Presentation: "Coaching self-organizing teams"

Time: Thursday 14:15 - 15:15

Location: Henry Moore Room


Self-organization of human beings is a tricky thing. Agile coaches, especially ScrumMasters, are constantly challenged with how to motivate/persuade/trick their teams into self-organizing and doing things, without telling them what to do, but there is very little information or training on this topic. Allowing a team to self-organize along the lines of “oh well, they’re all adults, they’ll figure it out” is just as irresponsible as reverting to the command-and control school of management. So, how should one go about it? This tutorial presents an approach utilizing leading-edge research and techniques from social complexity science and team dynamics to change the dynamics of a team with the aim of optimizing their work together.


An introduction to socially complex systems and self-organization

  • Social complexity and team dynamics
  • Rank and Power issues
  • Influence and Persuasion

Sense-making models and techniques

  • The Stacey model
  • The Cynefin butterfly model

Understanding cognitive bias

Intervention models and techniques

  • The Heat model
  • The ABIDE model
  • The Flow model

Motivation theory

Social network analysis and stimulation

Case studies and real-world applications Process/Mechanics

This tutorial will be held as a talk interspersed with exercises and discussion, allowing us to address real needs of attendees. Due to the nature of the topic, and of the exercises, attendance will be limited to 50 people.

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Joseph Pelrine

 Joseph  Pelrine

Joseph Pelrine is both computer and social complexity scientist, C*O of MetaProg, a company devoted to increasing the quality of software and its development process, and managing partner at CATeams, a company appliying leading-edge psychological and social complexity techniques to optimizing team dynamics. Joseph is Europe's senior certified ScrumMaster Practitioner and Trainer as well as one of Europe's leading experts on eXtreme Programming.

He has had a successful career as software developer, project manager and consultant, and has spoken about it at such diverse places as IBM, OOPSLA and the Chaos Computer Club. His work focus is on field of social complexity science and its application to Agile processes.