Building a self organizing team is every Agilists dream. Once in a while we hear some stories of successful implementation, and here is the one I came across recently.
Here is a great story I am going to share, but you would be astonished to see that it is not from a software team but a nursing home.
Launched in April 2008, Innovative Care Models provides detailed profiles of 24 successful care delivery models. These profiles were developed as part of a research project conducted by Health Workforce Solutions LLC and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson
One of the models they have applied is the Self Organized Agile team
Self-Organized Agile Team was developed to address three interrelated nursing problems facing Prairie Lakes Healthcare System (PLHS): poor employee morale due to work intensity and lack of teamwork, high turnover and low productivity.
What exactly they did to build the self organizing team
The hospital placed decision-making authority for work redesign close to the front lines so bedside nurses could make independent decisions and find ways to improve operations. In addition there was a goal to shift to a unit culture in which every nurse touches patients. As a result, jobs were restructured to eliminate nursing roles that did not provide hands-on care. The hospital eliminated the assistant nurse manager, charge nurse, and case manager positions and developed more effective systems to incorporate these clinical leadership functions into the bedside professional nursing role without adding to workload. The unit also eliminated the unit secretary position and blended the responsibilities with the traditional nursing assistant role by cross-training unlicensed staff to fill either position.
Key takeaways from the story
1. They gave importance of hands-on people
2. Replaced the managers
3. Ensured that the decision makers are close to the people on the ground
4. Introduced the cross functional behaviour
Read more here about the fantastic results they have achieved by embracing the self organizing concepts.