• Mark Cruth

Session 2: Triagile 2019


The second session in the World Without Hierarchy Project is in the books! It occurred on April 2, 2019 with ~75 people at the annual Triagile conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Since the first session some small modifications have been made to the game rules and the experiment form to help participants dive deeper into the game. Check out the AMAZING results below!


Experiment 1: Future of Senior Manager

Background: Concern from senior manager is that he/she doesn't understand their role or how to use their talents in the organization anymore.

Hypothesis: We believe that by mapping out skills and establishing self-interest groups all people will fill fulfilled.

Who/What Is Impacted: Create a process to self-organize, people need to shift their mindset, departments need to shift the way they are organized.

Experiment Details: Senior managers need to map out their skill set and create interest groups to grow (ex. Communities of Practice).


Experiment 2: Salary and Bonus Structure

Background: Salary and bonus structure needs to change. There is likely low trust throughout the organization so there is a need for transparency.

Hypothesis: We believe that we should publish performance review methods and results ...this change will result in employees being self-directed and motivated to grow and understand their contribution, leading to improved transparency, trust, and more fair salaries...we'll know this to be true when company survey results after the change shows an increase in employee engagement and satisfaction.

Who/What Is Impacted: Everyone!

Experiment Details: Map out skills and personalize development plans. Conduct a 360 review for performance input. Publish the plan for how the data will be collected. Share the results from all performance reviews.


Experiment 3: Attrition

Background: The change will result in higher attrition and a loss of knowledge.

Hypothesis: We believe we should identify resources with domain expertise and create a peer coaching program ...this change will result in more collaboration, more personal autonomy, more accountability, and more frequent feedback...we'll know this to be true when we see increased productivity and morale, better retention, and better idea generation come from sources across the organization.

Who/What Is Impacted: Peer-to-Peer coaching, performance review / promotion process, training on coaching methods, feedback strategy with defined cadence, support in defining your "why".

Experiment Details: Select a few departments and implement peer-to-peer coaching. Train team members on coaching. Pick a control group where the solution is not implemented to measure against. Pick metrics to identify success criteria. Each team sets performance goals.


Experiment 4: Performance Feedback

Background: How will the organization deal with performance feedback?

Hypothesis: We believe we should establish more frequent peer feedback loops for measuring and recording performance and through the process employees are empowered to set goals for themselves...this change will result in faster adaptability to feedback through incentives...we'll know this to be true when we see increased employee morale through feedback and increased employee retention because of higher skill sets and more cross functional teams.

Who/What Is Impacted: HR, customer feedback

Experiment Details: None provided.


Experiment 5: Salary and Bonuses

Background: Our issue is that we need to figure out how to compensate and give bonuses.

Hypothesis: We believe that gain sharing should be implemented...this change will result in a change of bonus structure...we'll know this to be true when we have sold enough product so that everyone gets a bonus.

Who/What Is Impacted: Executives (how they are paid bonuses), investors, and teams/employees.

Experiment Details: Determine what the structure of the gain share should be. Align with company goals Measure against the company goals monthly. Form a community of practice and evaluate the process. Determine how long the experiment should run.


Experiment 6: Rewarding Success

Background: How is success measured and rewarded?

Hypothesis: We believe we should organize around project/product...this change will result in a measurement of success for compensation...we'll know this to be true when the product sells.

Who/What Is Impacted: Executives, HR

Experiment Details: Self organized leaders should form a community of practice to determine measurement details.

Experiment 7: Role Uncertainty

Background: People are feeling uncertain about their roles due to no hierarchy. Important people need to know their value, what there career path is, how to apply their skills in management, and how to transfer their skills to a new system.

Hypothesis: We believe that improving communication of career paths, defining KPIs and metrics, and creating a training program for new roles will address this issue....this change will result in people not feeling lost...we'll know this to be true when employee engagement score are high and attrition is low.

Who/What Is Impacted: All people and departments.

Experiment Details: None provided.


