Delegation poker for people managers
Delegation poker is a method to give autonomy, define the level of delegation and clarify expectations between a team lead and a team. But you easily adopt it to a 1-on-1 situation where you as a people manager define a delegation with a direct.
Here's how it works, using an example between a product lead and a product manager (PM):
- You pick a topics or task, e.g. "Writing release notes after a sprint"
- From the perspective of the person delegating, both lead and PM pick a level of delegation that they expect:
- Tell: Lead will tell PM what to do (= no autonomy)
- Sell: Lead will try to sell it to PM
- Consult: Lead will consult PM and then lead decides
- Agree: Lead and PM will agree together
- Advise: Lead will advise but PM decides
- Inquire: Lead will inquire, after that PM decides
- Delegate: Lead will fully delegate, PM takes autonomous decision (= full autonomy)
- For our example: The lead picks Inquiry, so they only want to get informed it, the PM picks Agree
- As the expectations differ, lead and PM now discuss why they differ and how to find a mutual level
- For our example: The PM thinks that the release note is so important that mistakes would be critical for the full product team and that they think that lead and PM should agree on the final text. The product lead thinks that the PM should take ownership for the sprint outcome, but that they might miss some context or address wrong people so the lead should briefly check the draft
- After a short discussion, lead and PM decide to pick Advise for the first few release notes, where the lead gives some short advice about format and content and eventually move to Inquire so the lead can still prevent serious flaws but it will only take them a short time each sprint