The Spotify Model & Cloud

December 21, 2022

Season 1, Episode 4

Most of us aren’t at Spotify’s scale, so for us mere mortals what is actually useful to implement? Jon and Jay work it out by discussing squads, chapters, agile delivery teams, platforms, and what really works for delivering in the cloud.

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • The fundamentals of the Spotify model and its application to cloud operations.
  • The significance of squads, chapters, and agile delivery teams in the modern tech landscape.
  • The balance between autonomy and the need for standards in a decentralized structure.
  • The potential challenges and inefficiencies that can arise without a centralized approach.

Themes Covered in the Podcast:

  1. The Spotify Model: An exploration of Spotify’s unique approach to team organization and its relevance to cloud operations.
  2. Squads and Chapters: A deep dive into the structure of squads and chapters, and how they differ from traditional team setups.
  3. Agile Delivery Teams: The importance of agile methodologies in today’s fast-paced tech world.
  4. Centralization vs. Autonomy: The pros and cons of having a centralized approach versus giving teams full autonomy.
  5. The Role of Platforms: How platforms can simplify processes for developers and ensure consistency across teams.

Quick Takeaways:

  1. Squad: A multidisciplinary delivery team in the Spotify model.
  2. Chapter: Refers to different skills or functions within the Spotify model.
  3. Tribe: A collection of squads and chapters, similar to a business unit.
  4. Guild: Groups with common interests, akin to centers of excellence.
  5. Backstage: A tool developed to simplify processes for developers.
  6. Autonomy: The freedom given to teams to operate independently.
  7. Agile: A set of methodologies aimed at improving software development processes.
  8. Cloud Operations: The management and delivery of cloud services.
  9. Centralization: A centralized approach to managing teams and resources.
  10. Operating Model: The way an organization functions and delivers projects.

Follow for more:
Jon Shanks: LinkedIn
Jay Keshur: LinkedIn
Jon & Jay’s startup: Appvia



0:23hello Welcome to Cloud unplugged this is season two episode six I’m John Shanks

0:30I’m Jacob Shaw and I think we’re going to talk about

0:35um squads chapters agile um delivery teams platforms all of the

0:44things everything that you could talk about everything we can talk about but I know this kind of comes up I think there’s quite a few companies we speak

0:50to who have adopted different models of different delivery kind of methodologies

0:56um then there’s a kind of Ops models which I think we kind of brushed on but didn’t really specifically talk about but it’s obviously Cloud operating

1:03models and all these other things and they were kind of slightly they’re not really the same thing are they yeah

1:08um so obviously the cloud an operating model is kind of how you organize and

1:14deliver um well I guess they solve the same they tried to solve the

1:20same problem but come at it in two different ways so um the kind of um

1:25the way that people are organized and uh creating silos and creating kind of

1:32cross-functional teams is the chapter Squad you know whatever model that Spotify have have coined and decided to

1:40make up some new words around yeah but obviously that’s been around for ages

1:45right because scrum has been around for ages yeah lean ways of working has been around but uh operating models is I guess a little

1:54bit more prescriptive um around delivering on something or

1:59with something um does that make sense no okay that’s brilliant I mean I would say it’s

2:07pretty much synonymous a little bit I think I think obviously the cloud looks it through the cloud lens yeah of course

2:14the the business is looking it through like productivity and so on one hand you kind of have

2:20squads and things tribes all the way they’ve organized scrum and agile well it could be scrum kanban but anyways

2:26like agile agile methodologies of like we’ve got to deliver business applications quickly what’s the most

2:31effective way as we scale to not end up in a bureaucratic red taped process

2:37slowing down delivery so kind of based on autonomy the other flip side is kind of similar ish but

2:43from an architectural perspective around the cloud and then like different different

2:49um setups around it and then obviously it takes into account like financials and

2:55yeah exactly it’s slightly different but the financials involved even in the squads it’s just that they’re not talking about it’s not like it’s not

3:01there it’s just not mentioned that’s all I imagine I guess within a scrum you’re not really managing finances like this

3:07you’re you’re doing that outside of a squad or whatever right yeah exactly that’s outside of the teams but budgets

3:13whereas um with like an OP model or something like that it it’s kind of

3:18you’re solving that within the um within an OP model like are you cross charging

3:25are you um centrally you know taking taking all of that so I guess maybe an OP model is

