Strengthen the collaboration with stakeholders and teams with the Scrum Delegation Game.

Submitted by Peter Beck on 10/05/2023
Scrum Delegation Game Cards

Are you a product owner or a team member working closely with a product owner? Maybe you know the following challenge. Every decision, no matter how small, is brought to the PO. And the team doesn't get faster than the person in their PO role can make decisions. You probably often ask yourself then, couldn't many of these issues be decided by everyone on the team? Furthermore, things get really tough when the same game is being played across many stakeholders outside the team. 

To get out of the situation, you should therefore talk about what you expect from each other and who makes which decisions. In short: how you delegate and are delegated to.

Delegating is a term from classical leadership. At its core, leadership is always about leading others to make decisions. In contrast to the classical understanding of leadership, in a Scrum environment everyone leads. Especially the developers. I always say that in our team, all team members actually lead me as the PO, such as by providing me with information on customer satisfaction and thus steering me in a direction.

Inspired by the delegation poker cards out of the Management 3.0 cosmos, I developed the Scrum Delegation Game so that Scrum Teams can playfully clarify with their stakeholders how to delegate decisions. As a team and its product evolve, the nature of delegation is constantly changing. My friend and colleague Andy would say: the way you pass the balls to each other. Just like in a good soccer game, you don't stay static on the field. Therefore you should repeat the game every 3-6 sprints.

After a few rounds, delegating then establishes itself in the use of language and action. You will then hear phrases like, "I'll make a suggestion and then wait for your decision." Or, "We'll decide this as soon as we start working and let you know - is that OK with you?"

The Scrum Delegation Game is available as card-set for in-person workshops or as a template in Miro. Including instructions, of course. I would be very happy about your feedback and suggestions for further variants.

Peter Beck

About the author

Peter Beck

Peter has set himself the task of creating companies that deliver value for their customers and employees. That was also the motivation behind his decision to found DasScrumTeam. Peter is a passionate Scrum Trainer (Certified Scrum Trainer, CST) and consultant with a solid background in engineering. Since 2007, he has trained and advised a wide range of development teams, specialist departments, project managers and those in leadership positions, helping them to apply the Scrum framework, agile planning methods and software engineering practices. Peter is a graduate engineer (Dipl.-Ing, TU) specialising in electrical engineering and information technology.

  • Experience with Scrum since 2004 as Team member, Scrum Master, Product Owner, Coach and Trainer.
  • Served as ScrumMaster in internationally distributed Scrum Teams
  • Co-founder and Product Owner at DasScrumTeam AG
  • Key interests: Agile companies and Scrum beyond Software

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