Self Organising Engineering Team [WIP]

engineering, systems

What could an ideal self-organising engineering team look like?

Ideally an individual would be able to execute independently or contribute significantly in terms of the below. The ideal team member handles all of these for a particular problem statement. Note that we don’t deal with product features, instead we deal with customer pain points or problem statements.

  1. Technical

  2. Managerial

  3. Contextual

Technical (How) #

Managerial (When) #

Contextual (What) #

Hiring #

The team composition will matter more than the individual team members, in that the team members can work together as one cohesive unit. Each team will vary based on the stage of the company, the maturity of the product, the nature of working relationships with the stakeholders

Define minimum threshold levels, how to identify expected characteristics/potential.

Operating #

Focus on creating the right environment for everybody to excel

Create cadences to minimise cognitive overload on processes, rather enable team for deep work and focus on solving customer problems, while the cadences run as background processes to aid in maintaining shipping momentum

Minimise ambiguities

Product engineering and delivery, is ultimately an exercise in visualising and leavening multiple abstract ideas in people’s heads, into a solid product that can be experienced by the human senses. This leads to a fine balancing act in minimising ambiguities at multiple steps along the way, while identifying the right amount of effort to spend on it, as subjectively determined by the team composition. This is a two-way reinforcing feedback loop between product and engineering.


Seek to minimise ambiguity in


Seek to minimise ambiguity in

Parameters (Feedback loops) #

The levers that the team could continually tweak to get to the point of being totally self-organised.