3:32um more prescriptive um and and more has a lot more to it

3:38than just how the team is going to manage itself or you know what the thing

3:45is above those teams or how cross-functional disciplines are gonna evolve

3:51um so an OP model is is almost how the organization functions and then

3:57um squads teams Etc are how projects deliver

4:02um within the organization yeah I still don’t know

4:08again you know Cloud’s got their operating model um oh yeah clouds clouds

4:15sorry I’m just thinking about how to articulate what I’m trying to say my brain is a bit slow this morning so um

4:22the clouds come up with an operating model Spotify has got a way of organizing its teams which is an

4:28operating model however you look at it it’s a way of operating right so um the thing that’s missing for all this

4:35is the effectiveness of both so it’s like I mean we can all come up with models it’s just like I mean we could

4:40just throw models out there until like we’re blue in the face but it’s what what the measurement of successes with

4:46the models and what they’re trying to do is it efficiency is it productivity is it about control is it about security so

4:53it’s about all of those things and I guess sounds like Spotify I mean I don’t know

4:58how many people know about this describe it are you asking me to describe yeah are

5:03you just saying we should someone someone should describe this stuff yeah could

5:10somebody go out there and describe this stuff so we can talk about it properly please of no so there’s obviously chapters

5:18tribes squads guilds I think he’s probably the most primary thing yeah

5:25um a squad I mean for me semantics but obviously I’m sure there’ll be some people I think Spotify can just say that

5:32I’m talking nonsense and it isn’t semantics but a delivery team which is usually multidisciplinary anyway they

5:38call a squad delivery team an agile delivery team exactly they call that a

5:43squad made up of like different skills those skills that we’d normally call a function they call a chapter

5:51um and then um because obviously they’re part of like different chapters means different kind

5:56of skills then they have a tribe which is all of those things together um which we call a business unit yeah um

6:04I guess in in more Enterprise stuff and then they have girls which is obviously people’s people with the same interests

6:10that can kind of get together share best practices Etc which you could call a center of excellence right exactly

6:16um very similar concept so I don’t think any of these are necessarily new but it sounds like the kind of new

6:21forward thinking but they’ve obviously chosen I’m talking a lot here I’ve kind of realized but they’ve obviously chosen

6:27um thoughts like autonomy and speed over maybe standards and best practices

6:35um and consistency from what I understand because they don’t enforce things it’s funny though right you just

6:41said autonomy and speed but if you’re optimizing for Speed then you probably would want to have standards and best

6:47practices and uh kind of level understand

6:52um a kind of base or Foundation nor way of working otherwise you’ve got loads of

6:58people just going off and delivering and doing maybe Reinventing the wheel every time yeah I think that probably they solved

7:06one problem and introduced to others maybe you know I mean because it’s like the dunbar’s law um

7:12100 is it 150 100 250 isn’t it so

7:18um or maybe they’ve thought that through and thought Oh no traditional Enterprises we don’t want to end up like that right because they’re not very

7:24efficient not very effective and then the more middle management you end up with the slower things because there’s

7:30probably maybe just like actually we don’t want to repeat that so what we’re going to do is this um but then obviously that obviously

7:36introduces different problems so I guess it’s I don’t know if this is true I’m just totally guessing there’s work for

7:42Spotify but um that’s what it feels like to me that

7:48they that they were kind of replacing one set of problems with another and you’re

7:53right like what about surely the speed of which somebody joins the team and they’re effective is equally as

8:00important exactly that right like I mean the quality of what they’re delivering the time that it takes for them to even

8:08be productive um for them to understand I guess for

8:14them to figure out what the difference is in all of the different names because now you’ve you’ve decided to use words

8:20that aren’t necessarily mainstream yeah mainstream so there’s like a bit of a cognitive

8:26um load on what it is to function in the organization

8:32um if you’re Spotify or using that model and so it’s it’s a bit odd

8:37um but it’s actually sound it does sound cool right although way cooler than the business unit a guild okay I mean I

8:45don’t want to be in a guild yeah but you’re in a chapter maybe maybe it’s a

8:50page Turner yeah you don’t know what’s coming next I’m definitely in tribe one

8:56yeah of squad sounds like you’re going to war um when you come to work or play football I don’t know yeah I’ll play

9:03football but yeah I think it just maybe it just sounded better yeah exactly um that’s our conclusion nothing to do

