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From the author of Authority Boards

Authority Boards

There is an easy tool you can use to communicate authorization to a team and to be open and transparent about what you expect from them (and what they can expect from you). I call it the authority board (Figure 4).

Figure 4 Authority board

The authority board is a physical board (or a free area on the refrigerator) listing a number of key decision areas that a manager is delegating to a team. In the horizontal dimension, the board shows the Seven Levels of Authority. For each key decision area, the board has a sticky note in one of the seven columns, clearly communicating to everyone how much authority individuals or teams have in that area. Are people somehow involved in a decision process? Is their agreement on certain topics required? Are they expected to inform the manager about their own decisions? The authority board will tell them.

Regular standup meetings and retrospectives in teams can reveal impediments and issues to resolve with the authority board. For example, new key decisions areas with unclear authorizations can be listed, or specific people/teams can be identified and listed by name (or some approximation of their face) using the sticky notes on the board.

Furthermore, as is the case with regular task boards, sticky notes should ultimately reach the final column on the right. But, in general, this transition will take a much longer time. And unlike normal task boards, this board is controlled by the manager, not by the teams. (Figure 5)

Figure 5 Authority board controlled by manager

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