Stealth Organize

You and your team know what needs to be done, but you aren’t doing it. Maybe you’re not quite sure of all the individual steps, but you’re confident you’ll inspect and adapt your way to the right answer. You are developers, GODS AMONG MEN!

This sort of hubris leads developers to do great and possibly terrible things, but only if they feel entitled to the attempt, either by some outside authority or an internal mandate. It is common however, for developers to assume the “resource” mentality handed to them by others. They get elephant pegged and the urge to self-organize dies down, like a fire burning down to coals.

For many, getting a chance to break out of that pattern of permission seeking is a bellows reigniting their passion. For some, their life and work experience may have worn them down such that their response to freedom is one of incredulity, dejection, even despair; their coals burn low and the bellow’s breath sends only scattered sparks and ash billowing and fading. If you are the latter, I know that feel bro; I was there. It’s soul-crushing. Don’t despair. Others out there know that feel too. Find them. Some, like me have come through it and will help you through too.

For those of you who are willing but don’t expect to be given permission to do what you know needs to be done, to you I say, do it anyway…just don’t tell anyone…yet. Start small and concentrate on being effective. Consider it a sort of guerrilla warfare. Consider swallowing your pride and need for recognition for a while, and concentrate on results. You may only have your personal pride or the support of those on your Yes List for the time being, and that will have to be enough. Worse even, you may need to credit *gag* your terrible boss or manager with the success you and your team have achieved. I know it’s a gut punch right to the ego, but you’re more interested in results than fame right? Good, then work on bearing armor for a while until that manager realizes he/she can’t get things done without you and your team and grants you the autonomy and support you and your team have been desiring this whole time.

Stop waiting for permission to self-organize, and start stealth organizing.


Jason is a developer, Scrum Master, writer, teacher, coach, husband, father, and community leader out of Tulsa Oklahoma. He's been delivering software since 2007 and absolutely loves the values and principles of agility especially as given form by the Scrum framework.