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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:
================================================== – 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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- Fall '14