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Organizational Structure

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  • Dave Mell
    Need some help to answer questions from execs when considering the transition from a functionally centric to a project centric organizational structure. I d
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 2, 2003
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      Need some help to answer questions from execs when considering the
      transition from a functionally centric to a project centric
      organizational structure. I'd like some validation/redirection of my
      thinking on some pretty basic questions.

      1) In a project centric world, for whom does it make sense to take on
      the role of determining raises and fostering individuals career
      development? Could be Scrum Master, tech lead, or functional mgr but
      it seems like the person closest to the individuals doing the actual
      work makes most sense.

      2) What do functional managers do in the project centric world? Do
      #1 above, become Scrum Masters, both?

      3) Are there any issues or subtleties you would recommend watching
      out for in this top down transition?

      Thanks,
      Dave
    • Ken Schwaber
      1. Functional managers set the standards and guidelines for the people representing that professional skill, as well as ensure that they get the education they
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 2, 2003
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        1. Functional managers set the standards and guidelines for the people
        representing that professional skill, as well as ensure that they get the
        education they need. They are part of the review process; Team based review
        is the bulk of any raise.
        2. They can become ScrumMasters, as well as taking on helping the Product
        Owner and customers think through how to manage ROI based development. The
        whole idea of getting functionality every Sprint is pretty startling to
        users; they need help with the transition.
        3. Short and long term, the functional managers are helping define a better
        way of doing work, but they are also losing their authority and (as far as
        they can see) their career path. Does anyone else have any good ideas about
        what to do with a functional manager, long term?

        Ken

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Dave Mell [mailto:dmell@...]
        Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2003 11:24 AM
        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Organizational Structure


        Need some help to answer questions from execs when considering the
        transition from a functionally centric to a project centric
        organizational structure. I'd like some validation/redirection of my
        thinking on some pretty basic questions.

        1) In a project centric world, for whom does it make sense to take on
        the role of determining raises and fostering individuals career
        development? Could be Scrum Master, tech lead, or functional mgr but
        it seems like the person closest to the individuals doing the actual
        work makes most sense.

        2) What do functional managers do in the project centric world? Do
        #1 above, become Scrum Masters, both?

        3) Are there any issues or subtleties you would recommend watching
        out for in this top down transition?

        Thanks,
        Dave




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      • Mary Poppendieck
        Dave, I guess my first question would be, why do you wan to transition to a project-centric world? What is the purpose of the transition? I grant that when
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 3, 2003
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          Dave,

          I guess my first question would be, why do you wan to transition to
          a project-centric world? What is the purpose of the transition?

          I grant that when creating value for customers through a product
          line, there should be a `value stream owner' who is responsible for
          shepherding the creation of value for the customer, and a cross-
          functional team working on creating that value. But I worry that
          when all work is focused on the value stream via projects, then
          people tend to lose contact with their `communities of expertise',
          whether their expertise is database, GUI, transaction processing,
          testing, web services, operations, networking, help desk,
          whatever.

          In an organization with a good matrix management system, the
          functional manager is responsible for creating these `communities of
          expertise,' through hiring, training, setting standards, etc. The
          functional manager assigns people to work on teams (projects) led by
          value stream owners, who have the responsibility to create business
          value for customers.

          When people contribute their expertise to various teams over time,
          the functional manager in a matrix organization is usually
          responsible for salaries and promotions, with input from value
          stream team leaders. When people work on a single product family
          over a period of years, then the product owner may be involved in
          setting salaries. In matrix companies, salaries and promotions are
          generally not the responsibility of project managers, and thus they
          would not be the responsibility of Scrum Masters.

          I have seen the matrix model work successfully in quite a few
          companies, even though it is often accused of creating
          functional `silos'. This has triggered a move to project-centric
          models, which, unfortunately, tend to create project `silos' which
          do not nurture communities of expertise. This is okay if you are
          working in an area where expertise does not give the company a
          competitive advantage, but when a company competes based on
          particular areas of expertise, it is wise to maintain a place for
          that expertise to be nurtured and grown. Doing this is the job of a
          functional manager.

          Mary Poppendieck

          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Mell" <dmell@w...>
          wrote:
          > Need some help to answer questions from execs when considering the
          > transition from a functionally centric to a project centric
          > organizational structure. I'd like some validation/redirection
          of
          > my thinking on some pretty basic questions.
          >
          > 1) In a project centric world, for whom does it make sense to
          take
          > on the role of determining raises and fostering individuals career
          > development? Could be Scrum Master, tech lead, or functional mgr
          > but it seems like the person closest to the individuals doing the
          > actual work makes most sense.
          >
          > 2) What do functional managers do in the project centric world?
          > Do #1 above, become Scrum Masters, both?
          >
          > 3) Are there any issues or subtleties you would recommend watching
          > out for in this top down transition?
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Dave
        • Mike Sherman
          Dave, How s it going there? Are they getting it or are you having trouble? Regards, Mike Dave Mell wrote: Need some help to answer
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 5, 2003
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            Dave,
             
            How's it going there?  Are they "getting it" or are you having trouble?
             
            Regards,
            Mike

            Dave Mell <dmell@...> wrote:
            Need some help to answer questions from execs when considering the
            transition from a functionally centric to a project centric
            organizational structure.  I'd like some validation/redirection of my
            thinking on some pretty basic questions.

            1) In a project centric world, for whom does it make sense to take on
            the role of determining raises and fostering individuals career
            development?  Could be Scrum Master, tech lead, or functional mgr but
            it seems like the person closest to the individuals doing the actual
            work makes most sense.

            2) What do functional managers do in the project centric world?  Do
            #1 above, become Scrum Masters, both?

            3) Are there any issues or subtleties you would recommend watching
            out for in this top down transition?

            Thanks,
            Dave



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