9:09it cool end of episode that’s that’s it just sounded cool that was a motivator

9:16um yeah anyway I suppose you’re right I I don’t know because obviously backstage

9:21got built so I don’t know where that’s specifically stem from I know of it obviously but I don’t know the origins

9:27exactly ill and it’s Spotify Origins and now it’s a thing that teams use under

9:33the guise of being autonomous whether that was built from a squad or within a chapter yeah

9:39I don’t know I’m guessing probably if they didn’t have oh within a tribe yeah yeah because I’m guessing they wouldn’t

9:45have wouldn’t have had any that any of that Central platform team capability per se because they weren’t organized in

9:51that way so presumably it was done within a chapter I guess I guess with most things

9:58um I’m not this is a bit of a generalization so let me correct myself before I make it some things they get

10:05built um almost by accident right um as a as a byproduct of

10:11needing to do something um and then seeing the value of the thing other teams seeing the

10:18value of what they’ve built and then it just you get more users of that thing there’s no real intention behind it

10:26um other than to solve a problem for a single team but because now you’ve you’ve you’ve

10:33shared your ideas and other people have kind of seen that that exists um you now have a bunch of users that

10:41and a bunch of Demands so now you’re almost having to solve different problems problems they didn’t necessarily think of

10:48um I’m not assuming that that’s how backstage started but I’m just saying in terms of you know internally built tools

10:54that that does tend to happen yeah a fair fair amount um yeah I don’t know how

11:01yeah I don’t know enough about how it worked but I guess like the path of least resistance is usually what people

11:07take so if someone’s done something and it seems to be working um I mean I don’t I don’t really know

11:13though because I’m I mean surely humanistically they get competitive elements within the business too right

11:19because human beings are human beings yeah exactly right egos are egos yeah so whether people refuse to use backstage

11:26because they didn’t invent it in their chapter does that happen I don’t know I mean and and to front stage

11:34much quicker much faster yeah I love using front stage yeah front stages are

11:40much better much better solution I prefer it to Backstage um to be honest but yeah no I I I’m presuming them I

11:47guess if it if it’s got adoption but there’ll be all those humanistic issues won’t they with that kind of competitive yeah absolutely nature inside of it it’s

11:53good though I think I mean competition drives creativity and um you know definitely yeah without having

12:00competition then you’ve what have you got boring yeah it’s boring exactly yeah

12:05um and you’re not really pushing yourself or you know you don’t have external factors sort of pushing you to

12:10excel um you kind of it’s been pretty good for Innovation like if you’re being competitive it helps innovate 100 not

12:16sure whether it’s great to have the from a cost person yeah to have that cost oh within the

12:23company I just want to compete against team a oh okay yeah sure you can you can go off and do that

12:28yeah exactly another wheel that’s fine by me just another million million and a

12:34half pounds a year that’s totally fine yeah exactly I wonder if then the

12:39um whether they now have a central backstage team that’s is that do they

12:45have that now from what I understand they do um and I think they can’t I guess in

12:51terms of like technology um they’re operating in in in slightly

12:56um different areas so like you know you might have a squad around

13:02um a a function in Spotify let’s say a menu or something like that

13:07um but then you might have uh squads or tribes around a central function like

13:13compute or networking or um backstage or something like that so so it’s

13:20you can have um alignment to technology um like base love based technology

13:27instead of just delivering a feature or a function if that makes sense yeah a

13:32bit old school though those types of things like Network I mean now it’s software defined I mean everything’s

13:38kind of become software defined pretty much yeah but it’s kind of a bit old school to have it is

13:44my theories like I mean you still need the knowledge of networks I suppose I mean that’s got to be a given you need

13:51to understand what a network is and routing works and all that kind of stuff and if you kind of have a bunch of people that specialize in that or how

13:58you’re going to organize them because they’re they’re obviously going to solve the problem like you’re you at some

14:04stage you are going to centralize on some capability like you don’t have

14:10um you know Finance people in every single team right um it just wouldn’t scale it doesn’t make sense so you you you always

14:18centralize the things um where it makes sense to um

14:23and then the reason that you have multi-disciplinary teams is obviously to

14:29reduce friction getting resources from other teams aligned in that capability

14:34so I’m not sure if you would necessarily have the amount of work necessary to

14:42have a single networking person in your team it just doesn’t make sense yeah exactly the demand is unless you’re just

