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Home » About Conference » Agile Prague Conference 2011 » Conference proceedings 2011 » Overcoming Self-organization Blocks

Andrea Provaglio: Overcoming Self-organization Blocks

by Anna Kulakowska

One of the greatest advantages of Agile teams is the self-organization. Yes! But if we look at real-life situations, not only at the theory, we notice some issues associated with self-organization.
To understand it better, let’s concentrate first on the software industry. It is a fact that the creation of software differs greatly from industrial manufacture. Still, the software sector applies the same approaches as other industries. Our educational system supports industrialism, where clearly defined metrics determine the level of performance. In software engineering, there are no simple metrics.
Software engineers work in teams and need to possess not only strong technical skills, but people skills as well. Teams are systems that evolve and constantly change. Teams are the ground where self-awareness and team-awareness needs to grow and develop. Teams are the basic unit for self-organization. And the key responsibility of the leaders is to align self-organization with business objectives. Leaders' task is to enable self-organization in their teams.


There are several blocking factors that can impede self-organization: creating fences, blame, judgmental attitude, paddling against the water. The last one is my favorite. It is important to know where you belong. If you paddle against the water you are bound to loose a lot of energy and the river always wins…











The graphics were created by Richard Fridrich.