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    There are no deadlines,

    But…

    you’re held accountable by your commitment to your team and forward progress.

    So commitment != deadline? I’m curious what “commitment” means for them.

    Also

    there are no managers

    For a “small” team (doesn’t say how small), that may work. For a while. Every time I see something like that, though, I just think of GitHub and other manager-less environments that turned toxic.

    no HR department

    Combined with no managers?

    You’re free to contribute wherever it’s effective

    I’m curious who determines what “effective” is?

    This is the kind of thing that makes me wonder if there’s a lack of “adult supervision” that will be paid for later. I know this can work for “small” teams, but I haven’t seen the manager-less + HR-less work in the long run.

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      Commitment is to a behaviour not an outcome.

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        So commitment != deadline? I’m curious what “commitment” means for them.

        This means if you commit to implement something, then you take it to completion, and if you can’t for some reason then you ask your team for help.

        For a “small” team (doesn’t say how small), that may work. For a while. Every time I see something like that, though, I just think of GitHub and other manager-less environments that turned toxic.

        No doubt things may change if we continue growing larger as a team. Even at the 12 we are now, there are constant challenges to ensure everyone on the team is happy and effective. In many ways I am the manager, but we have other mechanisms as well to identify issues before they become severe. One of them is quarterly peer reviews where we each score ourselves plus everyone else on the team. This is done in an anonymous fashion during the review process, however we openly discuss the aggregate results. We also have regular one-on-one’s with team members and myself, which could further reinforce the notion that I am the manager.

        I’m curious who determines what “effective” is?

        Per above, the team as a whole through peer reviews, with me stepping in for one-on-one’s if necessary.

        This is the kind of thing that makes me wonder if there’s a lack of “adult supervision” that will be paid for later. I know this can work for “small” teams, but I haven’t seen the manager-less + HR-less work in the long run

        We make it work now. I have no idea if it’ll stay this way forever, but it works well for us right now.

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          I think the team is small. Check the other post : https://blog.dnsimple.com/2015/09/retreat-avignon-august-2015/

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            Small, and male. Culture fits all-around.

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              While we are 11 men and 1 woman at this point, we are far from homogeneous. We vary in age, religion, nationality and beliefs. Sex is not the only thing that makes us different.

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            I know this can work for “small” teams, but I haven’t seen the manager-less + HR-less work in the long run.

            Not sure why they should be pressured into building something “for the long run”, if something makes a group of people happy and they can pay their bills, why isn’t that enough?

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              Well, we do have our customers to attend to as well, and they care that we are stable and will be around to take care of them, so that’s what we always aim to do. :-)

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              For a “small” team (doesn’t say how small), that may work. For a while. Every time I see something like that, though, I just think of GitHub and other manager-less environments that turned toxic.

              Every time I see someone bring up team size & Github’s more recent disarray, I have to consciously stop myself from throwing a fit and screaming “correlation != causation”!

              1) Re: Github, the simplified version of the situation was that this was due to VC-initiated VP/Director-level management reshuffling. VC’s wanted “adult supervision” in charge to lead Github to an “exit”.

              2) Re: “it must only work for small teams” (and associated mentality), see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._L._Gore_and_Associates#Culture (I specifically avoided using Valve as an example, just to show that even in industries other than software, this is possible).

              I think the takeaway here is that more than size, it’s the people that makes up the org. Have the wrong (or rather, a “different”) set of people setting the culture/tone, then a previously loosely allocated organization can quickly fall in line to resemble a more traditional centralized org.

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                For a “small” team (doesn’t say how small), that may work. For a while. Every time I see something like that, though, I just think of GitHub and other manager-less environments that turned toxic.

                That seems like an odd response to have. Do you think that manager-full environments are never or rarely toxic? That has not been my experience.