Delegation Poker

Scrum is about team self-management. In order to progressively and clearly share management practices between a manager and his team, we propose to use the Delegation Poker.

The Delegation Poker is a card game that is promoted by Management 3.0 practices. The objective is to foster discussions about different management matters and how they should be handled in the team .

Delegation Poker – The Recipe

  • Step 1: Brainstorming and listing on the different topics of “What is Team Management ?”
  • Step 2: On each topic, the manager and the team play the delegation poker game with the dedicated cards
  • Step 3: After discussion, they assign a score from 1-7 to each topic for further reference

During Step 2, each team member, and the manager, indicate for each topic the value he would choose (everyone presents his card at the same time). The values are the following:

1- Tell – I will tell them
2 – Sell – I will try and sell it to them
3 – Consult – I will consult and then decide
4 – Agree – We will agree together
5 – Advise – I will advise but they decide
6 – Inquire – I will inquire after they decide
7 – Delegation – I will fully delegate


I = manager
we = team

The manager and the team discuss the results, and if needed they play multiple rounds until they agree on a decision.

Why are we doing this again?

This practice helps clarify certain aspects, like for example who decides on the holidays. Is the manager having the final say in this ? Why does he want this ? Is he ready to let this decision to the team ?

The value of this practice often lies in the discussion behind the vote. The discussions raise concerns from both the manager and the team which ultimately help both to better understand each other. This practice also shows where there is room for the team to take more initiative and responsibilities.

Make it visible !

At the end of the delegation poker, the teams creates its delegation board with a summary of all the decisions taken. The format doesn’t matter (paper version on a wall or in a wiki) but the content serve as reference for future management practices.

Lessons Learned

It is important to manage the delegation board as a living tool.

Make sure when doing the delegation poker that the team knows that the decisions aren’t engraved in stone. If circumstances evolve, anyone has the possibility to trigger a new delegation poker to adapt to the new situation.