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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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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 14

  10. 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
  11. Step 4: Make rules explicit ✘Make the key decision areas

    and the delegation steps visible (ie a delegation board) as information radiator 16
  12. 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
  13. “ „ 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