14:49hitting loads of networking issues every day yeah yeah and you needed that person or you’re designing something

14:55that’s basically about networking because it’s a networking product then you probably would justify somebody

15:00probably a whole team is going to have those skills yeah yeah exactly yeah but I mean I mean yeah Cloud’s kind of

15:07removed networking primarily to a point if you just were in the cloud you didn’t have any on-prem at all ever and nothing

15:13no custom um specific networks and things like that it went all vpned up and data

15:19centers and all that stuff and you’re boiling the cloud you probably wouldn’t need a networking team per se really to be

15:27fair I wouldn’t you’re right but you know we probably take this stuff for granted because you know we’ve come from

15:33an area that has evolved with the capabilities of cloud and

15:39software-defined networks and all that kind of stuff um but if you are just to say a software

15:45engineer and you know all you’ve done is hands on keyboard writing code and

15:50you’ve not necessarily had to deal with infrastructure networks and things like that and now you have to

15:56you have to learn all of those Basics and principles then um obviously there’s there’s ways and

16:03tools to have to learn those things good question if it’s just done for you

16:09what if it’s done for you great yeah why do you need to learn it probably don’t um but the the

16:15change that’s happening now and we’ve talked about it on previous episodes is

16:20um more of the kind of responsibility is being pushed down to developers right um in terms of what they have to know

16:27and learn and some of those things are taken away by services like you said

16:32cloud services or services that people can offer around them um but if you’ve got like a problem to

16:40solve because you’ve seen some Network latency then you’re just going to spend a lot of time like that might be a

16:45central function and that helps you uh with that uh or just like Google database or something yeah Google like

16:52Google does you mean like that you kind of look for it on the internet you’re like oh I’ve got is there that kind of that kind of support yeah Google

17:00any of those um no I think that’s fine being facetious but the

17:06yeah I don’t know I guess shift we spoke about that before though like shifting responsibilities I’m getting a bit off

17:12topic but yeah we spoke about obviously Shifting the responsibilities to developers but not at the expense of

17:18them having to spend forever like doing all of the courses to learn a thing you know

17:24and getting Nolo skills I think not that there’s anything wrong with obviously learning but not whether it’s hampering

17:29your delivery because you were there for a reason to come in to begin with with a skill set and that skill set was the

17:35thing the business decided they needed to kind of help deliver expanding that skill sets fine but

17:41really if that’s if that’s in Conflict for Speed of delivery which is maybe what the

17:47business wants the faster functionality and cost and reduced cost yeah you want to do it cheaper obviously faster more

17:54secure I mean all the time all the same things but um if it doesn’t help in those objectives then

18:00I guess it becomes a bit questionable whether it’s working well so then how your shifting becomes the important thing

18:06because if it requires loads of upskilling then how and right you’re shifting yeah exactly it’s not a great

18:12roll of thumb just to shift stuff for the sake yeah exactly um but yeah anyway squads platforms what

18:20we’re supposed to be talking about um which I think we concluded isn’t that different to it’s just original ways but

18:27what certain ways of working it’s just Loom ways of working and then a uh you know a structure on top of individual

18:34teams to like business units like you were saying to manage the overall outcome of what that business or unit is

18:41trying to achieve right it’s like does it it’s not rocket science no but it’s been interesting I think the bit I find

18:46kind of interesting is the fact that there was obviously still problems because to produce software to make it

18:55simpler for developers to deliver application business logic right which

19:00is what backstage was there to do um the speed and the process and the

19:06consistency on doing that like having the things there ready to go so you couldn’t be a bit more effective without

19:11having to learn loads and abstracting some complexity away as much as possible is kind of what platforms are about is

19:17remove the complexity make the experience better around the technology so

19:24he obviously must have introduced if you to rewind it and say well what was

19:29happening before that existed yeah um like what was the overheads on

19:34reinvention you know how much duplication was going on how quickly were people being effective when they joined those teams

19:41was it consistent if you joined T-Max or Squad X were you as quick as joining

19:46Squad y um you know because obviously you’re in different different kind of tribes even

19:52potentially right so it could be yeah different onboarding experiences like so maybe someone joining the company

19:59wouldn’t necessarily have the same experience um because you have completely automated

20:05teams potentially right so now I guess the way that I say it is there’s

20:13a lot of risk in there for the business to have um to just randomized things yeah

