What Self-Organization Looks Like in Healthy Scrum Teams

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When:  Wednesday February 24, 2021 4:00-5:30PM
Where: Zoom 

At the unveiling of the new 2020 version of the Scrum Guide, Dr. Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber mentioned there were two phrases from previous Scrum Guides that were being abused in the industry.  One was “Servant Leadership”, the other was “Self-Organization”.

People were interpreting self-organization in a variety of ways. Some thought it meant teams can work on whatever they want, others went so far as believe that teams can set their own salary and perform their own performance appraisals. Some even use self-organization as a means to elect a new management team every year!

This is why the new 2020 Scrum guide replaced self-organization with self-management and defined self-management as “the team can internally decide who does what, when, and how“.

Self-organization is a concept that is central to the Scrum Framework, and yet it is very hard to define and often confused with “self-management”. This distinction may be subtle but is very important since Scrum uses self-organization to act as a lever to make organizations more agile, and Scrum Teams require a high degree of self-management to make this happen.

In this presentation, you will:

  • Learn what self-organization looks like and how self-managed teams make it possible.
  • Explore the most common symptoms and causes of poor self-organization.
  • Discover what self-organization and self-management look like in healthy Scrum Teams.


Joseph DeAngelis
Enterprise Agile Coach and Transformation Leader