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Enable Local Decision Making With Clarity of Roles And Clear Boundaries

Richard Brenner
September 20, 2019

Enable Local Decision Making With Clarity of Roles And Clear Boundaries

Have you faced the situation where the organizational hierarchy and agile team roles collide and there is no clarity about who is enabled to do what? You are supposed to be an autonomous team now but do not know what your decision boundaries are? This talk will show how a combination of RACI matrix and delegation poker help to continuously work on giving control to the team.

An important aspect of my talk will be that this is not a one-of task, but a continuing discussion between the relevant parties always with the goal to enable better and more informed local decision making.

Richard Brenner

September 20, 2019
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Transcript

  1. Enable Local Decision Making With
    Clarity of Roles And Clear Boundaries

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  2. 2
    Richard Brenner
    Agile Coach at TechTalk
    Working with clients to enable their agile teams,
    adapt agile methods and train Scrum, Kanban and SAFe®
    These two books inspired my approach for this talk:
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ri5b6/
    Twitter: @ri5b6

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  3. But, Boundaries are not
    Agile! Are they?
    4

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  4. Why do we need Boundaries at all?
    Autonomous teams do only act in the right direction when they know
    the path (organisational clarity) and have the competence and control
    to achieve it. Otherwise you get a group of people doing a bunch of
    different things in different directions.
    Or put otherwise:
    You need to know your playground to play soccer!
    5

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  5. What do we want to achieve?
    Enable team autonomy by delegating more decisions to the team, but
    not too much
    Give control to the team so that they know how to act
    7

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  6. Challenges why we need Boundaries
    Teams are supposed to be autonomous and cross-functional but the context of their
    organisation is ignored
    There are unspoken and implicit assumptions what autonomous means between
    managers or other stakeholders and the team
    Some people are stuck and decide nothing
    Some people take it up and decide things that their manager needs to stop or interferes
    8

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  7. A concrete Way to do
    that
    9

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  8. With the following Steps you can Achieve clarity
    Step 1: Key Decision Areas
    Step 2: RACI Matrix
    Step 3: Delegation Poker
    Step 4: Make rules explicit
    Step 5: Inspect & Adapt
    10

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  9. Step 1: Prepare Key Decision Areas
    ✘Who is responsible for deciding on vacations?
    ✘Who can decide if it is a good thing to go on homeoffice or not?
    ✘Who decides ultimately about an architectural proposal?
    ✘Who decides how much a solution proposal can cost?
    ○Can we invest as a team in experimenting with solutions for a given
    problem?
    ○Can we decide on hiring external consultants?
    ○Who is responsible for staffing the team?
    11

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  10. Step 2: The RACI Matrix
    R
    Responsible
    A
    Accountable
    C
    Consulted
    I
    Informed
    deciding on
    vacations
    Individual
    Team
    Member
    Line
    Manager
    Team Team
    homeoffice Team?
    Line
    Manager
    Team
    Line
    Manager
    hiring
    external
    consultants
    Team
    Departmen
    t Lead
    Team Lead
    Departmen
    t Lead
    12

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  11. Step 3: Delegation Poker
    ✘The Managers who are accountable (A) for a decision can now do a
    further clarification with the party (usually the team) that is responsible
    (R) for the decision area
    ✘Delegation is not black or white, therefore we take this into further
    discussion
    13

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  12. Step 3: Delegation Poker
    ✘Get the two roles: A and R on the table and hand out a card deck to
    everyone (can be a whole team and their manager ie)
    ✘Now go through every key decision area, everyone chooses how far
    the delegation from the manager (A) should go to the team (R)
    ✘This should lead to good discussions and further clarification
    15

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  13. Step 4: Make rules explicit
    ✘Make the key decision areas and the delegation steps visible (ie a
    delegation board) as information radiator
    16

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  14. Step 5: Inspect & Adapt
    ✘If you face situations where decisions are not clear or people are
    acting against this rules, talk about it in retrospectives
    ✘Adapt and change the delegation board as you progress to make this a
    living instrument and not just dead rules somewhere on sharepoint or
    another wiki graveyard
    17

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  15. Some additional aspects:
    ✘It is not up to the team to decide how much they are being delegated
    ✘The RACI matrix allows for multiple roles, delegation poker only two
    (manager, team)
    ✘The goal is not to draw the lines but to reveal hidden assumptions and
    misconceptions
    ✘If you have a common understanding you might of course discuss future
    delegation levels and changes that you want
    18

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  16. thanks!
    Would be happy to see you in
    the meet the speakers slot
    19

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