Power of Delegation Poker (Management 3.0)

Girish Khullar
3 min readJun 24, 2020

In an uncertain adaptive world, we are very sure the fact that “Taylorism” is not going to bring the holistic solution to complex problems we are dealing with. We cannot run, innovate our systems by executing all activities ourselves, or by creating silos in terms of execution. We need to put effort into bringing the teams to understand the holistic view of the system.

As a leader, in order to innovate, we need to make sure that we have time in our hands for enabling it. And, if we don’t show trust in the team to carry on the tasks to autonomously deliver the products, leaders will not have the luxury of time in their hands. I hope, you know where I am heading towards. Yes, delegating responsibilities to the team.

In my journey as a Scrum Master around 2016, I have come across situations where I thought to execute the responsibilities myself rather than delegating. After some retrospective on my actions, I felt that I can bring in more to the team by delegating these responsibilities around the team and be a better Scrum Master for my team. I tried doing it by assigning the tasks to the team and couldn’t see any difference. It has to come to a point and I started looking for different avenues.

One of the practices that I tried is the Delegation Poker. It can prove a real eye-opener for leaders to see where do they stand in their delegation approach. Before I begin, how many times you experience below scenarios (to name a few):

a) Updating JIRA work items.

b) Initiating Daily Scrums by asking team members to speak.

c) Preparing Sprint Reports.

d) Taking decisions on behalf of the team in meetings.

Let’s sneak around Delegation Poker with a list of activities I used in my experience to delegate to my team members

Delegation Board for a Scrum Master

We cannot expect different results by doing the same activities daily, and a Scrum Master has to delegate responsibilities to the team so that he/she work on bringing in the culture change or mind shift. This mind shift will make the team more self-organized but also at the same time, the team will be considerate of the boundaries to experiment on delegation.

“The more shift is on the right side of the board, the more mature the team is. ”

But the right shift is only achieved if the team is progressively moving to higher maturity levels. The right shift will not happen with a magic wand. Its a team’s journey.

Nevertheless, all teams go through their own journey in maturity and will pass through all levels in Delegation Poker. This amazing board can be a true reflector on how ready the team is to move to the next steps.

If you want to learn more about Delegation Poker, please visit the Management3.0 page.