Management 3.0. How game development teams could benefit from Jurgen Appelos approach to leadership

Hausarbeit, 2016

21 Seiten


Table of Content

List of Figures

1. Introduction

2. Agile development and leadership
2.1 The Evolution of software engineering
2.2 Agile teams and leadership
2.3 The Management 3.0 approach

3. Leadership, Structures and Workflows at Goodgame Studios

4. The six views of Management 3.0 on Goodgame Studios
4.1 Energize People
4.2 Empower Teams
4.3 Align Constraints
4.4 Develop Competence
4.5 Grow Structure
4.6 Improve Everything

5. Conclusion


ITM Checklist

List of Figures

Figure 1: The Management 3.0 model

Figure 2 : Structure of a game development team at Goodgame Studios

Figure 3 : The five cogs of innovation

Figure 4 : Maturity level of empowerment

Figure 5 : Level of authority

Figure 6 : Possibilities of team structure

Figure 7 : Virginia Satir Change Curve

Figure 8 : Stepping and jumping through the fitness landscape

1. Introduction

Developing computer games is almost as old as the development of classic software. There are many similarities, and at the end, the result is the same: a program that runs on a computer. But teams which are developing computer games were growing much faster over the decades than classic software development teams. Also the complexity itself was increasing rapidly. The reason: Additional resources were needed besides programmers. These include for example, graphic artists, game designer, game balancer, visual effects specialists and even people who are doing the music and sounds. Being a leader for this kind of interdisciplinary team with creative and analytical people inside is often a bigger challenge than doing it for a homogenous group of people from one profession.

This assignment will give an brief overview about the approach of Management 3.0 from Jurgen Appelo (Appelo, 2010) and how leader and member of game development teams could benefit from it.

2. Agile development and leadership

2.1 The Evolution of software engineering

In the history of software development, the classic approach to plan and finish projects was to use methodologies like the waterfall process (cp. Boehm and others, 1981). It can be compared with a production line in a factory. A step by step approach with a finalized product concept and system specification. But this approach lead more and more to problems, especially in bigger projects. The reasons therefore were mostly based on three factors: a changing environment within the company, new ideas from customer side and also the rapidly growth of technology improvements. This inconveniences, which are mostly not predictable, makes the comprehensive documentation, which is needed for the waterfall approach, unusable (cp. Williams and Cockburn, 2003, p. 39). As a result, project planning from scratch is getting harder and in some cases even impossible.

In February 2011, 17 people of leading software development companies defined the so called agile manifesto, which should define a new way of software development. This set of values is standing for a flexible and light way of developing software, the agile approach (cp. Fowler and Highsmith, 2001):

- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan

These principles should have only one main goal, which is described in the following way: „Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software “ (Fowler and Highsmith, 2001).

2.2 Agile teams and leadership

The difference of agile development to the classic approach of software engineering is not only on methodology side. Because no highly optimized workflow or a set of values will work out, if the team behind has not the right values or mindset to adept or understand this approach. Popli and Chauhan are concluding: “Agile development requires highly skilled and highly motivated individuals,…” (Popli and Chauhan, 2013). Skills can be learned and are important but motivation is a behavior that has to be supported by leadership to be existent. Besides that, motivation is not the only behavior which is important for agile teams. One agile value is concentrating on the people which are standing behind a team: “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools”. This value stands for a set of key behaviors, which are essential for a successful team in an agile environment (cp. Sutherland, 2013): trust, truth, respect, commitment, transparency.

Working agile can only be successful, if the people which are working with this approach are set in the right focus. The problem is, that all agile approaches and methodologies are not handling or defining the role of the line manager. Using the wrong approach of leadership can harm or even block the way of working in an agile environment. (cp. Appelo, 2010, pp. 30-31). This is one of the reasons, Jurgen Appelo is introducing a new way of leadership, which is defining principles to support and strengthen an agile collaboration within a company. He is calling this approach Management 3.0 (Appelo, 2010).

2.3 The Management 3.0 approach

2.3.1 Management 3.0 - The company as a complex system

Appelo is describing three different versions of management. Version 1.0 is defined by the “command and control” approach. In his words, a classic and old fashioned top to bottom system, where the people on the lowest hierarchy level have the lowest salary, nearly no responsibility and no motivation (cp. Appelo, 2010, p. xxxiv). Appelo´s view on Management 1.0 could be nearly compared to “Theory X”, created and developed by Douglas McGregor (cp. McGregor, 1960).

From the view of Appelo, Management 2.0 is a fad which is based on the Management 1.0 model. An outdated model based on hierarchy. He describes this version of management like an add-on and nothing new. It is again about managing from the top with the approach to give manager some tools to make it easier to understand and design their organizations (Appelo, 2010, pp. xxxiv-xxxv). Examples from Appelo are tools like the balanced score card (Kaplan and Norton, 2005), books like “The One Minute Manager” (Blanchard and Johnson, 2000) or “Good to Great” (Collins, 2001).

Alistair Cockburn, one of the initiators of the agile manifesto, has stated, that one aspect of agile development is often missed and overseen. The aspect, that an organization has to be seen as complex adaptive systems, in which individuals interact in self organizing ways to produce innovative and emergent results (cp. Cockburn and Highsmith, 2001, p. 121). Precisely this point is set into focus from Appelo. From his point of view, Management 3.0 is about complexity in organizations. A company cannot be represented by a hierarchy. A company is a living system based on complex networks in terms of functional and social interactions (cp. Appelo, 2010, p. xxxv).

2.3.2 The Management 3.0 Model

Appelo has developed a management model which represents six different views on an organization (see Figure 1). The first view is “Energize People”, which means, that people are the most important parts of a company. A manager should support their creativity, keep them motivated and active. The second view, “Empower Teams”, supports the idea that teams can self-organize and therefore need empowerment, authorization and trust from the management. Regarding to this, the third view “Align Constraints” is about to set boundaries and goals to move self- organized teams in the right direction. “Develop Competence” is the fourth view. Only capable people are in the position to achieve given goals in an agile environment. Defining the right structures in complex systems, to enable and support communication is the fifth view called “Grow Structure”. Finally, “Improve Everything” is the sixth view and includes the idea of improving continuously to defer failure as long as possible (cp. Appelo, 2010, pp. 369-371).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

(Source: own illustration based on: Appelo, 2010, fig. 16.1)

Figure 1: The Management 3.0 model

3. Leadership, Structures and Workflows at Goodgame Studios

Before applying and analyzing the six views from Management 3.0 at Goodgame Studios, it is necessary to describe the basic structure of one of our biggest teams. Figure 2 shows the structure of this development team at Goodgame Studios. On the top of the hierarchy are the line managers which are disciplinary responsible for the production related individuals (Development Lead1, Art Lead2 and Design Lead3 ). The responsibility of the project manager is to secure an in time delivery and continuous tracking of progress and problems. The product manager has the economic view on the product and therefore responsible for the economic success of the game. The keyword “First” represents a role of each sub-profession that has the functional responsibility but no disciplinary. The basic idea behind this position is, that the line manager and external stakeholder have a single point of contact for each sub-profession from the functional point of view.


1 Responsible for the whole software development part

2 Responsible for the whole graphical production part

3 Responsible for game design, balancing and user experience

Ende der Leseprobe aus 21 Seiten


Management 3.0. How game development teams could benefit from Jurgen Appelos approach to leadership
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Dipl.Ing. (FH) Dirk Köhler (Autor), 2016, Management 3.0. How game development teams could benefit from Jurgen Appelos approach to leadership, München, GRIN Verlag,


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