Over a million developers have joined DZone.

Spotify’s DNA of Autonomy and Collaboration

DZone's Guide to

Spotify’s DNA of Autonomy and Collaboration

· Agile Zone
Free Resource

Learn more about how DevOps teams must adopt a more agile development process, working in parallel instead of waiting on other teams to finish their components or for resources to become available, brought to you in partnership with CA Technologies.

Anders Ivarsson, an Agile Coach from Spotify, was kind enough to present his talk from Agile Ísland at our company on Friday morning. It was ostensibly about “scaling agile” but really it was a talk about how they’ve created a culture that prizes autonomy and collaboration.

I’m personally tired of hearing about how new, growing, successful businesses do things. In most cases, these evangelists really have no idea, and all you get is a post-mortem about choices a company made and tools they use, wrapped up in a presentation that these choices are integral to the company’s success and you should listen. In reality, most of the choices are made for no real reason, it’s just the way things turned out, and who knows if the company is successful because of these choices or in spite of them. And of course we don’t know if these choices led to an actual profitable or sustainable business or how they adapted to times when money wasn’t pouring in.

I felt different about this Spotify presentation even though it fit the mold. The reason is because Anders spoke very little about agile tools and very much about how the company is structured around autonomy and collaboration. Autonomy and collaboration are built into organizational structure. It seems monumentally difficult to create a command-and-control environment at Spotify. You’d have to restructure the entire company, top to bottom. Which means that a few bad apples (any company doubling its size every year has more than a few bad apples) won’t ruin the bushel. It would take a concerted effort of senior management to change that DNA, not a few incompetent bad hires.

This is the total opposite to most agile success stories you probably know of, where success is limited in area but especially depth and time, because most people are working in a command and control structure (even if the company doesn’t necessarily operate in a command and control fashion). Without structural reform, you can’t really do more than scratch the surface of truly agile or lean changes. And without structural reform, when a bad apple comes along into a ‘command and control but currently agile’ situation, all progress can be wiped away and it is incredibly easy to slip, almost immediately and without anyone observing, into a command and control system.

Discover the warning signs of DevOps Dysfunction and learn how to get back on the right track, brought to you in partnership with CA Technologies.


Published at DZone with permission of Rob Galanakis, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

The best of DZone straight to your inbox.

Please provide a valid email address.

Thanks for subscribing!

Awesome! Check your inbox to verify your email so you can start receiving the latest in tech news and resources.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}