Self-Organizing Teamwork

10 views
Skip to first unread message

D. André Dhondt

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 10:37:50 AM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
[As mentioned in Chet's previous note, here is a skill we've identified as important to an Agile Developer that we'd like to discussPlease read the Agile Skills Matrix document for context--but basically, what we're asking for is your input on a fractal list of skills, to be called the Skills Inventory.  For now, we're going to reduce the scope of this huge question "what should an agile developer know?" by focusing on one skill at a time. We're shooting for a concise format, that includes a Definition; Resources that provide further reading; a description of what's expected of someone at various levels of achievement--Learning, Practitioner, Journeyman, Master; a link to related skills; names of ancillary (supporting/prerequisite) skills.  I'm sending you example text, below, and I recommend you reply to this thread with suggested improvements.  I don't know if this is enough information for some 400 of us to work together, but let's give it a try, and see where we go from here!]

Self-Organizing Teamwork

Definition: Agile teams organize themselves directly around the problem domain to solve it.

 

Resources: http://www.agile-process.org/team.htmlhttp://hp-strategies.com/images/tpm.jpg

 

Learning: Student knows how to participate in a daily stand up/scrum meeting. Student demonstrates an understanding of leadership versus management.  Student knows how to ask for help.

Practitioner: Student knows how to follow good leadership in a team environment. Student uses osmotic communication, and reaches out to other team members regularly (several times a day), asking either for help or advising them of changes that impact their work. Student leads from time to time.

Journeyman: Student knows how to lead in a team environment.  Student is fully connected and interdependent upon other team members

Master: Student can coach a self-organizing team.

 

Related Skills: Agile Communication Channels, Working with Domain Experts, Collective Ownership.

 

Ancillary Skills: Continuous Improvement (retrospectives), Disciplined professionalism, Recognizing business value, Agile metrics, Stand Up Meetings.

 


Max Guernsey, III

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 11:19:53 AM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com

This looks, to me, to be more of a discussion of how one acquires the skill of leadership rather than self-organization…

 

1.       Know what a leader is.

2.       Follow a leader.

3.       Lead.

4.       Teach others to lead.

 

It’s basically an accurate description of cooperative learning: know what the thing is, spend some time learning how to do it from another member of the species, spend some time doing it, start teaching other members of the species that it exists and how to do it.  So it’s definitely the right path.  The question is: is this skill “Agile Leadership” or is it “Self Organization?”

 

Max Guernsey, III  - Author of Transition Testing: Cornerstone of Database Agility

Managing Member, Hexagon Software

http://www.hexsw.com

http://www.dataconstructor.com

--
NOTE FROM GROUP MODERATORS:
 
Much of the discussion in the group is predicated on the Meeting Notes and Proposals published in the Pages Section. If you have not yet reviewed them, we strongly recommend you do.
 
Chet and Ron
 
 
 
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups "Agile Developer Skills" group.
To post to this group, send email to
agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
agile-developer-s...@googlegroups.com
For more options, visit this group at
http://groups.google.com/group/agile-developer-skills?hl=en?hl=en

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.73/2513 - Release Date: 11/19/09 07:51:00

D. André Dhondt

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 11:22:21 AM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
How would you define self-organization?
I can imagine splitting this skill in two, but I don't see the difference between leadership and self-organization.  Can you explain?

--
D. André Dhondt
mobile: 001 33 671 034 984
http://dhondtsayitsagile.blogspot.com/

Support low-cost conferences -- http://agiletour.org/
If you're in the area, join Agile Philly http://www.AgilePhilly.com

Ron Jeffries

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 1:12:06 PM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Hello, D.. On Friday, November 20, 2009, at 11:22:21 AM, you
wrote:

> I can imagine splitting this skill in two, but I don't see the difference
> between leadership and self-organization. Can you explain?

To me ...

Leadership is about an individual doing things that help the group
move. Self-organization is a team activity.

Ron Jeffries
www.XProgramming.com
www.xprogramming.com/blog
Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future. -- Niels Bohr

Jeremy Anderson

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 11:01:27 AM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
One thing that I think is missing from this description is any kind of notion that the person is indeed self-organizing.  All of the skills mention that the person is able to either follow leadership or able to lead, but mentions nothing of the motivation or self-organizing aspect of the skill.  In my opinion self-organizing teamwork is a do-ocracy (http://www.communitywiki.org/en/DoOcracy), where people step up and fill the roles necessary, as much as it is being able to follow or lead.

