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Self organizing vs self managing team

Last post 08:13 am December 3, 2020 by vishal Rajadhyaksha
3 replies
09:50 am December 2, 2020

I want to give presentation to my team about differences between old and new scrum guide. In my head, I am still not very much clear about how to distinguish between self organized team and self managed team.

As per the scrum guide- :

Self organized team chose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team

Self managed team internally decides who does what , when & how


Self organized team = How to accomplish?

Self managed team = How, when & what to accomplish? 

Here I have two questions- :

1. Previous to scrum guide 2020, what was expected about when & what part in terms of who should decide it ?

2. Scrum guide 2020 expects developers (Not just programmers) to decide "what" to work on ?  If not so, what does it refer to ? 





10:35 am December 2, 2020

A self-managing team, further to self-organization, will plan to achieve valuable outcomes. This is a matter for the whole Scrum Team.

11:25 am December 2, 2020

The 2017 Scrum Guide describes a self-organizing team as:

Self-organizing teams choose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team.

The 2020 Scrum Guide describes a self-managing team as:

They are also self-managing, meaning they internally decide who does what, when, and how.

Both of these descriptions are applied to the Scrum Team as a whole. The 2017 Scrum Guide also does describe the Development Team as self-organizing, but that was probably redundant.

The key difference is that self-management includes what work to do and when to do it, in addition to the way of working.

However, I'd point out that the characteristics of self-managing teams also apply to Scrum Teams in the 2017 Scrum Guide. For example, when it comes to determining what to do and when to do it, the Product Owner has always been responsible for the maintenance of the Product Backlog and collaborating with the Developers on crafting a Sprint Goal and selecting Product Backlog Items in support of that Sprint Goal. The 2017 Scrum Guide makes it clear that the decisions of the Product Owner must be respected by the stakeholders outside of the Scrum Team. Within the context of a Sprint and the Sprint Backlog, the Developers have had control of the contents and choosing how to best work on the work to achieve the Sprint Goal by the end of the Sprint.

There's really no difference in the choice of these terms. Although they do have different meanings, Scrum Teams have been self-managing (as it's defined in the 2020 Scrum Guide) since well before it was published. In this particular case, the new wording just adds some clarity and removes some redundancy, making the Scrum Guide shorter and less complex.

08:13 am December 3, 2020

Thanks Ian and Thomas.

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