The structure of an organization sets the hierarchy for responsibility and creates the various levels of communication within an organization. Organizational structure has a huge impact on how work gets done and can have a direct effect on productivity.
Traditional IT teams are typically organized in silos which lead to a number of problems and are generally not conducive to the success of transformation. This is the year to shatter the silo’s.
Service providers want to do bigger, better, more… faster than ever before while producing quality services and responding to ever changing business dynamics. Organizations adopting DevOps strive to break down the silos. Why? Overall this is an effort to reduce bureaucracy, improve communication and collaboration, and provide people opportunity to grow. Objectives are achieved in a variety of ways ranging from assigning Ops liaisons to Dev Teams to creating cross-functional product (vs. project) teams. Initiatives including those for Continuous Delivery and Deployment are becoming familiar to high performing IT organizations. Frameworks such as Agile, Scrum, ITSM and Lean will help so why are we not seeing the results that were expected? Perhaps the organizational structure is not conducive to these efforts.
The Spotify Squad and Tribe Model allows teams in large organizations to be nimble and behave like startups. The structure of this model is made up of:
Tribes – collections of squads that work in a related business capability area
Squads – autonomous, self-directed, independent teams organized around a business capability
Chapters – small families of people with similar skills
Guilds – communities of interest
Tribe leads are responsible for ensuring that squads have all the support and autonomy that’s needed to be successful. They work together with:
Product Owners – ensure squads are building the right thing and aligned with tribe/product direction
Agile Coaches – help teams master Agile development and DevOps practices
Chapter Leads – line managers in the Spotify model responsible for traditional people management duties
Clearly defined roles and responsibilities are required to ensure success and the old way of doing this just does not bring home the results service providers are looking for. Consider Conway’s Law:
Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure.
The Spotify Squad and Tribe Model could be the golden key to unlock service potential in your organization.