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Self-organization

by Joe Little, 28 July 2012 | The Agile Blogosphere

This post is from LeanAgileTraining by Joe Little. Click here to see the original post in full.

We have this idea in Agile, that the Team should self-organize.  This is an important idea. And also an important occurrence (eg, the reality precedes the idea).


In Agile, self-organization is compared to command-and-control.


We think self-org is an important thing to study, both in general and in your Team.


Why


Well, one, because it is just right.  People are free, and self-organization is saying that the Team is allowed to be free.


I guess this needs to be explained a bit.  Some will say: well, the company has bought their time as employees, so the company gets to define what the Team does.  Well, let is concede this at a high level; let us say that the company may define the vision or the goal or the general product.  Perhaps even the user stories.  The Team members are not slaves, but we can assume that, as employees, they agree to do the company’s work for pay.  A contract.


But, devising the work, figuring out how they will get to the goal, they should have the freedom to do.


The second main answer is: self-organizing humans tend to do better work than human ‘slaves’ (humans directed by one or a few command-and-control people).


There is lots of evidence of this. The first book I recommend is...

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