Self-empowerment is a crucial component in agile ways of working, where traditional hierarchical structures are flattened and emphasis is placed on adaptability and collaboration. In an agile environment, each team member is considered a valuable asset with a unique set of skills and insights to bring to the table. Self-empowered individuals take ownership of their tasks, show initiative, and contribute proactively to problem-solving, thereby accelerating the iterative cycles of development.
Empowering yourself means taking on topics and owning their development, be they technological, team-oriented, or customer- and market-related. “Owning” a topic does not mean you work on it yourself, but you take over responsibility that they do develop in a positive direction and you assume accountability for their success. You work with your senior sparring partner to define the topics so they fit your goals and development. You collaborate with your team and stakeholders to get their perspective integrated into the topics. From this, you gain experience that you can use again to refine the topics you own and thus become more and more self-empowered. This is what the cycle of the kata looks like:
To develop your self-empowerment in a structured way, we start with an analysis of the status quo. For this, we use the following five dimensions:
- Topic Ownership: Do you know which topics you should be working on? How could you improve clarity on your topics?
- Knowledge: Do you feel you have very good knowledge and understanding of your topics, or can someone help you with that?
- Resources: Do you have all the necessary resources, e.g. time and materials, to work on your topics? What else would you need and how could you get it?
- Transparency & Updates: Are you giving the team updates about which topics you are working on and the progress you are making? How could you be more proactive and transparent?
- Impacts: Do you know which impact your topics have, and who is impacted? Do you know how? How could you collaborate with them and integrate them early?
Take your answers and feed them into the AI-enabled tool below to get an evaluation of your ideas and inspiration for their refinement. Once you’ve had a chance to try out your refined ideas, repeat the questions above and use the AI tool again to iterate on your approach.
To create your answers and collect inspirations to apply in the kata cycle, you can use this Miro board as a template.