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Empower Scrum Teams to make decisions

Scrum Teams lose valuable time waiting for someone else to make a decision. The more a Scrum Team is empowered to make decisions for itself, and the more they understand how they want to make decisions, the less time it will waste waiting for a decision, the more effective it is able to be, and the faster it will be able to go. 

To understand how empowered teams are, consider decision latency (the amount of time that elapses from when a team needs to make a decision to when the decision is made and they can move forward). High decision latency signifies lower empowerment. It is also significant drain on a team’s effectiveness.

Empowerment to make decisions is not an all-or-nothing proposition: Scrum Teams need to earn the trust of managers by proving that they can make good decisions if permitted to do so. Building this trust usually starts with small and relatively inconsequential decisions and, if all goes well, progresses to more impactful decisions. Scrum Teams can help this by providing transparency into how they make decisions and what they achieve.



Learning Series
Scrum Teams need to make decisions all the time. Helping teams reach a decision effectively, and gaining necessary buy-in from all team members can be challenging, especially when team members are unclear on who has the final say in making it. Understanding the decision rule, how a decision is made and whose input is required, is necessary because ambiguity in the decision process causes confusion and frustration.
Blog Post
Some years ago, I was working with a team developing a new product at a technology company.  The team was concerned that their Time to Market (T2M) was too slow, and they believed that they would be able to improve it by automating their build-and-test process. Automating any manual process is usual...
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Book: The Professional Agile Leader: The Leader's Journey Toward Growing Mature Agile Teams and Organizations (The Professional Scrum Series), by Ron Eringa, Kurt Bittner, and Laurens Bonnema; Addison-Wesley Professional, June 25, 2022, ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0137591510

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There are many reasons why Scrum Teams struggle to deliver value. To be more effective, Scrum Teams should better understand customer needs, improve their cross-functionality, be empowered to make decisions, improve their ability to focus, and increase their feedback cycles.