FAQ: Is My Team Ready To Be Self-Managed?

Showing confidence when making decisions is another good sign that your team is ready to operate on its own. The ability to prioritize company goals and align the project with those goals may prove the team can be successful. It’s also useful if they show competency using project management tools to strategize.

The truth about self-managing teams

What are the benefits of having a team self-manage?

Using this self-managed team approach has several advantages for both the business and its employees. Here are some instances of how you might profit:

Saves money

Self-managed teams help reduce the cost of management significantly. Teams save time when they are no longer required to report to a third party. Fewer employees working on a project can free up funds for other uses or help save money for future endeavors.

Increases productivity

The added responsibility of self-management can encourage employees to overachieve. In order to collaborate and finish a project, they can learn new skills in addition to their regular tasks. Employees’ independence on a self-managed team can boost their productivity because they get to choose the workflow that works best for them.

Enhances leadership

Emergent leadership is frequent even though self-managed teams don’t have designated leaders. This occurs when a person naturally steps up to lead group interactions. Depending on the project and each team member’s unique skills, self-managed teams frequently experience leadership changes. Being a part of a self-managed team gives team members the chance to take the lead and also aids in the development of leadership qualities like responsibility and motivation.

Improves rate of retainment

Employees who self-manage are typically happier at work. They have more freedom at work and are involved in decisions that directly affect them. This may increase their level of job satisfaction and encourage them to stay with the business longer. The company gains a lot from this because it can keep its current employees, which lowers the expense of recruiting and training new employees.

What is a self-managed team?

A team of workers who collaborate and are responsible for completing all job-related tasks is known as a self-managed team. They are in charge of planning, carrying out, and reviewing every aspect of their work. Employees from various departments are frequently grouped together in these teams by organizations so they can handle a variety of tasks using their specialized knowledge.

A self-managed team is not given a leader and receives little management from a third party. To ensure project completion and success, team members hold themselves and one another accountable and communicate.

What are the characteristics of self-managed teams?

One crucial element in ensuring a team’s success is selecting the appropriate team members. Certain abilities are necessary for team members who operate under self-management to promote collaboration. When selecting team members, consider the following qualities:


The ability to handle responsibilities is essential. Members of this kind of team benefit from knowing their tasks and setting deadlines for themselves, unlike those who work under a manager. Team members gain from relying on one another and having faith that everyone will do their part to achieve goals.


You can rely on independent workers to exercise a reasonable amount of self-sufficiency in completing their tasks. The capacity to concentrate while working is a positive indicator of independence. Independent workers exhibit self-determination by achieving both personal and professional objectives.


Motivation allows employees to work hard and meet their deadlines. Typically, team members can find their own motivation to finish their work. Additionally, it is advantageous if they can inspire the other team members. Employees can inspire themselves in a number of ways, such as by setting goals or soliciting input. This may enable them to develop goal-setting, organizational, and time management abilities.


The capacity to collaborate with others to integrate ideas and accomplish a common goal Employees on self-managed teams must possess this quality because team success depends on members’ ability to work together to effectively and professionally accomplish group goals. Active listening abilities, an openness to receiving and accepting criticism, and a willingness to try alternative strategies are all indications of the ability to collaborate.

What challenges does self-management pose to a team?

Here are a few potential issues with self-managed teams to think about, along with solutions:

Less accountability

Because there isn’t a leader to regularly assess performance and make sure goals are being met, it can be difficult to monitor performance and enforce accountability on a self-managed team. To continue to be successful, each member must take personal accountability for achieving objectives and completing the work. When putting together a team for this project, it’s crucial to choose your team members wisely.

Lacks clear leadership

Teams that lack a clear leader may struggle because they may not know where to turn when a problem arises. However, it can also improve their communication and provide all members with chances to take on leadership roles. Self-managed teams’ members can improve their decision-making skills and ability to help one another out when necessary. Strong interpersonal skills are advantageous for this team’s members to have in order to maintain team dynamics.

Requires investment in training

A team might need training before being given the go-ahead to work without standard management. Think about employing a specialist to train your staff in particular areas or allocating time for meetings and training programs. This is a wise investment because it gives staff members access to resources that promote both individual and business success. Give teambuilding, goal-setting, and progress-tracking training some thought. Project management and communication may also be good options.

Is my team ready to be self-managed?

