Delegating By Taking a Personal Day

I took a personal day this past Friday after realizing I was just burnt, fried, and generally stressed and not that useful. I pondered whether I should or not for far too long. The reason for the difficult decision–I didn’t want to give up control of several projects.

I’d been planning to take a personal day for the past several weeks. Our fiscal year ends in September so the last few weeks tend to be insanely busy despite any amount of preparation. I ended up coming in on at least one weekend day for 3 weeks in a row on top of several really late nights during the week. Every time I thought things would calm down enough to safely take a personal day, some new project emergency came up.

So this Friday I finally just went ahead and took the day. Friday included a planning meeting on a new Proof of Concept (POC) project for the second two week Sprint. I had planned to lead the meeting, but I finally decided I really needed to delegate it to a PM and one of the developers on the project.

Delegation is still something I can tend to struggle with especially when it comes to things like running Agile projects and acting as the Scrum Master. I’d told the PM on the project for the past two weeks that I’d get her up to speed on how Scrum worked, but I completely failed at making any time to do so.

I have at least one developer who was willing to learn the Scrum Master role as well and had experience in at least 7 prior planning meetings on another project. He was perfectly capable of selecting the backlog for the Sprint, establishing a Sprint goal, and helping to brainstorm out all the tasks. Helping to guide the PM in this case wouldn’t be an issue.

The work required to initiate everything was two simple emails. One to let everyone know I wouldn’t be in for the day and a second to bullet point the high level agenda for the planning meeting that they’d have to arrange and facilitate.

So Friday they pulled off the meeting on short notice and I trust it went fine. Once delegated you have to let go and let your people run things. They may do things differently, they may make some mistakes, but that’s the whole point of learning. And in my case learning that I need to delegate more, not just when I take the day off.

I got in a nice cozy nap with the two cats and rested up over the weekend. Monday actually looks pretty inviting.