can be hard if all you have to rely on is your memory. With WORKetc, there’s an easier and more efficient way to do it: smartlists.
Check out the screenshot below. Let’s say Terry regularly delegates tasks to only three people: Grace, Justin, and Laurel. She can simply create a smartlist that filters for tasks she created and includes Grace, Justin, and Laurel.
This smartlist will let you quickly view all tasks you delegated to these three people. You can then slice and dice the smartlist data further by sorting it according to priority, status, deadline, and more.
By keeping an eye on task progress using WORKetc’s CRM task management, she can also quickly see which delegated tasks are on track and which are not.
For example, if towards the end of Terry’s day she sees a task that she created yesterday, with a deadline for tomorrow, and delegated to Grace, but it’s still stuck at 0% progress, she can quickly follow up with Anne and start a discussion thread asking why she hasn’t yet worked on the task. If Terry requests a response from Grace on the discussion she can make sure Grace sees her follow-up questions.
To make the process of reviewing and following up even faster, you can turn these smartlists into bookmarks, making them accessible immediately with one click from anywhere in WORKetc.
After creating the smartlist, simply click on the star icon next to the smartlist name in Reports > Smart Lists. This will add the smartlist to the bookmark tab, which is accessible from anywhere in WORKetc and lets you review your delegated tasks anytime you need to, with just one click.
You can also use tags to track all tasks you’ve delegated. This can be particularly useful if you delegate a lot of tasks to a large number of people every day.
First, create a “Delegated” tag in Settings > Tags and set it to show up on Tasks. When you delegate tasks at the start of your day (whether through Gmail or Outlook), add this tag to all delegated tasks.
You can then create a smartlist that filters for all tasks that have the “Delegated” tag, bookmark it, and use it to track all tasks you’ve assigned to others. This way, you help ensure accountability.
I’m not sure if my boss uses the worketc outlook plugin, but he really should. We got an email from a client earlier in the week, and he ended up just forwarded it to myself and the other team lead. Would’ve made a lot more sense to just create a task right then and there.
Smart lists are a very useful feature. I’ve managed to create the right list for every possible situation so far thanks to the myriad of filtering options. I also use the bookmarks to track the smart lists I want to review on a regular basis.
The only downside is that I can’t share a smart list with a customer to let them keep track of what they “delegated” to us.
This is a very timely post. In our company we just went “live” with WORK[etc] and the amount of information being put into the program is growing quickly. As a manager i need to organize myself and get to needed information quickly. During our on boarding process, which was very helpful, I keep saying I need to get familiar with the Smartlist feature but have not taken the time to do that. After reading this Blog it has now moved to the top of my list again. Thank you!
This is great for delegating tasks and tracking them. We have been doing something like that for a while. Adding it to the bookmark tab is one of those simple things you wonder why didn’t you think of this before!
Another tool we use a lot to keep things flowing is the Discussions feature. Request a response specifically from the person when you need an answer to complete a task. Instead of me getting emails asking for task input, details, directions, etc. I get a discussion requesting my response. This way anyone who needs to follow our logic will have access to it later directly attached to the task. Plus, it cuts out a bunch of emails!
Gmail integration with WorkETC is awesome for reviewing emails – we use it a lot.
Another way that we keen tabs on where we are up to is through templated projects with tasks sequenced in such a way that a task doesn’t become available until the previous task is completed. This way – we can keep track visually on what stage the project is up to.
I do not get a + to add a workgroup – why? I can only search them
@disqus_LUpLl3MbjA:disqus please contact support@ and we can look into this with you. Try a browser refresh first though maybe.
Thanks for the great tips. We are using some of these techniques but not all. I can see where we could use Workgroups better and love the idea of starring/bookmarking smartlists. I have moved away from creating WORKetc tasks from gmails and am more prone to create “Events”. This works similar to Tasks but gives me the power to add the Event to a specific spot in my calendar. I also sync my WORKetc and Google Calendars so that my Events show up in both systems.
It’s great to be able to reassign support tickets and leave notes for the next person that aren’t client facing.