Decider Protocol – How to take decisions in an Agile Team

In an agile team where everybody takes ownership, decisions are taken collegially to ensure the maximum ownership from the team.

But then, how do you take decisions when a significant number of persons have to agree with each others.

You can use the Decider Protocol. I’ve learnt it as follow :

  • A member describes a concise and actionable proposal.
  • The statement should be clear to all members or they should ask for clarifications.
  • All members have to vote :
    • Thumb up : yes, I fully support the idea.
    • Thumb sideways : yes, I support the idea even if I may still have to think about it.
    • Thumb down : no, I do not support the idea and I give a counter proposal.
  •  If there is one no, then you start again the protocol with this new proposal.

Remember that all team members take complete ownership on this decision, and so they are in the right state of mind to come to an agreement.

It’s a derived version of the “Decider Protocol” define in the “Core Protocols” written by Jim McCarthy.

Here is a video where he presented these “Core Protocols” : video.


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