Project Management Institute

Agile without anarchy

Numerous executives and project practitioners worry that agile's dedication to self-organized teams leads to anarchy. Or worse, the teams develop a do-whatever-we-want-attitude. Accordingly, the thought of self-organized teams can be scary to many organizations. This article discusses how self-organized teams can be a comforting reality because they allow members to focus on the work and they let the project manager focus on problem solving. It notes how self-organized teams are not self-managed teams and details how agile approaches encourage team members to strike a balanced approach by sorting out their own daily assignments but leaning on their higher-ups to take care of organizational work. Then the article explains how project teams in agile take over more of the internal decisions, which allows the person in the typical project management position more free time to tackle the bigger questions that span multiple teams. It concludes by listing a three-step process for making self-organizing teams a reali
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