It’s hard to find the right structure for any organization. A lot of existing management wisdom comes from a time when you had to organize a physical work force. However, with today’s “knowledge workers” those structures don’t work as nicely anymore.
Everyone needs to prioritize
Every developer or devops has to prioritize the current work – nearly constantly. Do I work on a new feature next? Shall I answer those emails first? My box needs an upgrade – is now the right time for it? You hardly find a pointy haired boss standing behind you dictating your every step (hopefully 😉 ). Because of this, it’s extremely important to ensure that everyone shares the same goals and has all information needed to decide what’s most important right now. If only an archaic elite circle of managers know the whys and whats of a project and just delegate tasks, bad decisions by the executing team are inevitable.
Empowerment leads to better results, faster
Giving your team the responsibility for the success of their work is the next logical step. By letting the team know all the surrounding conditions and letting them add to the task list produces the best picture of work to be done you can get. I see it way too often that mostly the technical people in a team know exactly what needs to be done but do not feel to have the power to voice their concerns. Of course, those concerns like “we need to rethink this module as it will not scale as it is now” have to be taken into the prioritization of the backlog. If you ignore them for too long, you’ll see two bad effects:
- You run into serious technical issues
- You stress out your best and most dedicated people
Both effects can and should be avoided by choosing a fitting organizational structure: Empowerment of your best people.