Role dependencies are created when operational flows are required to pass through specific people and their roles in order for the work to proceed. Traditional organizations design role dependencies into operational flows in order to control costs and assure quality, and as a way to make individual managers accountable through policies that require them to approve, prioritize and “make the final calls.” Agile and lean organizations have proved that when teams are assigned the responsibility for the quality of their work, including costs, value, and ROI, they do a better job at it than when these control requirements are exported to managerial levels. In addition, adding full responsibility of the work at the team level, actually helps build better smarter, and more innovative teams by necessitating deeper engagement through the need to participate in strategic conversations. Engaged teams in turn, become perfectly capable of designing and implementing their own decision-making process which is more likely to be responsive to the context in which they work, more likely to suit their skills and value-set, and more likely to be optimized to the task demands they are responsible for. This releases the organization from a “one-size-fits-all” mentality which leads to unnecessary complexity in some places, and practical “work-arounds” in others.
After a year, my fellowship was over. To this day, I’m not quite sure if it was success or a failure, but I learned a few key things. They are these. Number one, codifying morality is really hard. Number two, the law is a fiction. Number three, the law can be used as a tool for social control. Number four, knowledge of the law is power.