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SIGS DATACOM Fachinformationen für IT-Professionals


The Conference for Software Architectures

Munich, 01 - 05 February 2016


Talk: Fr 4
Date: Fri, 05.02.2016
Time: 09:00 - 16:00

Agile Leadership and Self-Organization

Time: 09:00 - 16:00
Talk: Fr 4


The basic unit of work in Agile is not the individual but a cross-functional team, so that we can leverage the collective intelligence of the group. For this to happen, for this kind of social system to develop and grow, free from any form of groupthink, a different approach to leadership is required, one that understands how to promote trust, collaboration, engagement and responsibility. In this workshop we‘ll explore what leadership is in the context of self-organizing, self-managing teams, what a leader can do – and what should be done very carefully – to promote self-organization (without organizing it!). Practical exercises, group discussions and short lecture will help you learn the concepts and take away practical applications of what you learn.

Target Audience: Team Leaders, Team Members, Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, Project Managers, Product Managers
Prerequisites: Practical experience in running Agile projects
Level: Practicing

You will learn:

  • Increase the productivity of your teams by greater participation and simpler decision-making processes
  • Create a learning environment where knowledge is shared, and reduce the risk of operational bottlenecks
  • Promote alignment to the organization’s business goals and get more focus on the most valuable activities
  • Leverage diversity (gender, nationality, background, personality, etc.) to create smarter and more efficient teams
  • Understand and manage the cultural blocks to self-organization, such as: blaming culture; fear of responsibility; fear of losing status; personal and unconscious agendas; guidance vs. command
  • Get involved in practical, guided exercises that you can later use in your own organization

Extended Abstract:
The role of leaders and managers has changed from the models we got used to in "traditional" project management, and so has the way development teams work to generate business value.
Self-organization is an elusive management concept (how can we organize something that is supposed to organize itself?) which has profound business and organizational implications.
It taps into the collective intelligence of the team, so that people can come up with better solutions in a shorter time; it distributes control, to avoid decisional bottlenecks and let the project move faster; it relies on the socio-relational skills of the team, but it also relies on transparency, clear processes and shared goals to define the boundaries of delegation; and the greater autonomy promotes engagement and team learning.
Agile leaders who really understand these dynamics will take care of facilitating the value stream (represented by the development teams) by providing the necessary support and resources; they will provide guidance and a shared goal by sharing the "why" and the "what", with more trust and less control on "how" that goal should be achieved; and they will be able to create an ecosystem where the business advantage of effective self-organization can manifest.
Effective self-organization changes the leader/team dynamics and the teammate/teammate ones. To reap the full benefits of Agile and Lean you need to understand these subtle dynamics and be able to implement them effectively in your organization.