Agile autonomous teams in complex organizations
Chapter, Peer reviewed
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Original versionLecture Notes in Business Information Processing. 2019, 364 55-63. 10.1007/978-3-030-30126-2_7
In complex organizations, the effective functioning of autonomous teams is challenged by the need to coordinate and align work with multiple experts and other units in the organization. We report on the challenges experienced in an agile program consisting of cross-functional teams set up with resources from both the IT and business development side of the organization, while team members simultaneously remain in their line organization. Through an empirical case study of the agile program, we find that the production structure (i.e. the distribution of operational tasks) and the control structure (i.e. managing activities related to the operational task) influence agile team autonomy. We contribute by pushing past describing dependencies in terms of coordination challenges and mechanisms. To do this, we use modern sociotechnical theory to discuss how a production structure with many dependencies cause challenges and how a misaligned control structure is time-consuming and reduces team autonomy.