Agile Organizational Design
Agile Organizational Design
Growing Self - Organizing Structures at Scale
About the Book
The traditional approach to organizational design has got it wrong, completely wrong.
The way we structure organizations, along with the accompanying management system, is based on concepts that are over 100 years old, and is built to meet the needs of the industrial age. The goal back then was to drive down the price of production, and eliminate scarcity. Organizations did this through the principles of division, standardization and control.
But we are no longer live in the industrial age. We live in an age of change, an age of uncertainty, an age of complexity.
From hierarchy to value network, from command and control to self-organization, from departments to teams, many organizations no longer create value the way they used to. But organizational design as not kept pace.
We need for a different approach to getting organized, one based on a new way of thinking about organizations.
This book provides a set of thinking tools and design skills to help your leaders grow structure that promotes, rather than inhibits, agility. Change agents all types can use this book to help them design their organization around value creation, rather than the familiar concepts of control, bureaucracy, and power.
Agile Organizational Design presents new methods guided by a very different mindset than the one that help up design organization for the industrial age. This book will present how to design organizing structure around the following principles.
Principles for Agile Organizational Design
Organize for Cross Functionality
Team matter more than departments. Teams that are cross-functional. Comprised of people who are both experts in their respective fields, but also able to pinch hit and swap roles. We need to design for teams that are both capable and empowered to get the job done with a minimum of interference.
Organize Through Markets
Avoid adding a slew of mandated centralized services. Instead, connect teams through markets. Set up any enterprise services up as voluntary, and bring the benefit of market mechanics inside your organization; and avoid the cruft, senselessness, and even immorality that comes with command side decision making.
Organize With Flexibility
The real world is not always so accommodating to the need for dedicated, stable teams, that have minimal handoffs with other teams, Change happens. And we will need to adapt. Team stability and no cross team hand-offs often counteract each other. The answer is to arm our knowledge workers with the insight and understanding required to form together into teams..
Organize Around Social and Domain Boundaries
Teams of 5 -8 is often the golden rule in most agile circles. But if we want to scale with agility we need to consider how to achieve social density are larger scales. Structuring people into groups of 5, 15, 35, 150 all have merit when we think about varying levels of social density. We can also take a page from Domain Drive Design and align our organization and solution architecture according to domains that can be delivered and managed by independent, full stack teams.
As I go through how to incorporate these principle into your organization, I'll share a set of *organizing constraints* we can use when thinking about our organizational design. Ignoring any one of these constraints means we are likely to have less organizational agility a a result.
- Principles for Agile Organizational Design
- So Why Am I Writing About Agile Organizational Design?
- Sources of Inspiration:
From Industry to Uncertainty
- The Industrial Era
- The Rise Of The Industrial Machine
- Ch-Changes, Turn and Face The Strange
- From People to Machine, back To People Again
- Time For A Radically Different Approach
- The Modern Organization
The Team is The Core Building Block
- A Mental Model For Your Organization
- The Power Of Decentralization
- The Goal of Self-Organization
- Why Agile Teams Work
- Agile Teams Deliver Value To The Market
- Functional Departments Grow Capability
Other Building Blocks To Scale Agile Teams
- The Need To Build Upon Agile Teams
- There Are No Independent Teams
- Foundational Organizing Structures
- The Market
- The Identity
- The Edge
- The Core
- The Majority Works In The Edge
- The Core Travel to The Edge
- Agility Does Not Come from Agile Teams
- Organize Around Social Boundaries
Facilitating an Organization Mapping Exercise
- Before we get started
- 1 - Identify Market Actors
- 2 - Define Identifying Goals
- 3 - Map Edge Capabilities and Teams
- 4 - Define Core Capabilities, and Teams
- A Special note On Context Boundaries
Refining Your Organization Through Collaboration Patterns
- Why are Patterns Important
- Collaboration patterns
- Dedicated Team Member
- Traveler Pool Member
- Service Provider
- Communities of Practice
- Dynamic Team Member
- Agile Ecosystem
Defining Jobs and Roles in an Agile Organization
- Traditional jobs and roles suck
- The Sports Team: A Metaphor for Thinking About Jobs
- People Play Many Different Roles
- Example - A Typical Tech Product Organization
- Role Personas
Reimagining The Hierarchy
- The Industrial Hierarchy Is Broken
- Seniority Equals Mastery Not Authority
- The Advice Process
Scaling Agile Behavior For Continuous Organization
- Truly Stable Teams Erode Agility
- The Need For Continuous Evolution
- Agile Enables Teams To Organize
- Agile Behaviors of a Self-organizing Team
- Scaling Agile Enable Larger Groups To Re-Organize
- Agile Behavior For Re-Teaming
Facilitating Continuous Organization With Agile Practices
- Forecasting Change With Agile Long Term Planning
- Organizing Around The Work With Kanban
- Balance Stability With Eliminating Hand Offs
- Using Kanban to Enable Continuous Evolution of Organizing Structures
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