My $0.02,
Jeremy Anderson

dtinsley

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 1:18:32 PM11/20/09
to Agile Developer Skills
I am not understanding the question. The topic is "Self-Organizing
Teamwork". This is a result of most or preferably all team members
having the proper attitude and leadership that promotes agile
practices. To me "Self-Organizing Teamwork" is a result of developers
having the right skills and attitudes. There is also mention of
various levels for developers (learning, practitioner....) I prefer
the Dreyfus model described in Andy Hunt's book Pragmatic Thinking and
Learning.

Over all I think the best indication that someone will be a good agile
team member is:

Shows a long-term desire to move from journeyman to craftsman. (study
groups, software related blogging, seeks out training)
Demonstrates that they will share knowledge insights with others.
(mentoring,being mentored not just for newbies all team members)
Open to debate and new ideas. (question whenever a quick solution does
not follow solid principles, or adds unnecessary technical debt)
Willingness to work closely with non-developers (users, business
owners, managers)
Patience with the process (complex problems are not easily solved it
takes time and investigation.


On Nov 20, 9:37 am, D. André Dhondt <d.andre.dho...@gmail.com> wrote:
> [*As mentioned in Chet's previous note, here is a skill we've identified as
> important to an Agile Developer that we'd like to discuss*.  *Please read
> the Agile Skills
> Matrix<http://www.agileskillsproject.org/skillsmatrix.html>document
> for context--but basically, what we're asking for is your input on
> a fractal list of skills, to be called the Skills Inventory.  For now, we're
> going to reduce the scope of this huge question "what should an agile
> developer know?" by focusing on one skill at a time. We're shooting for a
> concise format, that includes a Definition; Resources that provide further
> reading; a description of what's expected of someone at various levels of
> achievement--Learning, Practitioner, Journeyman, Master; a link to related
> skills; names of ancillary (supporting/prerequisite) skills*.*  I'm sending
> you example text, below, and I recommend you reply to this thread with
> suggested improvements.  I don't know if this is enough information for some
> 400 of us to work together, but let's give it a try, and see where we go
> from here!*]
>
> *Self-Organizing Teamwork*
>
> Definition: Agile teams organize themselves directly around the problem
> domain to solve it.
>
> Resources:http://www.agile-process.org/team.html,http://hp-strategies.com/images/tpm.jpg

denise tinsley

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 11:55:31 AM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
I am not understanding the question. The topic is "Self-Organizing Teamwork". This is a result of most or preferably all team members having the proper attitude and leadership that promotes agile practices. To me "Self-Organizing Teamwork" is a result of developers having the right skills and attitudes.  There is also mention of various levels for developers (learning, practitioner....) I prefer the Dreyfus model described in Andy Hunt's book Pragmatic Thinking and Learning.
 
Over all I think the best indication that someone will be a good agile team member is:
 
  • Shows a long-term desire to move from journeyman to craftsman. (study groups, software related blogging, seeks out training)
  • Demonstrates that they will share knowledge insights with others. (mentoring,being mentored not just for newbies all team members)
  • Open to debate and new ideas. (question whenever a quick solution does not follow solid principles, or adds unnecessary technical debt)
  • Willingness to work closely with non-developers (users, business owners, managers)
  • Patience with the process (complex problems are not easily solved it takes time and investigation.  
--

D. André Dhondt

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 1:45:32 PM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com

[Based on everyone's comments so far, I think the intent here was to talk about a skill that applies to one person, rather than a collective team attribute--that individual skill is actually Leadership, so I rewrote this, below.  I encourage you to refactor this text as well, posting improved, complete versions as we go along.]


Leadership

Definition: Agile teams always have a leader, but who is leading changes based on the situation and particular problem domain.

 

Resources: http://www.agile-process.org/team.html , http://hp-strategies.com/images/tpm.jpg

 

Learning: Student knows how to participate in a daily stand up/scrum meeting. Student demonstrates an understanding of leadership versus management.  Student knows how to ask for help.

Practitioner: Student knows how to lead and follow, thereby promoting a self-organizing team. Student exploits osmotic communication, and reaches out to other team members regularly (several times a day), asking either for help or advising them of changes that impact their work.

Journeyman: Student knows how to encourage leadership in a team environment.  Student is fully connected and interdependent upon other team members

Douglas Swartz

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 1:49:25 PM11/20/09
to D. André Dhondt
Hello D.,

For now, I will ignore the meta discussions already in play, and
attempt to extend the currently proposed model with a few behaviors
that individuals can exhibit which help institute and support a
sefl-organinzing team.

