Self Managed teams free up management time, drive up efficiency and lead to happier more content employees.
A self managed team is one where colleagues work in an autonomous group to achieve a given task, project or service. By definition the key difference from standard ways of working is that the participants are self-leading and therefore have much less input and guidance from a hands-on manager.
The team operate with an all-for-one and one-for-all mindset (they probably wont be carrying swords and wearing funny hats) moving towards well understood goals.
In all likelihood the group or team will have a sponsor that in some respects provides in a supervisory overview of their efforts, but actually is probably best used to guide and steer the group, be a sounding board and ensure they have the resources available (and co-operation) from within the organisation
If you are thinking of starting or joining a self managed team you should consider these factors about your self and likewise relate them to your organisation and colleague
- Responsibility. Are you ready to take responsibility for your tasks and those of your group?
- Independence. Do you enjoy and respond well to being given autonomy in your tasks or do you actually prefer being given definitive tasks with regular feedback to your manager?
- Co-operation. Are you, your bosses and colleagues ready to work in a flat structure and support each other towards end goals?
These are just a few initial basic points that are worth considering as you embark on setting up a self managed team. In later articles I will look at the benefits of self managed teams for the individual and the organisation. Plus some of the challenges.
If you want to read in more detail about self managed teams I would recommend Self-Managing Teams by Robert F Hicks and Diane Bone.