Tag: self-organizing

Rethinking Manager’s Relationship with Agile Teams

This article originally appeared on gantthead.com  In the early days of agile, some pundits (and developers) cried, “We don’t need no stinking managers.” By now, most people realize that organizations still need management (and people in management roles) after they adopt agile methods. However, if those organizations want all the benefits of agile, managers must

Continue Reading →

How Much Self-management Is Right for a Team?

The  answer is (of course):  “It depends.” But first, a puzzle: There are lots of teams in small companies and start-ups who are self-managing and self-directing.  They manage themselves, they set product direction, and set company priorities.  As organizations get bigger, they hire managers.  Managers take those responsibilities, and teams become disempowered.  When I visit

Continue Reading →

A Tale of a Too-Hands-Off Manager

I recently worked with a team that was struggling. One of the team members, Tad, wasn’t playing by the rules the team had established. When the team formed, members agreed that each day they’d have a fifteen-minute stand-up meeting to report on progress. The team members agreed that they’d chunk their work into tasks that

Continue Reading →

But /My/ Team Needs a Leader

“….leadership may be defined as: the ability to enhance the environment so that everyone is empowered to contribute creatively to solving the problem(s).” Gerald M. Weinberg I talk to many managers (and some coaches) who bemoan that their teams can’t function without a leader (in this case “leader” usually means someone who set standards, assigns

Continue Reading →

Self-facilitation Skills for Teams

© 2004-2010 Esther Derby Self-organizing teams don’t just organize the technical work. They make technical (and non-technical) decisions. Not every situation requires facilitation, but when a team faces an important decision, applying facilitation skills to the problem saves time and yields better results. Jason was frustrated. The Release 6.0 team had been chewing on a

Continue Reading →

system blindness

One of the big problems I see in organizations is that managers who want to improve productivity pull the wrong levers. For example, one company I know of decided to improve performance by ranking everyone in the company from 1…n, and firing the bottom 10%. Not surprisingly (to me at least), performance didn’t get better.

Continue Reading →