Are Scrum Members compatible with line Organization?

Scrum changes working culture of the team members fundamental, or as Henrik Kniberg from Spotify.com said: „Scrum Teams are designed to feel like a mini-Startup“. But is this still compatible with traditional line Organization?
 
All companies I know, that run Scrum, still have a line organization. Idea of line organization is to link organizational units, with the help of managing relations, to a hierarchical organization system. In other words e.g. all Scrum Masters are part of a Scrum Master line, developer of a developer line, etc. By today there are a lot of  organization types known and hybrid implementations possible too. Don’t take the models in following graphic to serious, but it shows up „modern“ implementations🙂.
 BZCJ685CQAA3TA_.png-large
But isn’t that hierarchical thinking incompatible with the self-organized multifunctional approach of Scrum?-Do we really need a managing role that has the last word and decides e.g. about strategy, salary, etc?
May be we find a solutions thinking about, what Henrik said: How we’d organize a mini-startup, where all employees are company owners?-I personally like to be part of a team, where all are equal partners, similar to a Scrum Team. Of course the roles have to be shared, somebody has to take over product owner hat, another scrum master hat, etc. Depending at personal interests this could be fixed- or rotating roles. Critical decisions would be taken as team, well known in Scrum as team commitment. While base for decision would be worked out in team as well, as we do with a story. Planning meeting would help to structure our tasks in mini-startup, we would set Team goal for next time boxed sprint and would review result, but also continuously improve ourselves through retrospective’s.
If our mini-startup is getting bigger, we split team in two to minimize overhead. From my point of view 3 things would be important during scaling:
  1. Product Owner is working with both teams
  2. New Team members getting equal partners too
  3. Teams are building guild’s depending at topics
Now you’d say Product Owner is getting manager of mini-startup, but this is not true. He’s still equal partner to team members, but he has other focus. Decisions are still taken in team or by team representatives depending at topic. The more we scale organization the more important Guild’s will become. Those would be the glue to keep independent teams together, to exchange best practices and to take decisions within guild’s topic.
Wouldn’t that be more compatible company organization for Scrum Teams?-Or how you’d design your agile organization?

Mirko Kleiner is a Blogger, Agilist (Agile Evangelist), Vice President Delivery at youngculture AG, Twitterer, Father of 2 beautyful Sons and Partner of a lovely Wife.

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2 comments on “Are Scrum Members compatible with line Organization?
  1. Ilja Preuß sagt:

    You might wanna take a look at BetaCodex for an organizational model that is successful in well known organizations and highly compatible with Scrum: http://www.betacodex.org/node/1354

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Mirko Kleiner is a Blogger, Agilist (Agile Evangelist), Vice President Delivery at youngculture AG, Twitterer, Father of 2 beautyful Sons and Partner of a lovely Wife.

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