Friday, November 20, 2009, 9:37:50 AM, you wrote:

> Self-Organizing Teamwork
> Definition: Agile teams organize themselves directly around the problem domain to solve it.
>
> Resources: http://www.agile-process.org/team.html ,
> http://hp-strategies.com/images/tpm.jpg
>
> Learning: Student knows how to participate in a daily stand
> up/scrum meeting. Student demonstrates an understanding of
> leadership versus management. Student knows how to ask for help.

> Practitioner: Student knows how to follow good leadership in a team
> environment. Student uses osmotic communication, and reaches out to
> other team members regularly (several times a day), asking either
> for help or advising them of changes that impact their work. Student
> leads from time to time.

Student takes active productive part in design discussions and
estimation sessions. Student volunteers to take on tasks which "Have
to be done, but no-one relishes". Student shares thoughtful insights
in team retrospectives.

> Journeyman: Student knows how to lead in a team environment.
> Student is fully connected and interdependent upon other team members

Student shows understanding and sensitivity to interpersonal dynamics of
team. Student understands organizational needs outside "the team" and
translates those needs to the rest of the team with actions which
enhance the project in the larger context.

> Master: Student can coach a self-organizing team.
>
> Related Skills: Agile Communication Channels, Working with Domain Experts, Collective Ownership.
>
> Ancillary Skills: Continuous Improvement (retrospectives),
> Disciplined professionalism, Recognizing business value, Agile metrics, Stand Up Meetings.
>





--
Best regards,
Douglas mailto:swartzco...@gmail.com

D. André Dhondt

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 1:54:57 PM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 7:18 PM, dtinsley <dtins...@gmail.com> wrote:
I am not understanding the question. The topic is...a result of developers

having the right skills and attitudes.  
I was afraid it would be hard to understand this discussion.  We probably need to open up this space at some point to speak more generally about what we're doing here, but for the time being I'd like to try building up a short list of skills--maybe 3 or 4, then put them on a grid (the Skills Matrix), and see what we've got.  We could call it an iteration, even, and then have a retrospective to see where we should go next.  So, if you're game, hold on until the end of next week and we'll talk more generally.  I think there's something powerful, though, in being specific and narrow in scope.
 
I prefer the Dreyfus model...

I think this comment is off-topic, and so in the future I'll only reply to the sender off-list.
 
Over all I think the best indication that someone will be a good agile
team member is:
Good ideas, but more general than I'm going for.

P.S.  I hope I'm not coming off too harshly--I've never moderated a list like this before, and I hope that my intent, to have laser-like focus, doesn't hurt our creativity.

 

Ron Jeffries

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 3:00:50 PM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Hello, denise. On Friday, November 20, 2009, at 11:55:31 AM, you
wrote:

> Over all I think the best indication that someone will be a good agile team
> member is:

Was this list of topics that follows supposed to be about
self-organizing? It doesn't seem to be to me.
>
> - Shows a long-term desire to move from journeyman to craftsman. (study
> groups, software related blogging, seeks out training)
> - Demonstrates that they will share knowledge insights with others.
> (mentoring,being mentored not just for newbies all team members)
> - Open to debate and new ideas. (question whenever a quick solution does
> not follow solid principles, or adds unnecessary technical debt)
> - Willingness to work closely with non-developers (users, business
> owners, managers)
> - Patience with the process (complex problems are not easily solved it
> takes time and investigation.

Ron Jeffries
www.XProgramming.com
www.xprogramming.com/blog
If there's only one answer, then this must not be a very interesting topic.

Ron Jeffries

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 3:02:32 PM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Hello, D.. On Friday, November 20, 2009, at 1:54:57 PM, you wrote:

> I was afraid it would be hard to understand this discussion. We probably
> need to open up this space at some point to speak more generally about what
> we're doing here, but for the time being I'd like to try building up a short
> list of skills--maybe 3 or 4, then put them on a grid (the Skills Matrix),
> and see what we've got. We could call it an iteration, even, and then have
> a retrospective to see where we should go next. So, if you're game, hold on
> until the end of next week and we'll talk more generally. I think there's
> something powerful, though, in being specific and narrow in scope.

Yes ... I think you started in the middle for some of these people.
Perhaps also try to do some that seem more core? Or ... what?

Ron Jeffries
www.XProgramming.com
www.xprogramming.com/blog
Agility might be said to be about encountering
all the problems so early and so often that the
effort to fix them is less than the pain of enduring them.

Charlie Poole

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 3:35:41 PM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Hi Ron,

> Yes ... I think you started in the middle for some of these people.
> Perhaps also try to do some that seem more core? Or ... what?

Perhaps the word is ... easier? :-)

It seems to me that these sorts of skills (communication, teamwork,
etc.) are the hardest to deal with. Maybe we should try with a
technical skill next just to see what happens.

Charlie



Max Guernsey, III

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 10:18:40 PM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Bingo.

Max Guernsey, III - Author of Transition Testing: Cornerstone of Database
Agility
Managing Member, Hexagon Software
http://www.hexsw.com
http://www.dataconstructor.com


--
NOTE FROM GROUP MODERATORS:

Much of the discussion in the group is predicated on the Meeting Notes and
Proposals published in the Pages Section. If you have not yet reviewed
them, we strongly recommend you do.

Chet and Ron



You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups "Agile Developer Skills" group.
To post to this group, send email to
agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
agile-developer-s...@googlegroups.com
For more options, visit this group at
http://groups.google.com/group/agile-developer-skills?hl=en?hl=en
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.75/2516 - Release Date: 11/20/09
19:43:00


Max Guernsey, III

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 10:24:35 PM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com

 

Max Guernsey, III  - Author of Transition Testing: Cornerstone of Database Agility

Managing Member, Hexagon Software

http://www.hexsw.com

http://www.dataconstructor.com

 

From: D. André Dhondt [mailto:d.andre...@gmail.com]

Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 10:46 AM
To: agile-devel...@googlegroups.com

--

NOTE FROM GROUP MODERATORS:
 
Much of the discussion in the group is predicated on the Meeting Notes and Proposals published in the Pages Section. If you have not yet reviewed them, we strongly recommend you do.
 
Chet and Ron
 
 
 
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups "Agile Developer Skills" group.
To post to this group, send email to
agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
agile-developer-s...@googlegroups.com
For more options, visit this group at
http://groups.google.com/group/agile-developer-skills?hl=en?hl=en

Max Guernsey, III

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 10:40:27 PM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
I don't think that self-organization is that hard to discuss. I just think
that, like many things, it becomes difficult to discuss when you allow it to
be coupled with other things that also warrant discussion.

Beginner:
Working with the concept of not being told what to do; sometimes requires
information to be pushed.

Intermediate:
Able to work without being assigned tasks; able to pull information; able to
identify impediments blocking themselves from delivery.

Advanced:
Able to help identify impediments for others and help unblock them.

Master:
Able to help advance others' ability to self-organize.

---

That is, of course, notwithstanding the fact that /teams/ must be
self-organizing and only looking at the individual aspect.

Max Guernsey, III - Author of Transition Testing: Cornerstone of Database
Agility
Managing Member, Hexagon Software
http://www.hexsw.com
http://www.dataconstructor.com


Ron Jeffries

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 10:46:27 PM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Hello, Max. On Friday, November 20, 2009, at 10:24:35 PM, you
wrote:

> I do not accept that Agile teams always have a leader.

Oh they do. Who the leader is can and should vary from moment to
moment though.

Ron Jeffries
www.XProgramming.com
www.xprogramming.com/blog
A long range weather forecast should be obtained before leaving,
as weather conditions are extremely unpredictable. --Natal Daily News

Max Guernsey, III

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 10:51:34 PM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
...or not exist.

Max Guernsey, III - Author of Transition Testing: Cornerstone of Database
Agility
Managing Member, Hexagon Software
http://www.hexsw.com
http://www.dataconstructor.com


-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronje...@acm.org]
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 7:46 PM
To: agile-devel...@googlegroups.com

Jeff Hoover

unread,
Nov 20, 2009, 11:22:30 PM11/20/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
First, a question: Under which pillar does the skill of Leadership fall?

As a definition of Leadership, Andre wrote:
> Definition: Agile teams always have a leader, but who is leading changes
> based on the situation and particular problem domain.

This doesn't read like a definition to me. To me a definition of
leadership would be structured more like this one:
"a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an
objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more
cohesive and coherent" (Source:
http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadcon.html - not intended as
a formal resource, simply an example) Of course, in the case of
self-directed agile teams, people are hopefully influencing *each*
*other* toward a *common* objective, rather than toward one leader's
objective.

One issue I'm having may also be with the way in which Andre and Ron
say that an agile team always has "a leader". "A leader" sounds a lot
like "one leader" to me. And "one leader" strikes me as antithetical
to the concept of self-directed team. Certainly someone is always
leading, but I'd say at any given moment, *several* someones may be
leading on different aspects of the project. Which person is leading
any given aspect may (and probably should?) change from fairly
rapidly.

Regarding the levels of Leadership, I offer a different wording for
Master level -
Master: Student can coach a team toward self-organization.

Jeff

Max Guernsey, III

unread,
Nov 21, 2009, 12:04:45 AM11/21/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
When you say that it sounds like "one leader," do you mean "one leader at a
time" or do you mean "one leader."

Max Guernsey, III - Author of Transition Testing: Cornerstone of Database
Agility
Managing Member, Hexagon Software
http://www.hexsw.com
http://www.dataconstructor.com


-----Original Message-----
From: redho...@gmail.com [mailto:redho...@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Jeff
Hoover
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 8:23 PM
To: agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [ADS] Re: Self-Organizing Teamwork

Jeff Hoover

unread,
Nov 21, 2009, 12:27:51 AM11/21/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
It sounds to me like "exactly one leader", "*the* leader".

Max Guernsey, III

unread,
Nov 21, 2009, 12:38:14 AM11/21/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
I do not interpret their words that way. To me, the problem is just with
the notion that there must always be a leader, even though it has been
stated that who has the mantle of leadership can and should change.

People need to be able to lead themselves - without that, agility is
impossible. If a team can organize itself, it doesn't always need a leader.
If a team always needs a leader, it cannot organize itself.

Ron Jeffries

unread,
Nov 21, 2009, 5:57:03 AM11/21/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Hello, Max. On Friday, November 20, 2009, at 10:51:34 PM, we
wrote:

>>> I do not accept that Agile teams always have a leader.
>>
>> Oh they do. Who the leader is can and should vary from moment to
>> moment though.

> ...or not exist.

Well, in principle, yes. But in a long time watching, it has always
seemed to me that whenever people aren't just heads down working,
but are doing something together ... and often even when they are
mostly heads down ... one can identify leadership behavior going on.

Ron Jeffries
www.XProgramming.com
www.xprogramming.com/blog
I once had a coworker who worked so hard that when I came in the
morning, he was already sitting there trying to fix the things he
broke after I left the day before ... -- Ilja Preuss.

D. André Dhondt

unread,
Nov 21, 2009, 6:39:42 AM11/21/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
[OK, Max proposed levels for the original skill, so I've added them as a second listing at bottom.  I also replaced the Master level definition as per Jeff.  I encourage you to do these kinds of refactorings yourself--I'm making the changes this time to model what I'm shooting for, and maybe I'm being too controlling, but I think that when we make changes in the concrete, collective ownership works better.]

Leadership

Definition: On an agile team, individuals are constantly influencing each other toward a common objective. 


Resources: ?

 

Learning: Student knows how to participate in a daily stand up/scrum meeting. Student demonstrates an understanding of leadership versus management.  Student knows how to ask for help.

Practitioner: Student knows how to lead and follow, thereby promoting a self-organizing team. Student exploits osmotic communication, and reaches out to other team members regularly (several times a day), asking either for help or advising them of changes that impact their work.

Journeyman: Student knows how to encourage leadership in a team environment.  Student is fully connected and interdependent upon other team members

Master: Student can coach a team toward self-organization.

 

Related Skills: Agile Communication Channels, Working with Domain Experts, Collective Ownership.

 

Ancillary Skills: Continuous Improvement (retrospectives), Disciplined professionalism, Recognizing business value, Agile metrics, Stand Up Meetings.



Self-Organizing Teamwork

Definition: Agile teams organize themselves directly around the problem domain to solve it, sharing the responsibility to finish work.

Beginner:

George Dinwiddie

unread,
Nov 21, 2009, 12:39:21 PM11/21/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Max Guernsey, III wrote:
> I don't think that self-organization is that hard to discuss. I just think
> that, like many things, it becomes difficult to discuss when you allow it to
> be coupled with other things that also warrant discussion.
>
> Beginner:
> Working with the concept of not being told what to do; sometimes requires
> information to be pushed.
>
> Intermediate:
> Able to work without being assigned tasks; able to pull information; able to
> identify impediments blocking themselves from delivery.
>
> Advanced:
> Able to help identify impediments for others and help unblock them.
>
> Master:
> Able to help advance others' ability to self-organize.

Max, I like this list, and I think it focuses pretty well on the
proficiency scale without getting too caught in the fluency scale. (The
"sometimes requires" bit seems like a fluency issue, to me.) If you
don't mind, I'd like to see if I can't polish it a little.

If I'm fundamentally changing from your idea, please let me know. I'm
attempting to merely clarify your suggestion based on my understanding
of it. In some senses I'm reading more into your suggestion than what's
actually stated, however--hence my request.

Beginner:
* Can find meaningful work to do without being directed.

Intermediate:
* Can find find collaborative work to do without being directed.
* Can pull information needed to identify work, or to enable
collaboration.
* Can identify impediments to own work.

Advanced:
* Can find ways to remove impediments to own work.
* Can identify impediments to the team's work.
* Can find ways to remove impediments to the team's work.

Master:
* Can find ways to advance the team's ability to self-organize.

This list has some terms that must be examined to make full meaning.
For example, I see a scale of work from "busy" to "meaningful" to
"collaborative." I see another scale from managing one's own work to
managing (collaboratively) the team's work as a whole.

There is a fluency scale for each of these bullet points:
* Successful occasionally
* Generally successful with patterns previously experienced
* Occasionally able to generate new successful patterns
* Generally able to generate new successful patterns

- George

--
----------------------------------------------------------------------
* George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Max Guernsey, III

unread,
Nov 21, 2009, 5:17:35 PM11/21/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
True and, in my experience, there are often several people simultaneously
exhibiting that behavior.

Max Guernsey, III - Author of Transition Testing: Cornerstone of Database
Agility
Managing Member, Hexagon Software
http://www.hexsw.com
http://www.dataconstructor.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronje...@acm.org]
Sent: Saturday, November 21, 2009 2:57 AM
To: agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [ADS] Re: Self-Organizing Teamwork

Max Guernsey, III

unread,
Nov 21, 2009, 5:35:13 PM11/21/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
George,

Yeah. That looks like a more refined version of the basic idea.

Can you imagine how funny it would be if I did mind you trying to polish my
initial take on a scale of proficiency for self-organization?

Anyway, the reason I had "sometimes" in the Beginner classification is that
the Beginner group seems like it is going to include people who are
completely new. Maybe the "Beginner" stratum to be broken out into "Novice"
and "Neophyte" where "Novice" has the definition you ascribed to "Beginner"
and "Neophyte" has the definition I ascribed to "Beginner."

Max Guernsey, III - Author of Transition Testing: Cornerstone of Database
Agility
Managing Member, Hexagon Software
http://www.hexsw.com
http://www.dataconstructor.com


-----Original Message-----
From: George Dinwiddie [mailto:li...@iDIAcomputing.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 21, 2009 9:39 AM
To: agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [ADS] Re: Self-Organizing Teamwork

--
NOTE FROM GROUP MODERATORS:

Much of the discussion in the group is predicated on the Meeting Notes and
Proposals published in the Pages Section. If you have not yet reviewed
them, we strongly recommend you do.

Chet and Ron



You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups "Agile Developer Skills" group.
To post to this group, send email to
agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
agile-developer-s...@googlegroups.com
For more options, visit this group at
http://groups.google.com/group/agile-developer-skills?hl=en?hl=en
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.75/2516 - Release Date: 11/21/09
07:47:00


George Dinwiddie

unread,
Nov 21, 2009, 6:14:35 PM11/21/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Max,

Thanks! As for "sometimes," I just see it as a matter of fluency at
that level of proficiency. We all are successful only "sometimes," no
matter what our level of proficiency. The better we get, the larger a
percentage that "sometimes" becomes. Hence, I see that as a fluency
concept rather than proficiency.

- George

Max Guernsey, III

unread,
Nov 21, 2009, 6:35:59 PM11/21/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Since I have a tendency to use language that is too harsh, I have trained
myself to use "sometimes" euphemistically. I was trying to convey that, at
the beginning, most attempts will result in failure to achieve the objective
paired with success in learning.

There doesn't have to be a "Beginner/Neophyte" level of proficiency but it
seems like we are moving backwards, toward a more "roman numeral" style
system of classifications. I like zero... it's handy.
--
NOTE FROM GROUP MODERATORS:

Much of the discussion in the group is predicated on the Meeting Notes and
Proposals published in the Pages Section. If you have not yet reviewed
them, we strongly recommend you do.

