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Some Thoughts on Self-Organization in Agile Teams

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Some Thoughts on Self-Organization in Agile Teams

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I think some of us are getting it wrong when it comes to self-organization.

Self-organization doesn’t mean that the team doesn’t have managers or that they get to decide what problems to solve or what product to build.

Self-organization doesn’t mean that the team doesn’t have any tooling constraints, or architectural constraints, or budget constraints, or timing constraints.

Self-organization doesn’t mean that the team decides who is on the team, how big the team is, or how much money everyone on the team should make.

Self-organization DOES mean that once the team is formed, and given a problem to solve, and a set of constraints to operate within, the team gets to decide how the work is done.

While any given team, in any given company, may have have latitude to make any or all of these decisions, in my opinion, that is not what is meant by self-organization as it pertains to agile.

I’m interested in your thoughts.

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