How does Agile practice create self-organizing teams?
1st Nov, 2022
How does Agile practice create self-organizing teams?
The hierarchy within an organization disappears when Agile methodology is applied within a team. Flat organizational structures are the ultimate goal of Agile practices since each individual is given equal priority. Therefore, positions like Scrum Master or Product Owner are on the same horizontal level as the developers and are a part of the team. The jobs are more about the mindset and scope than they are about authority.
Having said that, it's best to refrain from assigning employees titles and labels that suggest authority. The lead developer and team leader, are no longer present. It's all about the team's collective and shared objective that is accomplished by working together without utilizing any type of hierarchy. The team self-organizes and knowledge is distributed horizontally.
Traditional Hierarchy VS Agile organization
An organization can be described by its procedures and structures that determine how individuals interact. To demonstrate this let's compare a standard top-down hierarchical organization to an Agile team.
The typical hierarchical structure can be visualized as a pyramid, with the base occupied by those who perform the majority of the work, create the real product, and provide customer services. They are the craftsmen who turn ideas into something beneficial, which eventually results in revenue and expansion.
A small group of people at the top of the pyramid are in charge of the company and accountable for its overall performance. We have managers in the middle of the pyramid to help the few at the top reach everyone and handle all the tasks. Managers are given authority and responsibility to set deadlines, and only share information when it is necessary.
The people at the top demand key reports of accountability for them to quickly get insights into how things are progressing. Even when it's neither necessary nor beneficial for the people doing the actual work, the needs of the few at the top drive standardization.
In an Agile Organization, the same individuals who perform the actual value-adding work are still employed, but instead of being at the bottom of the organizational pyramid, they are organized into long-lived teams whose work may vary over time but is always in line with their vision. Instead of upper management, they are in charge and accountable for the work they deliver.
The managers collaborate with the teams to be able to offer support and direction; they are not separate from the teams. They collaborate in groups. They sit next to the teams, listening to their needs and helping them to find solutions. A manager in an Agile organization does more than simply manage; they coach employees to help them grow.
An Agile team fosters clarity, allowing everyone to understand their responsibilities. They are adaptable and can react to changes quickly and effectively. To maximize productivity and minimize any sort of rivalry the Agile teams have certain characteristics which are listed below.
Characteristics of an Agile team structure
Cross-functional: Each team member brings a unique set of skills to the table, but they all strive to meet the customer's needs by delivering deliverables on time.
Stability: Members give their 100% to the teams. Agile team structures are stable and high-performing, frequently shuffling people around undermines this.
Collaborative: A cross-functional Agile team works well together and communicates openly. Some team members will even engage in cross-training, working alongside their peers to pick up new skills and learn from them.
Autonomous: Each team member has a specific role and responsibility, but extra layers of supervision are eliminated, allowing people to efficiently manage themselves. The Agile teams, among other things, choose who collaborates with whom and how to work together. They must determine the most effective plan of action to accomplish their objectives and design their processes within the confines of their mission.
Many Agile teams initially struggle with this idea. They struggle to remain flexible while sticking to the traditional hierarchy.
As previously said, the mindset of an Agile Team is crucial. People can’t simply be tagged with a label, if done so they’re just working under the label and not owning the mindset required for that job role. Employees must have a particular mindset, and their role is determined by that thinking. Not the other way around.
As more businesses become aware of how beneficial Agile processes are, the demand for jobs related to Agile has increased. According to Glassdoor, an Agile-related designation can earn an average of 25 Lakhs, with a Higher side being 38 lakhs. The right skill set will help you secure a job in any part of the world.
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Replacing bureaucracy and slow processes with fast autonomous teams doesn’t come for free. A successful organization is built on a foundation of constant communication.
Although authoritative positions like team leader or lead developer were crucial in the past, these titles will now undermine teamwork. Agile teams are often united with their common goals and discourage internal competition. In an ideal Agile environment, this rivalry doesn't exist.