Auftragstaktik and Befehlstaktik

Orde Saunders' avatarPublished: by Orde Saunders

In a recent newsletter, Jim was talking about lean delegation. In news that shouldn't surprise anyone who's been paying attention it turns out the Germans have words for this: Auftragstaktik and Befehlstaktik.

Rather than levels these describe either end of a spectrum:

  • Auftragstaktik (lit. mission tactics) is where you give someone a goal and the freedom to achieve that. I.e. "We need something to take orders."
  • Befehlstaktik (lit. command tactics) is where you give someone specific instructions. I.e. "Build a shopping cart using this technology that looks like this and functions like this."