Too much fine control can decrease efficiency compared to self-organization


The schedule for an individual or team can be planned down to too fine detail.  This can cause problems where a ‘rendezvous’ is planned but cannot be met, where opportunities present themselves but cannot be exploited.


Self organization of an individual’s time can bring about optimum organization, because the individual knows all the conflicting forces that are acting, all the claims on his time.  The ability to organize one’s time is a skill that needs to be developed over time.  Perfection cannot be expected, in any case.  However, any increase in efficiency over and above what can be achieved by external regimentation is a double bonus, it also frees the external organizer from that responsibility.  Similarly, self-organizing teams composed of self-organizing individuals are a goal worth aiming for.  Where external control is expected, departure from plans will cause problems that will need external aid to resolve if the individuals involved do not have the experience or authority to make the best of the situation on their own initiative.

Prevention, Amelioration, Cure


Work is planned only in coarse detail, there is an InformalLabourPlan that allows the fine detail to be decided by self-organization.


Self-organizing teams are a goal or an assumption of agile approaches.  Planning is more likely to be in terms of a priority list than a detailed schedule; a schedule is likely only to contain milestones and deliveries, and then only for the near future.