Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

I think it depends on what you mean by "up and running".

My impression is there is always a learning journey, always resistance - and different people will pass through it at different speeds. And part of the organisational experience will be: the (inter-personal and work-related) tensions that arise as a result of some people "getting" the system and using it before others. 

Holacracy (like the world of work in general, but particularly self-managing work) assumes that people operate all the time from a certain stage of mindset (in Kegan's framework L4/self-authoring - seems to be about equivalent to the "Achiever" action logic). How many people are there yet, and how many people have to go on that journey in order to "get" will be a factor.

An added complexity: can you manage people into a self-managing system or can only point them in the direction of how they can manage themselves, and then wait patiently ("hold space") for them?


All that said, I think I agree with your rough estimate of six months for an SME - and a time frame of 1 - 2 years for true master of Holacracy, such that the forms drop away and all that is left is the lived truth of self-management. (The "Ri" stage of Shu-Ha-Ri - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuhari).