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PhD Candidate at Purdue University, Computer Science.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Walk through Self Managed Team

:) i have to start blogging this post by smiling and laughing for the few weeks i spent in a new model adopted by my company.
what is making me smiling is that the team was broken mainly by the definition and the key words!!!
i will tell that in details later.

for good luck, i was selected as a small lab among my company to launch smaller teams working as "Self Managed Teams". we were assigned to the product team, handling the SalesBuzz product.

Without going in deep details abt the salesbuzz and its value in the Middle East market, I can refer to this later in another post talking abt my working experience during the last year.

The mission wasn't so simple, I have to confess. In the same time I have to say that I was enjoying the experiment very much, and I would happily continue it.

To be honest, I took the adventure as it is. So I didn't try to read abt self managed teams. But now for documentation purposes I will write down some of the definition and the advantages and the pitfalls from my point of view.

Self-Managed Team: A group of people working together in their own ways toward a common goal which is defined outside the team. And this is so far wt happened with our experiment. We had to work as a group of four, to achieve some goal predefined to us. All we had to do is to decide whether we can fit to these targets or not.

1-The SMT adds some enthusiasm to the team members.

2-Knowledge share.


Well I can c a lot of benefits in this model. But I won't go so deep in this. I think it's clear enough.

I remember one of the team members saying "I like the SMT, it gives me ownership, and I perform better when I feel the ownership".

Another one: "it helps me achieving my dream and my career path".

I can highlight some notes I think they r very important in forming ur first team.

1- When u want to develop this model for the first time in ur organization on a sample of ur employees; it will b better to do it with a familiar team. Members already feel comfortable together and understand each other. In this case success of the self managed team is guaranteed with higher probabilities. Then u can make profit from this team success because it will give a push for the other teams to start this experiment. The other teams will b motivated by the first team success. Otherwise u will find a group of unfamiliar and unmotivated people destroying themselves under the work load.

2- Try to listen carefully and periodically to the team status. Listen to the team members and their ideas and their feelings. Don't neglect their complaints.

3- Picking the people to fulfill the model must be based on prehistoric analysis. Try to select the people having the leadership skills, ownership, risks takers and learners. Otherwise, believe me u will b losing ur money and ur time.

4- The teammates must be close to each other in the technical side. Otherwise the most skillful member will b overloaded and u will find him always suffering. Also he will feel boring from dealing with the team.

5- Keep the load balanced between all the team members.

I believe that this experiment gave me a lot of things.

Although, I believed that the team had to have a team leader.

1 comment:

oldmoe said...

A team leader? wouldn't that person act as a manager for the team? and hence; the team wont be self managed anymore?

I'm just thinking, there surely needs to be some sort of technical lead, one who can help others solve problems, but a team lead? I'm not sure

Nice read though, keep it up Fizous :)