What is Self Organising Teams?
The definition of a self-organising team is a group people that organises themselves to complete the work they have been given. The team would choose what the best way it can achieve the goal that it has been set. The team as a whole would decide who does what and how they will attain their goals. Even the Scrum Master does not have the power to dictate the team. However, the organisation can set the deadline for the team to meet the goal.
Why Self Organising Teams?
These days the most managers in IT departments have people working in their teams who are qualified, trained and expert in their domain. Team members together can find better solutions than no matter how experienced the manager is. So wouldn’t it be better for the team to decide how do something then the manager telling them?
Let’s say I am a project manager on an IT project and I have a team of front end Devs, Back Dev, DBA, UX designer, etc. Even if I have over 50-year experience in IT the knowledge of the project team put together will trump my experience, so why not let them organise them selfs.
Also when the team is self-organises itself, the team members are more committed to the project, they have a more sociological interest in the success of the project.
Research in UK has found that when patients book appointments with their doctors, If the receptionist get the patient to write down the date and time of the appointments then the patent was more than 20% likely to attend the appointment then when the receptionist wrote the date and time on piece of paper and handed it to the patient
the simple act of writing the date and time gives the patient ownership for attending.
In practice for Scrum, the Product Owner would prioritise the product backlog, and the Scrum team take stories from the Product backlog into its sprint. The team would collaboratively work through the sprint backlog. The team would choose what development methodology and practices it uses.
What is a Command and Control team structure
Command and control are where individual in the team get given a task to complete. This could be a project manager or line manager choose the best person to do each piece of work. In the traditional waterfall projects, the project manager allocates each engineer tasks to work and chooses when these tasks need to be done by.
Role of Leader in Self-organising team
On a Saturday morning, I was travelling to my favourite cafe in London on the underground tube where I would usually sit and do some study regularly. The week that was ending, I had spent working with a team who didn’t understand the whole concept of self-organising itself and the role a team leader plays in them self-organising. As I was sitting in the tube, pondering over challenges from the pervious week, I had failed to notice how crowded the tube had become with football fans going to a game. My attention was caught by a young boy who asked his dad, “Dad why do the team need a coach”. This was the light bulb moment for me. A coach in a professional sports team takes well-trained players who been selected for the ability to play the games and coach them to win the game as the whole team. That is the role of Scrum Master and Agile Coach, it to take the team of well knowledge expert and get them to work together to complete the challenge set to them my the organisation. This challenge could be a project or anything else that the organisation need the team to achieve.