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Questions about self-organizing teams

Following up my webinar about “The Illusion and Promise of Self-Organizing Teams” I gave on March 6, 2013 I have consolidated all questions asked during and immediately following the webinar.  As promised I will answer each of the questions in the coming weeks. In the meantime PLEASE share your thoughts about the following questions about self-organizing teams:

1)   Definition and understanding of self-organizing teams vs. managed or self-governed teams

Marc L.:  What’s the difference between a self organizing team and a mob?

Dinesh K: How do you rate productivity of different team (managed vs. self-organized vs. self-governed team?

Thomas D.: Do Managed Teams use teamwork?

2)   Development of self-organizing teams

Wilma L.: how does the self-organizing team begin to organize itself for a project? Who determines that this is going to be a SO team, especially in a corporate environment?

Rajakrishnan C.: A typical project team may comprise of people with different experience levels and pay scales. A junior member may not feel as equally responsible for the success of the project as a senior high paying resource. Will this hamper self organizing capability of the team? If so how do we handle such situations?

Alonso A.: Any additional suggestions for teams that are new and still going thru the storming phase?

3)   Roles in self-organizing teams

Elise O.: If this is a self-organizing team, why are we still framing it in terms of “YOU and YOUR team”?  It sounds as though you still need a leader/mentor/sponsor role to get this to work.  Does it really become a team where everyone is a peer?

Naga B.: What will be the role of project manager in self oraganizing teams?

Xavier Z.: what about the risks specific with scrum team with a scrummaster but without project manager?

4)   The MVP Model in action (Motivation, Vision, Project Objectives)

Douglas D.: Can you talk to the idea that, part of the value add for an engagement, is gaining, and documenting, the MVP?  In other words, they project team may not have been able to articulate this until you showed up.

Milagros L.: Thinking in the kick-off meeting, when would conduct the MVP workshop? After or before it?

Mounir G.: How you can apply MVP in a hierarchy, military environment where top down commands are applied?

Loui H.: What would you do if some stakeholder or team members don’t want to play along?

Nihad K.: Here is where the project sponsor gets into the mix.  Isnt it really about their vision?

William P.: What about assigning, defining roles?  Do the team members work out who does what?

5)   Empowerment

Oscar S.: which is the most important empowerment effect in the management?

6)   Acknowledgement

Krithika V.: is monetary acknowledgement (bonus) allowed ?

7)   Promoting performance

Shilpa E.:Q: In self organizing teams, micromanagment is out of question, then how can we promote self performance to ensure project milestones?

8)   Conflict management

Noemi J.: what about conflict management inside self organizing and cross-functional teams? how should a project manager manage it?

9)   Virtual teams

Justus B., Mitra B., Timothy B.: Do the same rules shown today also apply for vitural teams, for example in a culturally diverse environment?

10)         Cultural differences and respect, moral, ethics

Rebecca K: It seems that cultural differences can be the source of disrespect. How can this be overcome?

11)         Project management vs. project leadership

Samuel J.: Dr. Juli has separated Project Management and Project Leadership.  Would he suggest that the PM should aim to be the Project Leader in order to be able to assert authority as necessary?

12)         Project challenges and the right leadership style

Shilpa E. Micromanagement or Delegation has been a question? But to meet the business goal in very rough projects which would help?

13)         A good project manager

Aida C.: How do you know if you are a good project manager other than the hard results which come in the end?

14)         Self-organizing teams and the PMBOK

Cory P.: Good luck mapping these concepts to the PMBOK


Posted in: Agile, Empowerment, Leadership, Project Management

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  1. TJEP_Admin March 8, 2013

    Re: Q14-“Good luck mapping these concepts to the PMBoK”

    Steve V just sent the following response / comment:

    “Understandable skepticism, Cory.
    But not as difficult as one might think… I do it every day.
    To be brief, we must simply note that Agilists and PMPs agree: that Agile is not Project Management. The Project Manager is different job than the Product Owner, the Business Owner, and the Scrum Master. IMHO, while the PMBoK doesn’t preclude any of these folks from trying to manage the project, Agile is quite clear that this is NOT a compatible role. IMHO this is because Agile knows that it is not project management but rather a ‘method’… an iterative semi-solid highly-flexible work breakdown structure.
    The PMBoK is still there.
    -the PMBoK Scope and Charter are still there; simply partially reflected in the Agile Product Vision.
    -the PMBoK Plan is still there; the Agile Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog are the modern iterative, highly-flexible, dynamic work breakdown structure.
    -PMBoK Risk Management is performed within the Agile Scrum Impediments procedures; the PMBoK simply goes a bit more formal here by recommending the harvesting of risk mitigations and issue resolutions in Lessons Learned, a lasting legacy and foundation for the the Sprint Retrospective.
    -and PMBoK Communication is over-arching and essential, the framework within which Agile collaboration takes place externally to the Development Team.
    -likewise for PMBoK Quality Management, and Human Resources; the essential activities are part of Agile, while formal artifacts are part of the Project Manager’s PMBoK role.
    As well as the other PMBoK knowledge areas, Cost Management, Time Management, Stakeholder Management, all part of the domain, activity, and responsibility of the Project Manager, the project role outside the Product Owner, the Business Owner, and the Scrum Master.
    So the PMBoK mapping is already in place. We simply need to understand the scope of ‘methdology’ WITHIN the domain of Project Management; that is, within the work breakdown structure. While the fifth edition of the PMBoK may not specifically cite the Agile Manifesto, this is where it lives… alongside cascade, SDLC, Rational, OOP, XP, and all other past and future methodologies for breaking down the work that emerge to deal with the tide of technology and an evolving recognition of how we like to work.
    — Steve VanArsdale”

  2. Mindjet March 11, 2013

    Please comment on MVP


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