by Thomas Kuryura
Here at Just Digital we created a new Management 3.0 experiment. We are an IT company that works with data management. We have grown from ten to 50 people in just the last couple of years, and, through it all, we’ve tried to keep the organization within an organic model. As the company has grown, some problems have surfaced. Our biggest challenges this year has been with job titles. Three major problems surfaced:
- Some collaborators have a clear goal in their minds, (ie, being a great developer) but at the same time they had problems creating a good plan on how to get there.
- Other more senior team members feel that they’ve learned enough from software development and expressed that they felt they should became a “Manager” or an “Architect,” based on big company paradigm of the “Career Plan Hierarchy Model.” We don’t agree to creating a hierarchy out of nowhere and we don’t want traditional management.
- The last problem we faced: some developers wanted to leave the development role, but for different reasons–they were not seeing opportunities to learn. They had their eyes on that invisible career ladder because market dictates that the Product Owner and Scrum Master roles pays better compensation. Our opinion here was clear: we don’t agree with horrible concept from past “Project Management.”
Redefining purpose of job titles
Our first step was to explain to collaborators that job titles and salaries are not the same thing. It is not imperative that a Scrum Master has more capacity to get better compensation plans than a Developer. More than a role, what dictates the collaborator’s salary is his reputation among his peers. Who gets better salaries in the company are known as the collaborators.
We explained this in a company-wide meeting.
‘Create Your Own Role’ workshops
The second and more important action was to create a small workshop, called: “Create your own role,” where any collaborator with her peers’ help can create her own informal job title. The workshop, in fact, was quite simple:
We have split the audience in small groups of four to six participants.
Every participant grabs a page with two big images of the “Toyota T Model” with a title as “Past” and “Present/Future.”
The participant writes in the image “Past” some skills in the corresponding spaces:
- Write your career skills. What are you specialized in? What do you like spending time doing?
- What have you studied or tried in the past but didn’t dig deep because you didn’t like it?
After that, the participant writes in the image “Present/Future” in the corresponding spaces:
- What you’ve been studying inside the company, something that you like and is pretty sure that you’ll keep learning for a while?
- What you’ve been studying but you’re pretty sure that you’re not going to apply into your work?
After completing both images the participant is invited to share with the team, by way of storytelling his career to his team.
Get to know more practices at a Management 3.0 Workshop: