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How do you empower …

… a team, a scrum master or even a product owner?

“You need to empower them” – is one of those statements that scrum coaches throw around as if its a switch you can flick. But what does that mean exactly?

Here is a whole list of things you can do – so no more excuses! 🙂

  • Dont make it difficult for them to give you bad news.
  • Visit with them often – not just when things are high stakes or going wrong.
  • Challenge them to improve.
  • Encourage them to inspect and adapt.
  • Delegate decisions, then live with the decision and support it – even if you dont agree.
  • Be transparent to them, answer them honestly, let them know your fears and frustrations.
  • Have high expectations but make them clear.
  • State your expectations often.
  • Keep your expectations simple, a couple of strong and easily recalled statements.
  • Live your expectations – model the behavior you expect.
  • Make boundaries and responsibilities clear.
  • Let them know your boundaries and responsibilities – this helps with transparency as well.
  • Don’t hide behind corporate politics.
  • Let them know its ok to fail, as long as they learn from it.
  • Let them fail safely, when stakes are low – without you stepping in.
  • Give feedback – one-on-one and to the team.
  • Ask how you can help and then act on what you are told.
  • Ask them to help you.
  • Let them review each other and hire for the team.
  • Talk through problems and solutions but leave the final decision to them.
  • Be available most of the day for walk-ins.
  • Let people know they can talk to you anytime – be approachable.

What do you think? Easier said than done? Do you have other suggestions?