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Tell me more!

I highly recommend watching this video:

…but in a nutshell:

Tribes, Squads, Chapters and Guilds

Squad: Primary dimension focused on product delivery and quality. Each squad has 100% autonomy to deploy.

Chapter: Groups of Squad members that share competencies (ex. quality assistance, web development, agile coaching)

Tribe: Light-weight matrix comprised of Squads

Guild: Light-weight community of interest where groups gather to share interest knowledge (ex. leadership)


Each Squad has full autonomy regarding how it goes about delivering its long and short term goals. When a set of delivery practices/framework works particularly well, this methodology can, and should, spread to other Squads that can make use of them.

Alignment x Autonomy

-Alignment, – Autonomy = No leadership and no motivation
-Alignment, +Autonomy = Chaos
+Alignment, -Autonomy = Bossy bosses and demotivated employees
+Alignment, +Autonomy = Spotify!

Small/Frequent Delivery

Through test automation and continuous deployment infrastructure, Spotify stays true to the fundamentals of the Lean Startup. Furthermore, through decoupled releases (modularizing Spotify’s architecture into feature frames), each Squad can deploy with minimal bureaucracy and timing conflicts with other Squads. Finally, through feature toggles (deploying features regardless of how ready they are, but being able to turn them on or off), Spotify can conduct testing on the go as opposed to delay releases.

My 2 cents:

No fear, no trust, no politics. Spotify took the Lean Startup one step further by staying true to fundamental concepts such as continuous releases, smaller batch sizes and autonomous teams, but introduces a cross-functional element that accelerates the dissemination of learnings that is equally key to the Lean Startup model. Spotify is a key example of tech organization at its most spontaneous and focused, but it is also an example that the revolutionary ideals of the Lean Startup are becoming more the foundation of tech culture, being consistently improved by conceptual “add-ons.”

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