Getting Managers and Engineers Out of Each Other's Hair

As a manager, you’ve heard a lot about the benefits of self-organizing teams, but you’re not sure where to start, and you suspect self-organization may lead to chaos.

You could just take a leap of faith, set self-organization as a goal and then look for ways to achieve self-organization. But there is another way.

We’ll cover self-organization from the bottom up using concrete examples of twelve widely adopted Agile practices:

  • user stories
  • story points
  • product owner
  • product backlog
  • standup meetings
  • whole teams
  • collocation
  • assignment and estimation of tasks by team members
  • short iterations
  • Scrum master
  • burn-up charts
  • and retrospectives

You’ll learn how each practice contributes to self-organization by reducing and/or redistributing traditional management activities.

These practices also help to reduce the temptation to get wrapped up in the details; provide a framework for delegation, communication and coordination; encourage team ownership, commitment and accountability; and create management artifacts that are appreciated by all.

The inevitable question that results from talking about self-organization is “what does a manager do in an Agile workplace?” We’ll wrap up with a group exercise that not only answers that question but also shows that Agile provides more leverage for managers to use the skills they already have.