A key success factor in agile data management is self-managing teams.\u00a0As a leader of self-managing teams, you need to develop a unique set of skills, moving from command and control to communication and enablement.\n\n\nThis is the second installment of my series entitled \u201cFive Tips for Leading Agile Data Management Development Teams.\u201d Here I discuss Tip No 2:\u00a0Create an enabling team structure.\n\n'A' players are a challenge\n\nA self-managing team of \u201cA\u201d players is a challenging group to lead. They will continuously look for opportunities to learn and improve, will want to step up and make their own decisions, and will want to feel empowered to manage themselves.\u00a0\n\n\nAs their leader, you will need to ensure your team feels simultaneously empowered and supported. Here are some ways to encourage an environment that keeps these \u201cA\u201d players challenged, motivated and empowered.\n\n\nCreate a shared common vision \u2014 one that describes what the team is aspiring to. A vision provides direction and a sense of purpose that is shared across the team. It can enable a self-managing team to focus on the things that really matter and simplify decision-making.\nDevelop agreed-upon objectives, targets and work standards. By having a set of guidelines that are broad enough to enable creativity and innovation, the team can work with a supporting structure in place.\u00a0\nHire team members with diverse skill sets. This enables a self-managing team to share tasks as needed. It also creates some task interdependence so that team members are dependent on one another. This dependence eventually builds trust, which is a key factor to success.\nDefine roles within the team, although these can change as the team evolves. This provides a self-managing team with a supporting structure, but also the freedom to change as circumstances change.\n\u00a0Ensure that the team is given goals that are challenging but doable.\u00a0 \u201cA\u201d players will want to step up to the challenge. Successes will need to be earned, and the team will grow stronger.\nProvide an environment that encourages self-improvement. \u201cA\u201d players will continuously look for opportunities to learn and improve. Without these, they will not stick with the team for very long. With these, they will continue to challenge themselves, which will also improve the team\u2019s overall skill sets and abilities.\nKeep the agile mindset, but modify it to fit the organizational and team culture. Ensure that the team keeps in mind that agile principles are guidelines that should not necessarily be followed strictly. As part of each release retrospective, and even in daily standup discussions, encourage the team to identify continuous improvement ideas and leverage them. It\u2019s OK to try a new idea. Sprints are short cycles, so if an idea doesn\u2019t work well, there\u2019s opportunity to quickly shift back. Having this flexibility gives the self-managing team a sense of empowerment and accountability, and team members can continue to identify opportunities to improve.\u00a0\n\n\nWith the appropriate enabling team structure, you can provide the team with freedom within guidelines, and the self-managing team will flourish.\n\n Nancy Couture \n\nClick here\u00a0to link to other articles in this blog series.