Washington State’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) trialled Holacracy, a system of self-management, for two years before deciding it wasn’t the best fit. Although the team appreciated the transparency and equal voice it offered, the system proved too rigid and time-consuming. Holacracy’s structured meetings and prescribed roles were seen as limiting rather than liberating, and the time spent on governance and tactical meetings was significant.

The team’s focus shifted from delivering value to customers to managing the system itself. The OCIO also found that Holacracy’s lack of a traditional hierarchy led to confusion and a lack of accountability. The system’s complexity also meant that external partners and new team members struggled to understand it.

Despite these challenges, the OCIO team learned valuable lessons. They recognised the importance of clarity in roles and responsibilities, and the need for a system that supports rather than hinders their work. Ultimately, they have decided to develop their own approach to self-management, drawing on the best aspects of Holacracy and other methodologies.

Go to source article: https://ocio.wa.gov/news/what-we-learned-our-holacracy-experience