Making Team Decisions

I summarise a useful technique for making team decisions I learnt about at The London Lead Developer conference a couple months ago.

Sometimes you want people’s input before you make a decision that affects the team. Other times it can be appropriate for the team to make the decision together. It’s important to distinguish the two situations, and Kevin Goldsmith shows a great Polling vs Voting Technique he uses for this purpose.

Use Polling when you will own the decision, but you’d like to know how other people feel. Kevin recommends a “Fist of Five” approach. People present 0 fingers (fist) if they are against the thing, 5 fingers if they love it, or any appropriate number of fingers in between.

For Voting he recommends a simple thumb up for aye, thumb down for nay. (Aka “roman voting”.) This is useful when you’re happy to outsource the decision to the majority of the vote, and also defend the team decision from above if necessary.

Note it’s extremely important that you’re crystal clear up front whether you intend a poll or a vote. Usually you also want to act on “count of 3” so people don’t get unduly biased by each other.

Examples:

Author: Stig Brautaset

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