Check out how Spotify has taught us to escalate Scrum efficiently!
Spotify has set the standard by scaling Scrum in a unique and particular way. Its impact on agile models is currently very high. It has led to its model being replicated in different ways in different organizations in recent times.
It is well known that agile models like Scrum are perfect for small and medium-sized companies. But, as companies grow, these models begin to face difficulties in operating successfully. Spotify experienced this within its ranks precisely as a giant in the music industry. When they started operations, they were the perfect candidates to develop products under the agile Scrum methodology. But, with immense growth, difficulties were not long in coming.
Problems in communication and the loss of identification with the project by their developers led them to reevaluate the model and decide to create a new one adapted to their needs, based on Scrum.
Spotify's agile model
The Spotify model is based on:
Squads are the primary development units of Spotify. They are similar to Scrum teams. They are characterized by being autonomous, self-managed, and self-organized. Each squad has a mission to accomplish and can choose the agile methodology that best suits its purpose.
The squads have :
- A Product Owner (provides the vision of the area that occupies the squad).
- Agile Coach (collaborates in the optimization of the ways of working)
- Software professionals (full-stack)
Each squad is motivated to deliver a running product with added value at the end of the sprint.
The ideal number of members is a maximum of 8 people.
It is the matrix grouping of squads under the focus of a product. The number of squads per tribe should not exceed 100, although the number is much lower in practice.
Tribe leaders (usually three) are represented by product, engineering, or design members. Tribes retain their autonomy, as do squads.
Chapter or division
Chapters are a type of grouping that cuts across the tribe. It groups squad members according to their competencies. While the Agile methodology at Spotify seeks to maintain autonomy, it also recognizes the benefits of preserving dependency at certain levels. That is why the chapters are a way to create a dependency between squads giving rise to the generation of professionals for each area of competence.
Guilds are interest groups in which anyone in the organization can join. The objective is to maintain integration, ensure transparency in problem-solving and alignment of the squads. It is an excellent strategy for members of different squads, even with other competencies, to share their experiences based on a common interest and provide feedback to their teams. They have weekly meetings in which the Chapter Leader meets with its members, exposes a problem, and looks for the most appropriate solution.
What sets Spotify apart from the rest?
Spotify broke new ground by scaling what they didn’t think was possible to scale and successfully. The key to their model is based on:
It is incentivizing collective responsibility and trust among its members. Team spirit is vital in this model and the conviction that everyone must help each other because achievement is the product of teamwork.
A balance between autonomy, control, and alignment. Autonomy awakens creativity and improves employee self-esteem. Alignment to organizational principles and the right level of control allows work teams to grow positively and increase productivity.
Assume failures as part of the learning process and turn them into an opportunity for improvement.
Optimize communication, trust, and transparency among members of the organization.
- Keep people’s well-being always as a premise when making decisions that affect their working conditions. People first.
Hypernova Labs shares with Spotify the idea that development models must respond to the needs of the organization’s members to make them a tool for success. We innovate every day, always with our people and the customer at the center. Let us innovate for you. You will not regret it.