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Benefits of Servant Leadership and Self-Organisation in Software Development
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Benefits of Servant Leadership and Self-Organisation in Software Development

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    • 1. Benefits of Servant Leadership & Self-Organisation in Software Development Neil Killick June 2012
    • 2. Who am I?     16 years in “software industry”, background in development Last 3+ years, Agile team leader & coach  Scrum Master  Product Owner Twitter: neil_killick Blog: http://neilkillick.com
    • 3. Leadership in Agile - The Scrum Master role     Scrum Master is specifically Scrum Also known as Iteration Manager, Agile Project Manager or (less commonly) Agile Master SM focuses purely on the people aspect of delivering projects (which is everything) SM leads, coaches, guides & mentors the team to its own success
    • 4. What about Project management?     Project (work) management is shared by the SM, Product Owner & Team PO calls the shots in terms of work priorities & release dates (the “boss” of the product) SM fosters an environment of team empowerment, selforganisation, positivity & success People WANT to succeed & will if encouraged, trusted & supported rather than being asked or told to
    • 5. Servant Leadership Scrum Master is the leader - NOT the “boss” or the “manager” - of the team (aka Servant Leader)
    • 6. Servant Leadership      Role of SM embodies what a good leader should be (as opposed to a good boss) Opposite of Command & Control leadership SM serves the team, not the other way round Helps the team achieve their goals, not tell them what to do or do things for them SM does not remove impediments; they help the team remove their own impediments (“teach a man how to fish…”)
    • 7. Traits of Command and Control     Subtly present in almost all (dysfunctional) organisations, not just those with tyrant bosses Metrics that encourage playing the system, e.g. velocity targets, actual vs. estimate Metrics that promote fear of failure, e.g. must complete all stories by release date, individual performance targets Telling people to “work harder” or work longer hours/weekends
    • 8. Consequences of Command and Control       Moaning at the water-cooler (“grrrrr I want to kill my boss!”) Intra and inter-team conflicts Death marches (“get it done at all costs!!”) Compromises made in product quality & employee well-being Short-term wins vs. long-term sustainability Technical debt
    • 9. An alternative: Self-Organisation “The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.” – from the 12 principles of Agile
    • 10. Self-Organisation      Team organises itself to work in optimum way Enabling self-organisation is the most effective way to get the best out of people If you have a cross-functional team full of individuals hired to do a particular job, they will know best how to do that job Metrics used by teams because they want to improve, not by managers who want their teams to improve Teams buy in to the vision & are given the environment and tools to succeed
    • 11. Self-Management     What about people management? Team manages itself If a process is pushed upon a team, they may accept it but will never truly own it or care about it If the process isn’t working, team will complain rather than fix the process because that’s all they think they’re allowed to do Team wall allows team to visualise, inspect and adapt their process and creates a shared story of work
    • 12. Self-Organisation/Management     Two sides of the same coin; one leads to the other Leaders emerge, as does process and continuous process improvements (kaizen, retrospectives) Particularly true in knowledge management work such as software development, which is a creative pursuit for smart, motivated people Under which conditions do you work best?
    • 13. Thank you Any questions?