In the last few months, I have often mentioned that self-organizing development teams are the key to any successful agile project. Having a common understanding of what this means with your agile teams is critical or they will not meet your expectations. This article will explore self-organizing teams and will provide you with some hacks to help them happen faster in your organization.
The last few months allowed me to work with customers that adopted agile practices without any coaching and that wanted an assessment of their current practices. Three of the common challenges I find in these assessments are:
A misunderstanding of the Scrum Master role
Development teams that cannot self-organize
Development teams that do not take ownership of their projects
These points tie together because among other things, a good Scrum Master makes sure the team can self-organize and carry out Scrum meetings by themselves. Teams that do not take ownership of their development process will not take ownership of their projects either.
The other interesting thing is that when I ask management why they adopted agile practices, they will usually tell me one of the reasons is they want to increase the accountability and responsibility of their development teams. They usually also tell me they are still having issues making this happen. When I ask them if they told their teams about these unmet expectations or if they empowered them to reach that goal, they typically answer no.
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