Agile Self-Organizing Teams and Role of a Leader


Agile team should self-organize. The Scrum Master can influence the process but not directly intervene.

We all know this.

Well, if you are not sure how this process works then you should read what Mike Cohn of Mountain Goat Software has to say:

However, do you really think that the leader should try to influence the team in a subtle manner? Is that what a leader is supposed to do?

Take the case of the “International Conference on Agile and Lean Software Methods” or …

Agile India 2012

Whichever way you look at it, the event was a grand success.

It had more than 700 participants and 120 speakers from 18 countries.

However, in my opinion, the biggest measure of success of any conference is to look at the closing session. Here is a 3 day conference ending on Sunday evening. You would expect to find the closing session to be half empty.

But no – in this conference the hall was full – as full as the opening session. That means participants found the conference interesting enough to stay till the end and attend the closing session.

Yes, it was an event where the organizing committee was self-organizing but how it happened makes an interesting story.

The Story behind Agile India 2012

105 days before the conference the organizer pulled out stating that the time frame was too ambitious. There were no sponsor for the event and hardly any registration.

Naresh, the conference chair, after consulting with the rest of the committee decided to go ahead – and – as you can all see, he did pull it off.

How did this happen?

This is what Venkat; the program co-chair had to say…

“…this would not have happened by any stretch of imagination without the hard work and thousands of hours that Naresh had spent…”

But, I think it is not just the hard work which is behind the success. The belief that it can be pulled off contributed as much.

Such belief is contagious and it rubs off from the leader to the rest of the team.

Such belief motivates the rest of the team to do the impossible.

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