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The Power of Self-Organization PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dan LeFebvre   
Friday, 03 September 2010 18:47

One of my clients started a new project. This was a very important project yet it was staffed by asking all managers to donate one person to the team. Each manager selected a fairly junior persons so their project would not be impacted. To mitigate the risk of the junior members, they assigned a senior person as their ScrumMaster to help them.

Being the senior person, the ScrumMaster drove the project and very little team self-organization was happening. The product owner was very dissatisfied by the results. The team had the CEO's attention for the wrong reasons.

I was asked to help. After working with the ScrumMaster for a couple of sprints, it became clear that he could not let go of his command and control style. Management decided to reassign the ScrumMaster and asked me to take it on temporarily.

I focused first on reintroducing the team to the product owner. We revisited and clarified the product vision. During the next sprint planning meeting, the team was waiting for me to create their task board. I told them that the board was theirs, they knew how to create one so go to it. They started talking to each other, working together to create the board and then the software during the sprint. The interactions with the product owner became more open and effective. Within three sprints,  they had quintupled their velocity. The product owner was ecstatic, and the CEO's attention was for a good reason.

This team was made up of fairly junior people, each reporting to a separate manager who left them alone, and the team itself had no manager's focus. They truly self-managed and self-organized. They became the model Scrum team at the company.

Do you have similar stories? Please share the power of self-organization with us.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 September 2010 21:14

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