Valve_Handbook_LowRes

Weve self organized into these largely temporary

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Unformatted text preview: ou have to do is either (1) Start working on it, or (2) Start talking to all the people who you think might be working on it already and find out how to best be valuable. You will be welcomed— there is no approval process or red tape involved. Quite the opposite—it’s your job to insert yourself wherever you think you should be. Fig. 2-1 Cabals are really just multidisciplinary project teams. We’ve self-organized into these largely temporary groups since the early days of Valve. They exist to get a product or large feature shipped. Like any other group or effort at the company, they form organically. People decide to join the group based on their own belief that the group’s work is important enough for them to work on. ================================================== For reference, read the article on cabals by Ken Birdwell. It describes where cabals came from and what they meant to us early on: http://tinyurl.com/ygam86p. ================================================== – 14 – – 15 – V ALVE: H ANDBO O K FO R NEW EMP LO YEE S Team leads Often, someone will emerge as the “lead” for a project. This person’s role is not a traditional managerial one. Most often, they’re primarily a clearinghouse of information. They’re keeping the whole project in their head at once so that people can use them as a resource to check decisions against. The leads serve the team, while acting as centers for the teams. Structure happens Project teams often have an internal structure that forms temporarily to suit the group’s needs. Although people at Valve don’t have fixed job descriptions or limitations on the scope of their responsibility, they can and often do have clarity around the definition of their “job” on any given day. They, along with their peers, effectively create a job description that fits the group’s goals. That description changes as requirements change, but the temporary structure provides a shared understanding of what to expect from each other. If someone moves to a different group or a team shifts its priorities, each person can take on a completely different role according to the new requirements. Valve is not averse to all organizational structure—it crops up in many forms all the time, temporarily. But problems show up when hierarchy or codified divisions of S E TTL I N G I N labor either haven’t been created by the group’s members or when those structures persist for long periods of time. We believe those structures inevitably begin to serve their own needs rather than those of Valve’s customers. The hierarchy will begin to reinforce its own structure by hiring people who fit its shape, adding people to fill subordinate support roles. Its members are also incented to engage in rent-seeking behaviors that take advantage of the power structure rather than focusing on simply delivering value to customers. Hours While people occasionally choose to push themselves to work some extra hours at times when something big is going out the door, for the most part working ov...
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