Project management and Holacracy is possible

27/06/2023 - Updated on 19/07/2023 - Lorene
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More and more companies are adopting holacracy as a new management system, no matter how big they are. What advantages do they derive from this modern management method?

What is holacracy?

Holacracy is a form of management that makes it possible to distribute decision-making and responsibilities equitably among stakeholders. This functionally allows for distributed decision-making mechanisms with decentralized authority and self-organized teams, which differs from classic top-down pyramid models. Holacracy brings agility to the management of your business.

What are the principles of holacracy?

The lack of flexibility in the management of a company or, more generally, of a project is often due to the fact that a strong hierarchy has developed between employees, managers and management. Then follow the power games, where you have to climb the ladder to prove your success, sometimes challenging the interests of society. The main consequences are generally the freezing of innovation and creativity, risk-taking being punished rather than encouraged, great rigidity and ultimately the motivation of employees regardless of the hierarchical level.

The fundamental principle of holacracy is to eliminate bureaucracy as much as possible, and therefore also positions of power, in order to increase the flexibility, agility and autonomy of all employees. It there are no more managers, decision-makers on one side and actors on the other. There are groups of workers called “Circles”. These circles are concentric, stacked like a nesting doll. Each circle makes suggestions that the other circles can and should consider. The hierarchy is replaced as much as possible by collective intelligence. There is therefore no longer a rigid hierarchy in holacracy, which is often a source of business paralysis.

Accept the rules of holacracy

First, the project leader or manager must accept the delegation of power and is no longer the sole decision maker. Next, the purpose of the project or company must be defined. All subsequent decisions must enable this objective to be achieved.

Defining everyone’s roles in a holacratic system

Once an organization is no longer based on a pyramid hierarchy, it must define a set of roles to function. This role has nothing to do with the job description. A person can play multiple roles at any given time, just as a group can play multiple roles. A role has a name, a purpose, one or more areas over which it has control and responsibility, meaning an ongoing activity that needs to be performed.

Holacracy applied in project management

Holacracy can be implemented in a project in the same way. Gone is the project manager who makes all the decisions. Gone is the end of the project manager who alone decides on the distribution of tasks and their priorities. From now on, decisions are made together, each member of the project team has the same level of knowledge. This way of managing projects releases the creativity of team members who finally dare to express themselves. Of course, it’s not about going everywhere, but collective intelligence allows a much better vision and management of the project than each participant individually. Team participation is naturally enhanced, as is cohesion and cooperation. Working circles are defined so that they are assigned to project tasks. The first circle then divides the tasks into subtasks assigned to “lower” level circles, so everyone is free to bring their own idea to the project. Decisions must then be taken collectively, quickly and transparently. One of the advantages of holacracy is that nothing is fixed, the structure can evolve. Thus each member of a circle can update his role and his rules according to the needs or the current situation.

Benefits of Holacracy

With holacracy, you trust your employees, empower them, and challenge them to come up with improvements and implement them. So you often found yourself with an overly rigid hierarchy that paralyzed the company. By eliminating red tape, you give your business more agility and flexibility. This freedom and this new form of management motivate your employees and encourage them to use their talents and to be more creative and innovative. Everyone can express themselves and present their ideas. Finally, by changing circles regularly, employees gain a better understanding of the overall vision of the company, which improves their commitment.

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