20:19exactly but I guess we don’t know the ins and outs of um how much autonomy those teams and

20:26whether there’s uh whether they’re giving them like a

20:31kind of guard rails to be autonomous within um or if we’re just saying actually just

20:37go off and do whatever you want here’s a bunch of money go hire a bunch of people just create your own company yeah okay

20:43yeah I suppose it’s hard to know though if when you do autonomize you then can’t

20:51necessarily see all the problems yeah as well right so you then how you’re measuring becomes quite

20:57imperative because then if you’re not if you’re you know whether they care maybe they just don’t care and we’re

21:03over complicating it and just like you know we’ve got loads of money we just don’t care anyway we don’t need to be like the the cost efficiencies of like

21:10trying to be that micromanagement mentality of trying to see everything versus just get on with it it’s hard to

21:18weigh up the opportunity cost versus like the cost of actually reinvention

21:23and duplication and problems that could be in those I’m not sure businesses I

21:28guess because I mean then you’re just talking about people and how good at managing they are almost right no no I’m

21:34just saying no if you’re if you’re if you’re autonomous yeah to see the days the ins and outs of each team to then

21:43understand overall whether there’s some duplication I guess whether that problem tribes exist for

21:50no that’s what the girls of common interests would exist the tribes then end up being multiple squads uh well

21:58it’s chapters and squads in the tears it’s like a business unit yeah yeah so for you to say how can I see whether

22:03this whether there’s the same issues in many places going on yeah it becomes a bit harder when you’ve like oh you’re in

22:09a chapter yeah yeah and you’re now in a squad but you’re also in a tribe within that Squad I.E you’re an engineer in a

22:16team who’s in a business unit who’s got oversight whether some of the problems are like replicated in lots of different

22:22places and how inefficient that is in aggregate because you could be like well actually that’s really inefficient it’s cost us loads of money that’s going on

22:28in the business yeah we should do something about it to then set up an initiative to actually solve the problem the hope is that which is maybe what’s

22:35happened that somebody does solve that problem because somebody sees it somewhere and then it becomes a pattern for the rest of the business exactly

22:42um fingers crossed but it’s not deliberate then it’s not intentional you’re not set up to do that and I guess you know those patterns are they then

22:50um uh do people kind of enforce that those patterns to use or do they still

22:55have autonomy I don’t know I think I read somewhere saying that they don’t really have massive standards and that

23:02they I don’t know I mean again correct everything we’re saying

23:16and actually all the things you’ve said are completely incorrect yeah it doesn’t work anything like what we’ve just said

23:22um but yeah I think I don’t know I just

23:27feel that when they started and where the world is now in terms of technology and

23:33functionality and Cloud maturity and all these other things that you probably wouldn’t choose to

23:39operate like that now I don’t think because you can standardize and stuff easily you can build repeatable ways of

23:45working around teams you don’t need there is some element that you could create I you could have had a backstage

23:51now right they’ve created something or there’s loads of other Solutions out there not just backstage so why not just

23:57use that yeah why go off and be like oh we’ll see where we end up again and go

24:02on the same Journey ourselves it’s like well don’t do that like why would you like they’ve just like loads of companies just done that I guess it

24:09doesn’t make too much sense to me when you’ve watched a team a company go through it

24:15and now can see that in the end they had to go and do this anyway yeah so then you’re like well should we just

24:21not go through the same Journey as other companies I guess you’re you’re starting

24:26to talk about how to deliver software quickly on cloud or even

24:32publicly yeah yeah exactly yeah and um you know that is exactly that sort of

24:38devops platform engineering um type world that we talk about so much

24:43and it feels like its own topic um in that you know we could probably talk about the topic Jay pros and cons

24:50of um building a platform internally versus going out and using something that

24:57already exists like backstage like anything else yeah um so it feels like we we should

25:03probably do a separate one do a separate one on that yeah do you do you go on the journey for the business and work out

25:09all the requirements and see if it’s you know quotes snowflake

25:14a snowflake business where it’s so unique that you can’t reuse anything exactly um

25:20or you can reuse things but you just have to still stitch them all together whatever those independent things are yep versus someone’s probably got maybe

25:2790 there with something so that you don’t have to go and do that 90 and you

25:34can just add 10 of whatever it is yeah if you need to if you even need to yeah I mean how do you even know the things

