PDM in Scrum, part 1: Elevating empowerment

How can the team be motivated to work with empowerment?

Once I joined a team that said they did Scrum. The team had two communicative people and two quiet people. The planning meetings were completely dominated by the talkative ones. The quieter did not talk at all. I tried helplessly to boost quiet people, but I did not succeed:

I lacked skills for getting whole team up and running!

Participatory Decision-Making, core values as the roots.


I also had trouble in participating myself. Not a good feeling! The planning meeting had been more effective if the talkative persons had done it by themselves. I was not feeling very empowered, and the quiet people looked unhappy.
What if I had been able to better motivate the benefits from empowerment. What if we had tools for working with our dysfunctionalities. What I needed was
  • to provide tools for working with empowerment
  • to communicate the effects of these tools
  • to motivate, with the benefits from these effects

So, enter…

Sam Kaner’s Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision Making.

If you search on PDM – Participatory Decision-Making, you find that the term is synonymous with Employee Empowerment. 

How does PDM fit with Scrum?

The core values in Scrum, Commitment, Openness, Courage, Respect and Focus, has lots of references to empowerment. I mean, if you would remove empowerment from Scrum then there wouldn’t be very much left. The applicability of PDM in Scrum is obvious. PDM is like a bunch of techniques that the facilitator can use to elevate a team’s empowerment.

Next: PDM in Scrum, part 2: PDM core values

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