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55197RE: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software

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  • Dietke Fowler
    Jun 1, 2012



      Thanks for elaborating - your description and glancing over the Valve handbook actually made it a lot more clear to me how my current job is structured. Working for a company with about 90 employees for the past 4 months, I have not been told what to work on. I have heard suggestions, but they were always followed by "but only if you are interested and think that's a good fit". We are given some overarching goals, but it is up to us to come up with ideas on how to reach them, and to structure our work in such a way that we will reach them. I do have a team lead who is there to help remove impediments and help me out when I feel stuck, but that's about it - simply help me be more effective.


      Is that approximately what you are looking for?







      Dietke Fowler

      (706) 614-0604


      From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jean Richardson
      Sent: Friday, June 01, 2012 2:15 PM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software



      Mark –


      Thanks for asking.  I perhaps should have been more clear.


      I would not say that most, maybe even many, of those organizations doing Scrum are team-based organizations, though they do make use of teams.  Organizations have been using teams well before Scrum came on the scene.  In a team-based organization, I would expect to see a different accountability model, a different approach to authority and leadership, and a different kind of governance model than has been the case traditionally.  Scrum foreshadows team-based organizations and, in some of the writing about Scrum, the assumption that team-based organizations are present or have been emerging seems to underlie the thinking of the writer.  However, in practice, outside even most high functioning Scrum teams, the approach to authority, accountability, and governance is pretty much the same as it was before Scrum came on the scene.


      I am seeking organizations where Teams are actively involved in governing the organization, the accountability model is such that the natural accountabilities of all participants are taken for granted, and “nominal leaders” or managers outside the team are typically functioning within a facilitative servant leadership or stewardship model.  I am seeking organizations where individual contributors on teams have real influence and experience direct line outcomes of their actions.  These organizations will likely prefer direct, respectful communication and assertive, collaborative styles.  You may see team level performance evaluations composed largely of something along the lines of a 360 review by peers with management input.  You may see individual contributor compensation enhanced by team-performance-driven bonuses.  You may see largely governing their own composition and signing up for work to benefit the organization based on some sort of portfolio level project intake mechanism.  Most of all, the employee/employer dynamic will feel very different in these organizations.


      --- Jean


      From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark Levison
      Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 5:09 PM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software




      On Thu, May 31, 2012 at 4:30 PM, Jean Richardson <jean@...> wrote:


      Mark and Dave –


      Thanks for this.  Both posts are helpful, and I’ve reached out to Clint as a result.


      If anyone is aware of any other currently functioning team-based orgs in the mid- to large size, I’m all eyes on that to!


      Sorry slightly confused as to what you're asking for. This sounds like a request for a list of all case studies for any organization doing Scrum (or other Agile) process. Is that it?





      --- Jean


      From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dave Rooney
      Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 10:26 AM
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software



      Not a case study per se, but Steve Denning wrote about Valve in his blog on Forbes back in April: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/04/27/a-glimpse-at-a-workplace-of-the-future-valve/


      On 30 May 2012 12:23, Jean Richardson <jean@...> wrote:


      I have been doing research on team-based organizations trying to turn up enduring examples among mid- to large sized organizations.  There’s plenty of theoretical “how-to” out there.


      I expect some of you may be aware of the Valve employee handbook being posted on the web.  Has anyone actually talked to Valve?  I’ve seen postings on the web that indicate the handbook is “real,” but when I was finally able to find a phone number for the organization, I was only able to get to voice mail at the terminus of all the working options in their automated attendant (some options were circular).  I’m beginning to think this org is visionary, but quite small.  Is anyone aware of a case study on Valve?


      --- Jean


      Description: Description: Description: Description: gate.site.jpg

      Jean Richardson

      Azure Gate Consulting

      ~ Repatterning the Human Experience of Work



      (503) 788-8998







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