25:40that you need to do until you’ve got a baseline like the cost of

25:46understanding what that 10 is that you might need to solve is

25:51um it implies that you even know what it could mean right so you have no

25:57philosophically sorry to interrupt but do you think philosophistic is a real philosophical thing so just need to word it in a way that

26:04makes sense can just coming out with it um but do you think because the industry

26:11because the industry is changing the perception is that it’s different

26:18but actually isn’t you know like we’ve just done like squads right I think it

26:24sounds like um it sounds like it’s different it sounds like oh my God a chapter and a tribe and a squad and all

26:30this sort of stuff and think yeah but isn’t that kind of semantics like couldn’t you just rename those things to be other things like that’s now a

26:36business that’s actually a business unit that’s really called a delivery team that’s what you could map them to other terms it’s probably slight Nuance but

26:43the same with Technologies like containers kubernetes Cloud AI ml GitHub

26:50spin-ops you knows devsecops blah blah blah right all these things sound like everything’s altering so it almost feels

26:57like you need to start again oh we better start again and think this through again because it’s all changed you know I don’t know if it has all

27:03changed necessarily just different principles

27:10but I was watching a um uh you know one of those Netflix explained shows um and

27:16this one was on flags and um there’s there is a link here so let me bring this back

27:21um bear with me um obviously one of the things that people love getting behind is this idea

27:27of you know this symbol that represents them right and that’s almost the same thing here right so hey um Spotify I’m

27:35gonna use a different term with and squads boom you’ve you’ve now got a bunch of people that have aligned in

27:42some way um even if it’s just the way that they’re sort of referring to themselves

27:48and that creates them like there is a um uh something that doesn’t necessarily

27:55get measured in the same way um but it does create some cohesiveness and sense of direction

28:04um so it’s I think that needs to exist in

28:09some way um but it would be nice if that thing was just you know you’re aligning into

28:15in terms of what the business is trying to do and the problem that the business is trying to solve rather than like

28:21creating little pockets of um weird alignment with creating new terms and making it more complicated or

28:27or do you think no because the terms are new the the behaviors that get created feels

28:35like you know because it’s hard because unless you’re and we’re privileged in some ways

28:41because we follow it a lot and we’re passionate about what we do as jobs so we’re invested heavily in like

28:47understanding things but at the same time if if you’re more doing the doing day-to-day or maybe you

28:55worked at certain companies that wasn’t as um I don’t know Cutting Edge potentially in

29:01the industry on the market and then you hear all these terms that it sounds quite confusing so then you feel like

29:07you have to go and reinvent in some way so that your next job you might be like oh right okay well the

29:12businesses said we need to modernize now we need to build things again in a

29:18different way but now we’re going to learn it and you might not I guess reuse things that exist because you’re

29:26trying to figure it out right and so then it becomes the process of figuring it out lends you to then probably create

29:33something from scratch that probably ends up the same as maybe some existing thing that was already there because you

29:38end up going on the same Journey internally without being even aware as other people where they’re all figuring

29:44out each time you’re figuring it out you’ve probably end up slight variations of the same thing because you’re like

29:50how do we deliver software now with all these principles how do we do you see what I mean right oh we probably should

29:55abstract some of this complexity away we’ve always I mean they’re like I’m sure this is just free already before

30:01yeah exactly but other people could have just done that so to summarize what you’re saying is

30:06um because now there’s so many different terms that exist and let’s say you’re someone that’s not necessarily been been

30:15in and around these terms or working in in a business um then you’ve been a bit sheltered to

30:21from that let’s say you’re going for a new job um leader right yeah

30:27new we’re going to do this right and a new senior leader comes in you’re like they’re all like inspired to like help

30:33the business and the conceit needs transforming and then you’re like wow you’re like oh my God so then you’re

30:40because you’ve now got a bunch of new things to learn and you’re going You’re now having to go on a journey you’re

30:47learning by doing yeah which is the best way to learn 100 you’re learning by

30:52doing is the best way to learn because you learn through failures and get things wrong that’s personally yes it’s it’s great yeah

30:58personally I’m saying is it no no probably not not always I mean if you’re

31:03first to solve those problems obviously fine but yeah if you can get if you can get to your destination Faster by

31:09reusing other people’s efforts standing on the shoulders of giants exactly that’s what we do all the time we don’t

