Autonomous Teams – ACE Report 2015

Autonomous Teams – ACE Report 2015

One way businesses are trying to work in a more agile and cross-functional way is through granting more autonomy to their teams. Over the last few years, we have witnessed many clients returning to the old idea of autonomous teams (ATs) in a bid to increase performance, for example, through agility, lean and/or scrum, not only in their operations and production processes, but also in the services they provide. This is a necessary response of businesses to multiple pressures they are facing in the marketplaces challenging traditional management wisdom and business models.

To deliver this, can demand changes to a company’s culture and leadership style. They are aware that more autonomy can significantly increase their performance. But in reality, many ATs face significant barriers that actually prevent them from achieving desired results. These client difficulties prompted us to explore ‘Autonomous Teams’ as the topic of ACE’s research this year.

AT Executive Summary video


An autonomous team is a group of individuals working together within a defined framework and agreed goals, with minimal or no interference from management. They are usually given the freedom to decide for themselves how the work should be carried out and distributed amongst the team members. Management support is available, only if and when they need it. In this report, when we talk about ‘the manager’, we refer to the person in the hierarchy that oversees the AT, but is not necessarily involved in the team’s activities. The autonomy of the team comes from the framework set by the manager overseeing the team.

Download full report here (PDF, 850kb)