2/6/2024

#1 What is self-management and how does it work?

startup self-management
3 min read

What is self-management work?

Self-management, self-organization, self-governing. Whatever you want to call it, you are probably aware of what we are talking about. When it comes to scheduling, tasks, and projects, in particular, a self-managed workplace promotes an atmosphere where employees are empowered to take charge without constant micromanagement. It's impressive, isn't it? Obviously, there are pros and cons to everything, and we'll examine those as well.

Why should you think about using a self-management approach to work?

The field of self-management offers several benefits that are easily apparent when selecting this approach. Here are our top three:

  1. Money saving - Money comes first. In the long run, this strategy can simplify operations and reduce the demand on middle management by distributing responsibilities and workloads more evenly across various positions. At some point, you might even reach a stage where middle management is no longer needed, which would mean significant savings for your budget.
  2. Higher employee engagement - An additional distinct benefit of this method of managing company tasks is that your employees can develop a much stronger sense of ownership over the company, leading to increased interest and involvement. Greater engagement can lead to fresh perspectives, improved productivity, and lower turnover rates.
  3. Increased agility - An interesting benefit of this self-management approach is the improvement in team agility it brings about. As a result, you will be able to adapt to changes and modern technological stacks quicker.

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How do we make self-management work?

What is the process then? Since this is how we do things at DXH, we can confidently state that self-management is effective. Slowly but surely, we have mastered the fundamental ideas that work for everyone. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Get your goals clearly stated - The first thing you should do when implementing self-management is to figure out what you want to accomplish and why. Doing so will shed light on the breadth and trajectory of your next steps.

Communicate clearly - No matter the situation, effective communication is crucial, and this model is no exception. Identify the best ways for you and your team to communicate, like scheduling frequent team workshops and retrospectives and discussing any problems you are facing. 

Establish guidelines - The rules need to be defined, even in a free culture, and the guidelines will assist you with that. Decide with your team on a strategy for communicating, delivering work, and reaching your goals.

Create a feedback mechanism - No matter which area of work you are in, feedback is essential. With the right kind of feedback, you can take the next step forward with an open mind. In addition, the success of the team's work depends on having a well-established procedure and method of providing feedback.

Lead by example - One of the best ways to show that you can manage yourself well is to be an example for your colleagues to follow. Find a solution that works for you, and then share it with the others.

What are some of the most common self-management misconceptions?

“Self-management is something that anyone can do.” Regrettably, this philosophy of work is not applicable to all professions.

“Decentralized decision-making means lack of direction.” Furthermore, by delegating tasks to more experienced employees, productivity can be even higher and perspectives that would otherwise be ignored, can be heard.

“There is no requirement for leadership.”While it may seem that driving is not needed, the opposite is true. Even in this system of self-management, it is necessary to guide the staff in the right direction and set the course for where the ship should sail.

Employees will feel isolated. - Actually, this might not be the case. You get to decide the vibe you want to establish on your team. Regular team buildings, retrospectives, or informal team chats. Your coworkers will not feel lonely if you take the time to reassure them and bring them together through shared experiences.

It's a one-time implementation.” - Sadly, it is more complicated than that. Like sowing a seed, that is what it is. You should keep watering and fertilizing it. 

 

In the upcoming article, we will examine the practical applications of self-management. We will show you how to put this solution into action by outlining the necessary steps and providing you with tried-and-true methods.

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Author
Jan Řičica
Jan Řičica
Technical Analyst & Technical Writer

Handles complete software analysis from taking requirements from clients to creating technical documentation.