31:15want to solve like physical infrastructure and networking that’s a lazy yeah exactly lazy people

31:23have to think for ourselves but like the effort like just you know

31:30you’re driving the car in a park you’re not gonna or or you know you’re going off-road you don’t want to build bloody

31:35Road just to get to where you’re going right it just doesn’t make sense yeah so um yeah so exactly so so I guess what

31:44are we saying so what does I think what the conclusion here is

31:50there’s obviously clearly a need for um for software delivery to be looked at in

31:56terms of a technology capability back to teams or back to squads back to tribes

32:03back to business units back to projects because um

32:08as we’re talking about before the full metrics of like you know mean time to recovery deployment frequency

32:16Etc devops ones one of them should also be how fast is a developer effective how quickly are they onboarded how quickly

32:23can they understand the Business Delivery mechanism for the software delivery the way that I kind of see it

32:30is um in any organization there are two types of teams

32:35um teams that are building functions uh for the business which is you know um

32:42assumed to be external outside you know they’re solving a problem for outside of the business something

32:48that they can solve but there also needs to be teams that are making it easy for

32:54those those teams the ones that are offering the business value to function

32:59um so Finance HR maybe a you know a center of excellence a cloud platform or

33:06or platform engineering whatever um but if you think of it in those two

33:12different lights then you can start kind of aligning on what

33:18that sent those centralized functions the ones that are just trying to solve those internal problems should be

33:25um and whether there is a pattern for them um I mean there already is a pattern for them right so yeah every

33:31single company will have someone that does Finance or some something you know

33:36a function yeah something that is legal something that is HR so you know so it’s

33:41in software delivery what are those like are there any other

33:47functions um that we can start aligning on um to make that easier but these are I

33:53guess they’re not necessarily functions talking about is Technologies already have some like

34:00standard like clouds have apis right a thing already how you can organize delivery around

34:08those things in a more streamlined and efficient way because it’s become easier in some ways too probably commoditize

34:16these things we don’t have to it doesn’t need to be totally tools and process and people all the way down

34:23right so it doesn’t scale unless you’re scaling the people with the tools it doesn’t have to be that way

34:29um but it is very much that industry still a bit and then there are companies I guess like the Spotify I think a monzo

34:36did the platform didn’t they and Airbnb have and funny you say monzo did a platform I think after they went on

34:43their Journey but through like four years they were like we’d buy one hundred percent there’s no way that we

34:49want to do that Journey again I suppose once you’ve learned it all you realize like I mean that’s what we’re just saying yeah you’re gonna go on a journey

34:56fake thinking because maybe there was already something that existed that would have got them there already even

35:01when they started um right maybe there was something more beneficial to them in the end than

35:07Reinventing or recreating another platform but um I think if you think like what we’ve

35:15um the conclusion that we’ve come to um that we could probably agree on is if you’re

35:20you know doing it for yourself like that Learning Journey is great um there’s there’s not that many things

35:25that can um give you that the same amount of knowledge um and the depth of knowledge

35:32um however you for the business it it always almost

35:38always makes sense to look at something or some you know someone that

35:44specializes in that field um to solve that problem unless like you

35:49said you’re a snowflake um or so unique in that um your problems can’t be solved

35:56um or haven’t been solved in the industry do you think I I mean I’ve gotten too much about this but do you

36:03think many people can map technology to business

36:10um I mean um this is It’s Gonna sound slightly biased because we we are in and around

36:17this right so if you’re asking me how many people um I have been

36:24um and and seen that can take technology and business and

36:31um figure out the relationship between the two in a way that um

36:36aligns the business properly yeah um aligns to the direction of the business properly

36:42my assumption and my experience is that it’s small percentile very small

36:49percentage Yeah very small percentage of people can can think of it in the way and I’m and I’m sure

36:56those people probably think that oh yeah no I’m doing I’m totally aligned to the business I’m delivering business value

37:01but you know you know from their actions and how they’re doing the things that they’re doing well maybe they’re you

37:07know there’s a capability issue but um it’s just not there it’s I don’t I don’t

37:13think it’s um as high as it should be yeah what would you what do you reckon well I guess I kind of a good I think if

37:20you’re really into Tech you might um you only you only can conceptualize what

37:27you’re what you know yeah what you know and what you’re seeing is the problems so I guess if you’ve got a lot of other

