Balancing Individual and Collaborative Work in Agile Teams

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 31)


In the agile approach, the self-organizing team itself decides how work is coordinated. For individuals in a team to be motivated and satisfied with their job they need to have control over their work and over the scheduling and implementation of their own tasks. However, individual and team level autonomy may conflict, and reduce the effectiveness of the team. Therefore, there is a need to investigate how to achieve empowerment at the individual and team levels simultaneously. An Australian software developer, Atlassian, has developed an interesting way of solving these problems with FedEx Day. Once every three months, developers get a day to work on whatever they like! Like an express courier, a developer must deliver something in a day. Developers then present their work to the rest of the company. Some of this work then ends up getting incorporated into the products.


teamwork individual work autonomy self-managing self-organizing agile software development scrum XP FedEx day case study 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information Systems, Technology and ManagementUNSWSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.SINTEF ICTTrondheimNorway

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