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21322Re: Self organization. How?

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  • dnicolet99
    May 2, 2007
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      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Hundermark"
      <peterh@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Nicholas Cancelliere
      > <nickaustin74@> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > What makes senior developers any more effective at self-
      > organization?
      > >
      > > Nicholas
      > >
      >
      > This question is troubling me too. We have been using Scrum for a few
      > months now and senior management continues not to trust teams to self-
      > organise. Perhaps more accurately they do not trust that the delivery
      > of a self-organised team is optimised.
      >
      > So I hear statements like: "If I created a team comprising only
      > experienced people, they would self-organise to do the work
      > efficiently, but I don't think an inexperienced (or mixed) team can
      > do this. We must retain a Project Leader role [within the team] who
      > will tell the team what to do when they fail to self-organise." Even
      > good PO's appear to be be frustrated by their inability to direct the
      > team [via a single point of contact - the PL]. The SM is seen as a
      > feminine/motherhood role lacking in 'fatherly' qualities.

      Concerns of this general type suggest an organizational culture in
      which processes and tools are deemed more important than people and
      their interactions. It sounds as if (and I've seen this happen, too)
      management is willing to give Scrum a try only as long as it is easy,
      and nothing goes awry. As soon as there are problems, their immediate
      response will be to fall back to a command-and-control approach.

      It's possible that a program of education/coaching will be necessary
      to help management understand how and why self-organization works.
      Maybe a custom workshop or seminar would help get the management team
      over the initial conceptual hurdles, and following up with a long-term
      program of ongoing coaching would help propagate and institutionalize
      the new way of thinking.



      > Ken [Schwaber] often says you can take a cr*p team and in a month
      > they'll deliver you cr*p (my paraphrase), but this does not directly
      > address the perceived leadership vacuum propagated by Scrum.

      Whether a "leadership vacuum" is perceived may depend on how
      "leadership" is perceived. See
      http://www.davenicolette.net/agile/index.blog/1681878/challenges-in-defining-agile-leadership/

      What do they really mean when they say, "leadership?"


      > So my questions are (I think):
      > 1. Does work (and life) experience influence a team's ability to self-
      > organise?

      Yes (and yes).


      > 2. How does one accommodate an organisation's anxiety about the
      > perceived loss of control that Scrum brings about.

      Whether a "loss of control" is perceived may depend on how "control"
      is perceived. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusion_of_control

      What do they really mean when they say, "control?"

      Dave
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