37:33senior managers above you and other things you might not really know what the real business challenges are so you could be you could be totally isolated

37:40from that so you’re just looking at right oh well you know I’m in a project or whatever and I’m delivering fine and

37:45that’s great and I don’t I don’t see another project and I can’t quite tally whether oh I’ve just done

37:51the same thing as you and like oh you’ve done it slightly differently to me and you know oh what does this all mean in

37:56aggregate then does that mean we’ve all done it because there’s 40 Projects here and does that mean we’ve all got a slight variation is that risky for the

38:02business then we’re having all this Variety in the company so you know I think it to take a certain

38:08mindset to probably start zooming out to then holistically look at it all and be like this isn’t necessarily right for

38:15the business um and how can ctOS can be quite detached from that obviously because

38:20they’re not in they’re not seeing that and then well they see it with a different lenses

38:26you cannot expect everyone to see all the things that all of the things I

38:32agree same time it’s not possible but that’s what I was explaining with the tribes thing yeah it’s like you can’t

38:38see all the problems when you start to autonomize but no one can is the point like how what in what structure do you

38:45think that you can see all of the problems or enough where

38:50um you feel comfortable that you know you can head down on a Direction

38:57um well you don’t necessarily need to I think I I guess it’s a bit like history

39:04like there are patterns the humanistic patterns that go on repeatedly round and

39:09round and round things don’t change that much yeah sure so I think it’s more around the experience and looking for

39:15the patterns and being like you know there’s a high probability humanistically when we set up a company

39:22and we do these things that we’re gonna end up falling into the same patterns as this company and that company this other

39:28company right so what can we learn from other companies that have kind of gone on

39:34these Journeys repeatedly so that we don’t waste the same energy and cost on

39:41basically going through the same process because we’ll probably end up Landing in roughly the same way just slightly

39:46differently um probably maybe some extra learnings maybe there was something slightly unique but not enough

39:52so I suppose it’s not necessarily about like there’s probably enough information out there and enough scale in in the

39:58industry to learn enough from it to probably set a good strategy to then

40:04prevent needing to kind of go on those Journeys or to at least be able to predict roughly but strategy and

40:10execution are so different so you might have a great strategy but then because

40:16of the people and the capability of or the way that your organization has you know the culture that it has or whatever

40:22the execution of that strategy might be really bad right um you know you like all managers aren’t

40:28that aren’t the same they don’t have the same capability oh yeah no totally agree with that you’re never going to fix problems exactly saying that as in that

40:35you’re not like a removing all problems just because I mean that’s the thing it’s yeah it’s not that it’s error-free yeah

40:43I’m not saying that but what I am saying though is that you can not

40:48you have a choice of whether you want to just find the difference between you and the companies and then you know the

40:54Delta yeah just work on the Delta work on the delta or whether you just want to go on exactly the same Journey as loads

41:00of others and it depends if you’ve got loads of money we’ve got loads of money I don’t care about money in time yeah I

41:05suppose that’s the other thing but um

41:20um but yeah no I think okay so we’ve spoken about the team structures I

41:26think we’re concluding that um it makes sense to put some structures around teams it makes sense to learn

41:32from other businesses it makes sense to investigate how other businesses have already delivered what the patterns were there

41:39maybe what software they produced maybe there’s a lot of learnings out in the industry there’s a lot of good products

41:45out in the industry that get you the majority of the way there so you don’t have to go on those repeatable Journeys

41:51and then it sounds like there’s a whole episode that you are going to share

41:57[Music] um building I guess and is that what you’re saying sort of built building internal

42:04tools and functions um versus going out and buying them um so that could be anything from say

42:10cloud platforms Finance you know anything so if you if you are one of those teams that I talked about where

42:17you’re kind of taking or helping um the the people that are actually

42:23delivering the business value um then what does that look like what

42:28are the things that you should consider what the pros and cons of you know Reinventing the wheel versus going out

42:33and procuring something that um solves 90 of those problems okay so let’s do

42:39that in the next episode then done all right cool all right well stay tuned when Jay’s going to talk about uh just

42:45me on my own yeah because if it’s Jay speaking I’m not turning up I’m joking uh yeah so um Jay will be talking about

42:55um builds building versus building versus buying consuming or buying yeah internal problems all right stay tuned

43:02and we shall speak to you soon thanks for listening [Music]