Chet and Ron



You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups "Agile Developer Skills" group.
To post to this group, send email to
agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
agile-developer-s...@googlegroups.com
For more options, visit this group at
http://groups.google.com/group/agile-developer-skills?hl=en?hl=en

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.425 / Virus Database: 270.14.76/2517 - Release Date: 11/21/09
07:47:00


Ron Jeffries

unread,
Nov 21, 2009, 6:43:10 PM11/21/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Hello, Max. On Saturday, November 21, 2009, at 5:17:35 PM, you
wrote:

> True and, in my experience, there are often several people simultaneously
> exhibiting that behavior.

Yes, or so close to simultaneously that we can't tell ...

Ron Jeffries
www.XProgramming.com
www.xprogramming.com/blog
I'm giving the best advice I have. You get to decide whether it's true for you.

David Chilcott

unread,
Nov 21, 2009, 7:08:47 PM11/21/09
to Agile Developer Skills
In this context, I think of leadership as one or more individuals
taking responsibility for things going well for the group as a whole.

A self-organizing team can have zero, one or more leaders (based on
the definition above). An experienced self-organizing team can be
considered "Leaderful" as distinct from "leaderless". A team
operating without any leaders tends to be less effective/less
successful than a team with one or more people providing leadership,
in my experience.

Cooperatives and collectives have YEARS of practical experience
working as self-organizing businesses.

-- David Chilcott
Outformations, Inc.

Keep Breathing. Tell the Truth. Be Fearless. Choose Love. Embrace
the Mystery.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Email: d...@outformations.com
Voice: 510.655.7122
Skype: DavidChilcott
Twitter: DavidChilcott
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DavidRChilcott
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/DavidChilcott
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ask me about the Outformations Agile Enterprise JumpStart
http://bit.ly/AgileJumpStart
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadcon.html- not intended as
> > a formal resource, simply an example) Of course, in the case of
> > self-directed agile teams, people are hopefully influencing *each*
> > *other* toward a *common* objective, rather than toward one leader's
> > objective.
>
> > One issue I'm having may also be with the way in which Andre and Ron
> > say that an agile team always has "a leader". "A leader" sounds a lot
> > like "one leader" to me. And "one leader" strikes me as antithetical
> > to the concept of self-directed team. Certainly someone is always
> > leading, but I'd say at any given moment, *several* someones may be
> > leading on different aspects of the project. Which person is leading
> > any given aspect may (and probably should?) change from fairly
> > rapidly.
>
> > Regarding the levels of Leadership, I offer a different wording for
> > Master level -
> > Master: Student can coach a team toward self-organization.
>
> > Jeff
>
> > On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 10:24 PM, Max Guernsey, III <m...@hexsw.com> wrote:
> >> I do not accept that Agile teams always have a leader.
>
> >> Max Guernsey, III  - Author of Transition Testing: Cornerstone of
> Database
> >> Agility
>
> >> Managing Member, Hexagon Software
>
> >>http://www.hexsw.com
>
> >>http://www.dataconstructor.com
>
> For more options, visit this group athttp://groups.google.com/group/agile-developer-skills?hl=en?hl=en

Ron Jeffries

unread,
Nov 22, 2009, 8:40:09 AM11/22/09
to agile-devel...@googlegroups.com
Hello, Max. On Saturday, November 21, 2009, at 6:35:59 PM, you
wrote:

> Since I have a tendency to use language that is too harsh, I have trained
> myself to use "sometimes" euphemistically. I was trying to convey that, at
> the beginning, most attempts will result in failure to achieve the objective
> paired with success in learning.

> There doesn't have to be a "Beginner/Neophyte" level of proficiency but it
> seems like we are moving backwards, toward a more "roman numeral" style
> system of classifications. I like zero... it's handy.

Zero /is/ handy. I'm rather glad I invented it.

However, let me toss this out ... I'm wondering whether the levels
are causing us more trouble than they are worth. Imagine something
that mentioned various "quantities" of some skill we're talking
about, but didn't associate them directly with levels, just
more/less.

Am I making that idea clear enough to give it a fair chance?

Ron Jeffries
www.XProgramming.com
www.xprogramming.com/blog
Fear is the mindkiller. --Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear

George Dinwiddie

unread,
Nov 22, 2009, 9:30:17 AM11/22/09