Creating the Tribal Council
I'm a geek that's been in the Software Development field for about 20 years and have worn many different hats. The manager hat is still quite new. Fortunately, peers of mine recommended a book "Management 3.0" that has been my life jacket in rocky waters.
I've come to agree with the author Jurgen Appelo - that "Management is Too Important to Leave to the Managers". I found myself wanting to share the work with colleagues in the team. So I created a 15-minute "Daily Sync" with a few Senior Developers, QA and Scrum Masters. The goal was to be as transparent as possible with topics like:
- organizational impediments
- upcoming decisions
- challenges the department was facing, etc,etc.
As time passed the meeting matured into a 15-minute Tribal Council meeting. I was looking for ways to share the decision making of the department through the "council members". I wanted a way to expose myself to a small group of individuals, while learning how to manage the bumps in the road together.
Bumps along the way
Finding Delegation Poker
Here's a quick how-to video I created on Delegation Poker:
Delegation Poker at the Council Meeting
Being Transparent about Council Decisions
The council members are also responsible for gathering input before they make decisions to ensure proper representation of their vote. We've also built a public JIRA workflow board with the discussion topics, comments and decisions that resulted.
We're stealing from Holacracy to define and roll out "Roles". We're expecting that roles will clearly describe the accountabilities of the council members, along with the many other hats we all wear on the team. More to come on this later.
What I've learned so far
Last but not least, as a manager I find it important to experiment with leading practices. It's clear that I can't "get it right" the first time. It has helped having an attitude of experimentation that allows for learning to be an ongoing process.