How do you “push responsibility down” and “empower the team”?

“Measure up, push responsibility down.” That’s one phrase which has stuck with me ever since Mary and Tom Poppendieck taught the Lean Software Development course in Glasgow in 2004.

At the time I nodded sagely. It seemed to make sense. I wasn’t leading a team then…

There has been a lot of literature about measuring up – measuring at the level of the group rather than the individual to promote teamwork and collaboration.

There has been less about Pushing Responsibility Down and empowering the team, and as I’ve found out over the years it’s easier said than done. How do you do that? And what does it actually mean?

I’m not going to answer that here. For one thing it would take too long. For another it would spoil my talk at Lean Agile Scotland 2013.

In the talk, I am going to examine what it means to Push Responsibility Down, building on research by Bill McCarley and Christopher Avery. (If you haven’t followed Christopher’s writing, BTW, I thoroughly recommend it.) I’ll also show how some of our Agile practices naturally build on this.

That’s all I’m saying for now. You’ll have to come along and listen – and there are lots of other great speakers too. And if you use code LASCOT13IBH this week (i.e.by Sunday 8th September) you can get a 10% discount. Hope to see you there!

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