Squads: Spotify Model as a world reference

.The Spotify Model came in 2012 with a different view of producing more results from main squads. To take over a role in a project, these teams (squad, chapter, tribe, and guilds)

Made up by the giant Spotify, the Squad model has proven to be efficient in many companies. And what moves any company is its employees. Without people, no idea can take shape and develop, even with the constant advancement of technology.

For many years, managers and human resources professionals, for example, have been trying to understand the best model for managing teams and it was in this context, Squads emerged.

The Squad model has become popular because of startups, who found in it a way to make the most of the productivity of their employees. Large companies around the world, such as Spotify, already use the model and the results could not be better.

In this article, you will be able to see the importance of a Squad to increase productivity in every team and, consequently,  find the best results for a company.

Creation of a Squad by Spotify Model

In the beginning, Spotify was a small company, which used the Scrum framework, with its small and multidisciplinary teams.

As the number of teams increased, they realized that some Scrum practices didn’t make much sense to them anymore. The conclusion was: Agile principles are more important than a specific method.

As a result, Spotify renamed the former role of “Scrum Master” to “Agile Coach”. The intention was for the Agile Coach to be less of a Scrum expert, and more of a server-leader capable of driving and supporting continuous improvement.

The second measure was to start calling the multidisciplinary teams “Squads”, instead of “Scrum Teams”.

The Squads, in addition to having specialists from different functions, are self-organized and small (8 or fewer members). They have end-to-end responsibility, that is, the design, design, develop and maintain Spotify products.

Squads also have a high level of autonomy: they decide what to build, build, and work together to build. Something that many organizations don’t even experience.

The autonomy of Squads is not infinite. A few constraints affect this level of freedom: generally the Squad’s mission (every Squad has one), the overall product strategy, and short-term goals negotiated each quarter.

This structure enhances autonomy, which, being a strong intrinsic motivator, makes people happier. In addition, the structure in Squads gives a lot of speed, as it avoids approval schemes, bottlenecking decisions at the top, and dependence on other teams.

What is a squad?

The squad is the name of the organizational model that separates employees into small multidisciplinary groups and specific goals.

For example, a marketing professional works in the same group as a programmer, as does a salesperson with a salesperson. Together they have a job to do, and enough autonomy to make decisions.

Advantages of working with it

Each of these small groups, made up of a maximum of ten people, has a specific objective. Due to the multidisciplinarity of the squad, the solutions for this objective happen in a more agile way, observing many points of view at the same time.

But, for everything to work out, each squad must have the autonomy to make decisions and design the solution path alone.

In other words, it is no use knowing what a squad is if the management does not care about decentralization, transparency, value for diversity, and constant evolution. Therefore, everyone can give their opinion about all areas involved, the importance of the feedback culture is all about.

And, even without the presence of a manager, each group has a Product Owner, which would be a “squad management”, who defines priorities regarding the project being developed.

Thus, even with a team of members from various areas, organized and focused on solving a single issue, results occur faster and more innovatively. It’s as if each squad were a mini-company, with its goals, autonomy, and multidisciplinary capacity.

The profile of a Squad leader

It is up to the team leader to speak the project results to the manager and try to find operational solutions to try to resolve any failures that occurred during the process.

Therefore, the team leader does not have the role of pointing out mistakes and demanding answers from other employees. His role is to work together, anticipate difficulties, and try to resolve them with the other members before taking the problem to the manager.

He must work with the team, resolve difficulties as much as possible and always try to resolve all other members’ issues, before reporting to their direct superior.

On the other hand, the role of the team leader does not lend itself to pointing out errors and demanding results, nor does it assess the performance of its peers as if it were a “boss”, presented with a value judgment.

However, being chosen to play this role means that your manager is betting on you. Thus, try to develop your management potential more and more, so that shortly you can manage sectors within your area of expertise.

Organization of a Squad

First, every Squad must have someone responsible for coordinating the team’s operations, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a hierarchy.

It’s just another function that needs to exist for the project to run smoothly. The profile of each employee who will compose a Squad must also be taken into account so that there is no friction.

Chapters

These are lines that cross all squads, passing by professionals from the same sector. This means that all employees in the financial sector, for example, will be aligned with each other regarding what is happening in each squad.

Chapters are groups of contributors from the same area, such as all developers in a company.

Tribes

They are the joining of two or more squads, which have similar goals and need to be in greater connection. They work to create a project in its entirety.

Guilds

Finally, the third way to keep squads aligned is guilds. These are groups formed by people from any area who are interested in some common subject.

Benefits to your team

Although it is a decision that will impact the entire company. If you adopt the Squad model, it can bring many benefits to your company’s organizational health.

Agility

In traditional models, actions that depend on more than one sector of the company end up suffering delays. It happens because it is not simple to reconcile agendas and priorities.

In the Squad model, this does not happen and employees can find a shortcut.  Since they have closer and easier contact with their team members.

Productivity

The team’s productivity also increases, as it is possible to accomplish more tasks in less time. Processes are not blocked in specific sectors because they all work together for the success of each project.

Engaged team

Team members work actively on the projects, following every step and how it develops. Teams that can see more tangibly the result of their efforts tend to be more engaged with the goal’s success.

Collaboration

There must be a collaboration between the members of the Squad. Little by little, they will realize that this is the only way their goals can work. The team works autonomously, but its members do not.

This collaboration goes beyond the roles defined for each person so that everyone knows how to value and see the purpose of each of the roles.

More skilled employees

A good employee understands the dimension of their work and how it can impact the whole. Working in Squads allows greater visualization of all assets and in the end. Employees can learn at least the basics of each function and how the universe of each area works.

GitScrum helps you get along with all Squads

GitScrum loves to bring all teams together and offers the best tools to help you reach the best result on time! Find your way to work with your Squad with GitScrum!