Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rules for Self-Management

If you want Agile to be more successful for your organization, you need each individual to think differently about their role and expectation from management. For the teams to be self-organizing, you need each individual to be self-managed. This isn't to say that management in an Agile organization isn't necessary, as they need to be there to provide direction and remove roadblocks for the team if the team cannot do it for themselves.

However, the more the team can manage for themselves, the greater the productivity and efficiency. After all, part of Agile is to be able to deliver working software with better quality and response time.

Rosa Say has always been one of my favorite bloggers on the top of management. She has a recent post on her Talking Story blog that as I read it realized how well it would work on an Agile team if the team adopted her 12 Rules of Self-Management. Here they are, read it for yourself and imagine if each individual followed these rules:

1. Live by your values, whatever they are. You confuse people when you don’t, because they can’t predict how you’ll behave.
2. Speak up! No one can “hear” what you’re thinking without you be willing to stand up for it. Mind-reading is something most people can’t do.
3. Honor your own good word, and keep the promises you make. If not, people eventually stop believing most of what you say, and your words will no longer work for you.
4. When you ask for more responsibility, expect to be held fully accountable. This is what seizing ownership of something is all about; it’s usually an all or nothing kind of thing, and so you’ve got to treat it that way.
5. Don’t expect people to trust you if you aren’t willing to be trustworthy for them first and foremost. Trust is an outcome of fulfilled expectations.
6. Be more productive by creating good habits and rejecting bad ones. Good habits corral your energies into a momentum-building rhythm for you; bad habits sap your energies and drain you.
7. Have a good work ethic, for it seems to be getting rare today. Curious, for those “old-fashioned” values like dependability, timeliness, professionalism and diligence are prized more than ever before. Be action-oriented. Seek to make things work. Be willing to do what it takes.
8. Be interesting. Read voraciously, and listen to learn, then teach and share everything you know. No one owes you their attention; you have to earn it and keep attracting it.
9. Be nice. Be courteous, polite and respectful. Be considerate. Manners still count for an awful lot in life, and thank goodness they do.
10. Be self-disciplined. That’s what adults are supposed to “grow up” to be.
11. Don’t be a victim or a martyr. You always have a choice, so don’t shy from it: Choose and choose without regret. Look forward and be enthusiastic.
12. Keep healthy and take care of yourself. Exercise your mind, body and spirit so you can be someone people count on, and so you can live expansively and with abundance.

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