Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Agile Principle 11: Self-Organization

Let's take a look at the eleventh underlying principle of the agile manifesto:
"The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams."
What does that really mean? What are the implications for our daily business? Let's analyze this principle and see where this gets us.
  • "The best architectures, requirements, and designs" - We talk about discovering product ideas, as well as finding the challenges they offer and exploring appropriate solutions. These artifacts must not be approached each on its own, but as a whole system belonging together and building the resulting product.
    Values: Simplicity, Focus
    Principles: Diversity
    Practices: Whole Team
  • "emerge" - The artifacts can not be planned up-front but will be discovered and created in an evolutionary way. Don't think too long about the right way to do something. Just do it in an iterative-incremental way and improve that way by reflecting afterwards.
    Values: Simplicity, Feedback, Courage
    Principles: Decide as late as possible, Baby Steps, Adaption
    Practices: Test-Driven Development, Refactoring
  • "from self-organizing teams" - The team does not need a single responsible person "on top" of it to decide who is going to do what, when, and how. If teams have all the necessary roles and skills to create the wanted product, they are able to decide and organize by themselves.
    Values: Communication, Commitment
    Principles: Diversity, Accepted Responsibility, Empower the Team, Humanity, Supportive Culture
    Practices: Whole Team, Osmotic Communication, Servant Leadership
To say it in two words, the eleventh principle is about Self-Organization.




Also read in this blog post series:

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