A Manager’s Guide to Self Managing Teams

An agile team that finds its groove is a precious thing. A group of smart diverse people, passionate about their shared purpose, openly collaborating and continually experimenting can do amazing things. They don’t need managing in the traditional sense so what can leaders/managers who work with these teams do to help them?

Don’t Tell, Ask

Questions are your most powerful tool. A strong team will thrive on them. Trying to tell an autonomous team what to do will be received with disdain, and they may use it as a scapegoat for any even vaguely related problems. What you can do is ask questions that will help them think in a rigourous way about their choices. Ask the awkward questions that they might be ignoring. What is the benefit to x related to its cost? By questioning in this way you can encourage them to think more critically and avoid becoming complacent.

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