Delegation can be a powerful tool, but when something goes wrong, it can cause confusion, lost data and missed meetings. Understanding best practices in delegation can help you to avoid problems.

Most delegation issues are related to the calendar. Sometimes they are as simple as the status of a meeting showing as tentative when it was accepted. Other issues can be more disruptive such as an item disappearing or having its organizer changed. In most cases, the causes of such issues almost always involve a difference in the way the items were handled by the principal and the delegates. When using delegation, it’s best to avoid the following:

Best practices for delegation.

Best practices for delegation.

  • Enabling multiple delegates to handle the same items
  • Working with an item on different versions of Outlook: Outlook Web App, the desktop installation, or on a mobile device
  • Taking initial action from the invitation message as well as from the meeting itself
  • Using auto-accept or rules to manage calendar items

Here are a few delegation best practices from our training department:

  1. Have as few delegates for a principal as possible.
  2. Have only one person manage a calendar at a time.
  3. Make sure the principal and all delegates are using the same operating system and version of Outlook (including service packs and other updates).
  4. Take initial action (Accept/Tentative/Decline) on meeting invitations from the Inbox only.
  5. Do not delete meeting invitations from the Inbox unless you are sure they have been acted upon. Deleting an invitation from the Inbox before any action has been taken may delete the item for the principal and any delegates.

This content is taken from a Vitalyst training course titled “Outlook 2013 for Administrative Professionals: What You Really Need to Know.” Visit our training and self-help solutions page for more information.

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