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Wednesday, May 22 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Is team self-selection the obvious choice? (Niels Harre, Martin Lohmann)

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SimCorp has been a SAFe shop for 3 years, with 550 people in 55 teams and 7 ARTs, across 4 locations. In our pursuit for continuous improvements, we've been experimenting with team self-selection in parts of the organization. This experience report will present some of our learnings from these experiments, both what worked for us and what turned out not to work so well.
This experience report will include our recommendations, which include prerequisites for team self-selection and a suggested game plan for how to run team self-selection workshops and pitfalls to avoid

Lessons Learned from Your Experience:
Before team self-selection:
  • Team self-selection requires preparation and the people involved in the process should engage and co-create the process the product backlog needs to be well prepared (as always) and known to the people assuming so people will know what tasks the teams should be able to perform.
  • Information on the process needs to be communicated early.
  • Co-create guiding principles of team composition (distributed, skills,...)
  •  Appoint someone to act on your behalf if you're not in attendance
  • Generate a competence and preference sheet to be used and shared.
  • If a person has reasons not to be in team with another person then he should let that person know before the event.
During the team self-selection:
  • Use an iterative team self-selection approach and evaluate the teams capabilities to . Continue until the result converge.
  • Never conclude a result the same day you have the workshop - give attendants the option to "sleep on the result".
  •  Do not use names or numbers to identify intermediate team constellations that can lead to any cognitive bias (could be influenced by cultural context, like team "1, 2, 3,.."; "blue, red,…").
  • Be aware of bullying and take a time-out immediately if it happens and address the case.
After team self-selection:
  • People do take ownership of the outcome.
  • Increase trust in teams.
  •  Feedback culture can grow.
  •  We have not measured, but assume value generation have increased.
  • Team self-selection also has the benefit of eliminating corporate politics and power struggles related to who should decide on team compositions. The process is 100% transparent and the only thing managers need to agree on is the guiding principles which should provide a clear and objective picture of what the teams are being optimized for.


Martin Lohmann

Scrum Master, simcorp

Wednesday May 22, 2019 2:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
E-2023 (2nd Floor)