Mar 5, 2021
In the new Scrum guide update, one of the key but subtle changes has been on the phrasing that teams must be “self-organizing” to now saying that they must be “self-managing.” So what might leaders do to help teams move forward in a direction of becoming more self-managing?
Joining Dan to discuss this topic and share his insights is return guest and AgileThought colleague, Michael Guiler. Mike is an agile consultant at AgileThought. He has been an agile coach for over 13 years and has experience helping geographically dispersed organizations (in both the business and technology fields) to transform and better achieve their goals.
Having done a fair amount with leaders himself, Mike has a ton of great insights on what leaders need to do to move their organization and teams in the direction of self-management, how to shift from a leader-follower to a leader-leader, why an organization would want to become self-managing in the first place, and the techniques and tactics leaders can use to enable self-managing teams. Don’t miss out!
What does self-managing mean? Why would you want a self-managing team as an organization and a leader?
Ultimately, you’re trying to build an environment where the organization and the people are really your focus
If you can make your people happy, your organizations will take off and you will no longer have to be the “puppet master” that is pulling all of the strings
Value the people and the interactions over the processes and tools
“When we can get an organization to focus on the people and realize that they’re not resources … they really unleash the power of the organization.” — Michael Guiler
A self-managing team can make really good decisions and have a great impact on its customers
How to begin to move towards self-management and transition from a leader-follower to a leader-leader:
Through an intention-based leadership model
Nurture an environment that creates safety for your team
Have open conversations with your team on self-management
You should have a good idea of where the organization is going as a leader in order to get to a place where it can self-manage
It is important to be completely transparent and make sure that everyone is on the same page about the organization’s vision and “why”
The vision should be matched with feedback from the bottom (and left to right, etc.) so that it’s not a power dynamic
Enable the team’s communication and ability to deliver based on the vision
Get clear about how decision-making happens based on the type of decision
Make sure that the proper authority for making decisions aligns with the vision and is clear
Techniques and tactics leaders can use to enable self-managing teams:
Story mapping is an incredibly valuable tool for software development teams to get everyone on the same page and aligned with where the organization is trying to go
Sometimes a team member doesn’t have the competency or skills to become self-managing, it is your duty as a leader to fill those gaps, give them the information they need, and help them grow
Give your team water-wings before you throw them in the pool! (i.e. Give your team safety so that when a mistake is made it gets caught and is not catastrophic)
Challenges for leaders new to the servant leadership mindset:
It takes time to change a “command and control” environment (i.e. the leader is used to “pulling the strings” and the team is used to having to wait for the strings to be pulled before they take action)
If your team doesn’t understand the big picture they can’t self-manage effectively
A lack of vision and understanding at all of the levels prevents self-management of the organization
If you punish/reprimand team members for making the wrong decisions, they will eventually stop making decisions on their own (halting theirs and the team’s ability to become self-managing)
Resources for leaders on unleashing your organization’s self-managing potential:
Mentioned in this Episode:
Want to Learn More or Get in Touch?
Visit the website and catch up with all the episodes on AgileThought.com!