The Poker Chips Feedback Experiment

The Poker Chips experiment gave us a whole new level of transparency, communication, trust and performance. So much that I strongly recommend every team to try it and sustain it, but before I go into details, I must set the right context so you understand where we were coming from. After we ditched the hierarchy and moved to a self-managed environment, we had to experiment with a lot of innovative practices to cope with the gaps that the lack of structure left us. Our teams are used to come up with many democratic approaches to make decisions and implement processes. … Continue reading The Poker Chips Feedback Experiment

Merit Increase in a self-managed group. Experiment 4: Star Awards

At this point, we have experimented quite a bit with different methods and, more importantly, we have grown in terms of trust, transparency and self-management. Check out our previous experiments if you haven’t done so yet (Experiment 1, Experiment 2, Experiment 3). This time we wanted to tackle one of the flaws that all of our previous methods had, and that is to provide recognition right after the fact and have a process that runs throughout the year rather than just once every 6/12 months. We still had to stick to the corporate annual budget cycle so this is what … Continue reading Merit Increase in a self-managed group. Experiment 4: Star Awards

Merit Increase in a self-managed group. Experiment 1: Best Employee

We did it, we removed hierarchy and managers, we are now all equal. Great. However, as you may already know, most content in this blog refers to a self-managed office within the context of a bigger, hierarchical organisation, our self-management can only get so far, but still, pretty fun. Before we realise, is that time of the year when the “bigger company” asks us to submit our proposals for promotions and salary increases. There used to be a clear step-by-step process for this, centralised through the managers. With no managers, what do we do now? To be honest, we didn’t … Continue reading Merit Increase in a self-managed group. Experiment 1: Best Employee

Peak 2: Mauna Kea – Climbing the Self Management Mountain Range

Mauna Kea – Work Mauna Kea in Hawaii is probably less popular and touristy than Mount Fuji and it’s already 4000 meters high, so we’ll start feeling the lack of oxygen. When a self-organized team climbs up here we can expect they’ll have to deal with work-related decisions, so we call this one this the “work mountain”. Execution decisions While in Mount Fuji we saw how a team could decide among them who would do what, in this step we find how a team performs their tasks, meaning what solution to choose and apply to a given problem. Our experience … Continue reading Peak 2: Mauna Kea – Climbing the Self Management Mountain Range

Peak 1: Mount Fuji – Climbing the Self Management Mountain Range

Mount Fuji – Coordination The first peak in this model is Mount Fuji, with its 3776 meters. If you’ve been there you may have noticed that it’s a pretty touristy place. In fact you can find experienced climbers but also totally inexperienced people who get there by bus. We associate this mount with coordination, the first stage of self organisation in this model. This is when a team starts to self organize, which usually in our experience comes in the following forms. Task distribution Teams that are new to self organization usually follow Scrum or Kanban rules and visualize their work … Continue reading Peak 1: Mount Fuji – Climbing the Self Management Mountain Range

Climbing the Self Management Mountain Range

Self management may mean different things to different teams depending, among other things, on the scope in which they are being self managed. I’ll give you an example. In Scrum we say that teams are self organised, but what does that mean? Does it mean that they can distribute tasks among team members as they find appropriate? Sure. Does it mean they can decide on how to take days off? Maybe. Does it mean they can decide how to increase the salary of someone within the team? Eeeeh, What? This model is a simplification of this very complex topic and … Continue reading Climbing the Self Management Mountain Range