In January of 2012, we at LeanDog were honored to host Jurgen Appelo for his first Management 3.0 course in the US. If you've not read Jurgen's book on "Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders", I recommend it. The book is full of good advice and simple techniques for improving the way you manage. Among the items Jurgen shares in his class, I was intrigued by The Seven Levels of Authority and his Delegation Poker game.
Delegation 7Jurgen's Delegation Poker cards were introduced to several members of the LeanDog family at Codemash and conversation ensued. Within a matter of hours, the phrase "Delegation 7" had become a short-hand reference to the cards and the concepts behind them. Delegation 7 seemed a great tool to help us with some of our own challenges. There were a number of items in the Studio and at LeanDog in general that were failing to get forward motion. Everyone had an opinion, but nobody was taking action. As a self-directed team, we had a clear short-coming; plenty of people were steering and nobody was rowing. The leadership team at LeanDog decided to give Delegation 7 a try. We took on a difficult task; running areas of the business. We set up a simple chart:
Who is going to delegate these responsibilities? An individual to assign levels of responsibility wasn't what we needed. We instead needed to agree on our levels of responsibility within each area. So we made a small adjustment to the concept and each of us placed our names on the chart, indicating the level of authority we felt was appropriate given our roles and experience.