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October 10, 2014
Just published my latest newsletter on some initial impressions after being at Spotify for two months.
Read the newsletter here.
You can subscribe if you like here.
Jonathan’s first impressions at Spotify | sowohl als auch
Oct 20, 2014 @ 06:49:38
Oct 20, 2014 @ 07:29:16
Hey Jonathan, thanks for sharing your insights at Spotify!
Can you say how many Agile Coaches working at Spotify and on how many teams they take care?
You also said that missions report to management? Who is this management? Are this the Agile Coaches collecting metrics ore are this another group supporting missions and teams?
I’m really looking forward to understand what you do more deep😉
Oct 27, 2014 @ 05:57:25
Not sure of exact numbers. But a coach here could be responsible for 1-2 teams on average. Still figuring out answers to your other questions.
Cheers – Jonathan
Oct 26, 2014 @ 15:52:03
Thank you very much for sharing these observations, Jonathan.
A couple of weeks ago, my R&D department had our quarterly offsite and my fellow Scrum Masters and I got the Engineering Managers and Product Owners in a room to watch and discuss the Spotify Engineering culture videos. There was some skepticism about the apparently “touchy-feely” nature of focusing on culture which I think the “There is no 2nd place” section of your newsletter addresses nicely. Spotify is in it to win and their culture is geared to help them win.
I had one question I wanted to follow up with you on. I wasn’t sure by what you meant by this sentence in “High Performing teams” section: “The level of compete Spotify has been able to foster in it’s teams is amazing…”
I’m not sure how to interpret the phrase “compete Spotify”. I have a feeling that you didn’t mean “competition at Spotify”. Did you mean “competency at Spotify”? Because that would be awesome.
I’d like to quote this section to some of my coworkers and I want to make sure I accurately communicate your intentions.
Again, thanks for providing such an interesting and informative blog about your experiences with Agile.
Oct 27, 2014 @ 06:08:25
High performing teams.
Yes this is definitely a topic of interest. And just to be clear not all teams operate at the level I am about to describe. But on average more do here than at any other company I have been a part of. I will try to explain.
I have never seen teams as dedicated to their work, or as interested in continuously improving, in the numbers I see here. It is really baked into their DNA.
I reminds me of a quote I read by an auto executive who was was responsible for continuous improvement at Holden in Australia. He said: “At Holden, I have a team of 10 who focus on continuously improving operations here at Holden. At Toyota, my team was 70,000”. Meaning the whole company was into continuously improvement. Not just a handful of individuals.
It’s small things.
Whole teams who are interested in planning.
Developers who document, and solicit feedback from other groups.
Incident post-mortems when things go wrong.
Weekly initiative emails from all Product Owners outlining where they are at, what’s going well, and where their teams are struggling.
It’s dedicated sessions with other teams asking them: “How are we doing?”
All in a sustainable way. It’s a startup, that doesn’t burn like a silicon valley start up. The fire’s there. Just not the 80 hour weeks and burn out.
I can’t really explain it any better than that at the moment. But that is what I meant when I discussed high performing teams. Everyone pushing hard, and continuously improving, in the same direction. And not being afraid to fess up when they fail.
Thanks for asking – Jonathan
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