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Autonomy vs. Initiatives
To continue on the series on team autonomy (see autonomy vs. leverage, autonomy vs. mission and autonomy vs. ownership), I wanted to add one more important dimension to this discussion which concerns the practical implications of working on large, multi-team initiatives.
First, when I saw “initiative” I’m referring to those product efforts that necessarily span many teams. Common examples of this include: a site usability redesign, or a move to responsive design, or an internationalization and localization effort for a significant new geography such as China. These are essentially important efforts but usually would require the coordinated efforts of many if not all of your product teams to pull off.