Examine the capabilities of each member of your team separately and collectively to ascertain whether it is prepared to manage itself. Here are 10 indicators that a team is self-managing:

1. Ability to communicate well

Collaboration is facilitated by effective teamwork and the sharing of ideas, project details, and individual task details. If your team regularly solicits and provides input for their work, this may be a sign that they can successfully function without management. The capacity to solicit and offer criticism or feedback demonstrates strong communication skills.

2. Trusting of one another

Because each team member must fulfill the responsibilities of their role and depend on others to do the same in order to achieve team goals, trust is a crucial component of self-managed teams. When team members trust one another, they may work more effectively because they won’t be concerned about whether or not everyone else is finishing their tasks. Assuring dependability, accountability, and self-determination will help your team develop trust.

3. Self-motivated

It’s critical that each team member find motivation to complete their tasks. The capacity to persevere and overcome obstacles can inspire confidence in your team’s ability to achieve goals on their own. A driven worker will also take on challenging assignments and work to enhance both their professional and individual performance.

4. Confident in decision-making

Making decisions with assurance is another indication that your team is prepared to work independently. The team’s potential for success may be demonstrated by their capacity to prioritise company objectives and coordinate projects with them. It’s also beneficial if they demonstrate proficiency in using project management tools for strategic planning.

5. Skilled in setting goals

Evaluate your team’s independence in setting and achieving goals. They set personal growth objectives and coordinate team goals with business objectives. It’s crucial for a team to be able to prioritize tasks and plan how to best accomplish the goals before self-managing.

6. Excellent time-management skills

Teams must remember project deadlines when they are self-managed. Without a workflow manager, it is crucial that each team member be able to maintain attention and effectively manage their time. Making plans and carrying out the plan’s steps in an orderly manner are part of this.

7. Capable of learning

When staff move to a self-managed team, there might be new roles or responsibilities. This means that they may have to develop additional skills. Examine whether each team member demonstrates a desire to grow personally and learn new things. Your team may be prepared to self-manage if you believe it actively seeks knowledge and is up for the challenge of learning a new role.

8. Self-aware

Maintaining the relationships that a team needs to have in order to function well requires self-awareness. Each person should be able to control their emotions and behavior and be aware of how their actions might affect other team members. This interpersonal competency can lessen conflicts and increase the effectiveness of the team.

9. Ability to problem-solve

Teams that self-manage must have strong problem-solving abilities because it is up to them to resolve any disputes that arise within the group or with regard to their project. Notice how your team identifies and addresses problems. If they consult each other to come up with solutions, this routine can get them ready to work well together. Group problem-solving frequently results in innovations that are advantageous to the business.

Additionally, think about how your team handles any interpersonal conflicts that may arise. Working independently requires confidence in mediation and the ability to negotiate and compromise.

10. Strong collaboration skills

Take into account how your team functions as a unit under your supervision. The team may be prepared to self-manage when they can communicate with each other without your facilitation. A more cohesive team can result from choosing to incorporate working styles or sharing ideas without being asked. Encourage group efforts as well so that staff members can celebrate accomplishments and share knowledge.

What are tips to prepare a team for self-management?

Use the following advice to get your team ready to manage itself and operate with less direction:

Provide training

Having teams self-manage allows management staff to concentrate on achieving bigger company goals and planning business operations strategies. A team that has been trained to self-manage provides the business with a more talented workforce. Giving staff members the opportunity to lead projects or assigning them challenges to solve will give them real-world learning experience. Until teams are prepared to self-manage, consider mentoring them or appointing other managers to do so.

Help build relationships

Healthy relationships are key to the success of a team. Make time for team-building exercises to encourage cohesion and make workers feel more at ease with one another. Strong working relationships involve effective communication, trust and support. Additionally, this promotes collaboration and guarantees that a team works well together and is prepared to face challenges.

Give them responsibility

Giving workers more responsibility encourages independence and boosts confidence in them Teams can learn more about strategy and leadership if you give them the freedom to make decisions when the outcome will have an impact on them. Giving employees responsibility also gives them more power, which can motivate them to work harder.


Can teams be self-managed?

Signals that your team is ready to be a self-managed team
  1. They’re self-driven. …
  2. They trust each other. …
  3. Employee-driven decisions are the norm. …
  4. They have high self-awareness. …
  5. They have strong communication. …
  6. They’re goal setters. …
  7. They manage their time well. …
  8. They have learning agility.

Which is the characteristics of self-managed team?

A self-managed work team is a small group of employees who, without the direction of a manager, assume full responsibility for providing a service or a product through peer collaboration. This group frequently collaborates over an extended period of time to decide on a specific procedure.

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