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Want to delegate like a boss? Forget SMART, Think SMURF!

We’re all familiar with the SMART acronym about setting business goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Can the SMART acronym be adapted for delegation, or is there something more suitable out there? Well, we think the SMURF acronym is a good fit for effective delegating...

So what is a smurf, anyway? We all know the little blue comic and cartoon characters, and some definitions you can find online are even bluer, but in online gaming a smurf is “an experienced player who uses a new account to deceive other players into thinking they are new.”

But how does this relate to delegation? A gaming smurf may hide their true level of ability in order to encourage other members of their gaming team to rise up to a difficult challenge. A good manager arguably does the same, sitting on their knowledge to encourage employees to take the lead and complete tasks without hand holding or close supervision.

To delegate effectively, we follow the SMURF acronym:

Forget SMART, Think SMURF!


  • Identify the skills your employees possess that will ensure the project is completed successfully.

  • Break the whole project down into smaller tasks.

  • Assign tasks to employees based on their individual skills.


  • Determine the end goal of the project.

  • Set milestones to be achieved along the way.

  • Agree the amount of time it should take to reach the goal.

  • Determine how progress will be monitored and recorded.


  • Turn the agreed modes of measurement into a set process.

  • Ensure everyone working on the project follows the process.


  • Assign a project leader.

  • Make sure the project leader understands the aim of the project and the milestones it must reach along the way.

  • Ensure team members are clear on their role within the project.


  • The boss or manager can take a step back, focus on other more pressing tasks or even escape the office for a few hours!

  • Each employee gets the opportunity to shine and can be suitably rewarded if they step up and prove their worth.


If you're struggling with your office administration and time management and would like to focus more on the aspects of your business that earn you money, contact Say Hello Hello. We provide office support, telemarketing and a range of digital marketing services for clients. Contact us today for a quote.

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