Experiment 8: Performance and Compensation

Background: The evaluation of performance and uncertainty of compensation and who will deliver/evaluate others. People want to get paid fairly and be assessed on performance.

Hypothesis: We believe we should implement 360 peer evaluations and make compensation transparent...this change will result in an improved understanding of performance...we'll know this to be true when feedback from employees show us people are happy with their performance feedback..

Who/What Is Impacted: Everyone that has a salary, HR

Experiment Details: None provided.


Experiment 9: Future of Managers

Background: Former/current employees in management positions feel disenfranchised by the organizational shift. What does career paths and growth look like? How do we get people bough in to solve the problem?

Hypothesis: We believe we should reframe positions from title-focused to more of a need/skill focus specific to a team...this change will result in individuals empowerment and a diversity of skill set...we'll know this to be true when employee satisfaction/morale improves.

Who/What Is Impacted: None provided.

Experiment Details: None provided.


Experiment 10: Trust, Transparency, and Bonuses

Background: Focus on building trust and transparency, plus create psychological safety to make decisions.

Hypothesis: We believe we should shift to a team based bonus structure with clear goals...this change will result in buy-in and trust...we'll know this to be true when surveys indicate high morale and no attrition due to pay structure.

Who/What Is Impacted: HR, Accounting, KPIs, Annual Review Cycle, Frequent Feedback Loops

Experiment Details: Create KPIs and goal that align with compensation goals. Set stretch goals for extra money. Base pay on company performance.


Experiment 11: Performance and Salary

Background: With no managers, how do we define performance and salary expectations.

Hypothesis: We believe teams should be allowed to rank experience...this change will result in people feeling valued, knowing what to expect, will have accountability to do the work...we'll know this to be true when survey results are in.

Who/What Is Impacted: Impacts everyone, sets up anonymous voting system.

Experiment Details: Setting up an anonymous voting system. Establishing values of the units, which units are most valuable. Establish facilitators to communicate to teams.


Experiment 12: Roles and Identity

Background: How to understand roles, sense of purpose, and individual identity.

Hypothesis: We believe people should create group and form discussions to get things done, with natural leaders emerging...this change will result in better work culture and more productivity because people do what they like and everyone can contribute the best of themselves...we'll know this to be true when our employees feel a stronger sense of purpose.

Who/What Is Impacted: Each group/project needs a facilitator and a note taker. Offer people a way out, give options and communicate the change carefully.

Experiment Details: Identify multiple teams of no more than 10 people. Identify a facilitator and note taker. Groups should be self forming and agile. Giving options for employees who don't want to participate.


Experiment 13: Impact on Managers

Background: When we get flat, what is the impact on existing managers?

Hypothesis: We believe managers should collaboratively choose their own career paths...this change will result in people continuing to have job satisfaction and enjoyment...we'll know this to be true when employee satisfaction increases and there is low attrition.

Who/What Is Impacted: Identify all work that needs to be done, all people/departments are impacted, new departments will be effected.

Experiment Details: None provided.


Experiment 14: Peer Reviews

Background: How to handle peer reviews?

Hypothesis: We believe we should include peer reviews and evaluations as a whole team...this change will result in high transparency and more accountability/ownership..

Who/What Is Impacted: HR

Experiment Details: Peer reviews.


Experiment 15: Careers of Senior Leaders

Background: Careers of senior leaders are being taken away and they feel their time has been wasted. They are experiencing de-valuing and sense of loss.

Hypothesis: We believe a new decision making process should be created...this change will result in senior leaders feeling valued.

Who/What Is Impacted: Managers

Experiment Details: Gather a focus group and list all decisions needed to make this change. Focus group has workers, not just managers.


Experiment 16: Compensation

Background: How/who will handle compensation?

Hypothesis: We believe there should be a peer evaluation process that occurs more than once per year...this change will result in employees feeling more invested.

Who/What Is Impacted: Everyone

Experiment Details: Focus groups will determine the method that will be used to determine how people are compensated. Experiment with one team first. Decide if we want to know everyone's pay.

Teams creating experiments to help organizations evolve at Triagile 2019!

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