It’s a small cross-functional, self-organized team usually with less than eight members. The team members have end-to-end responsibilities, and they work together towards their long-term mission. On Squads the key driver is autonomy.
Each Squad has autonomy to decide what to build, how to build it, and how to work together while building it. However, the Squad needs to be remain aligned with the Squad mission, product strategy, and short-term goals.
Autonomy provides employees with a sense of collective ownership.
They are part of a greater whole, active (rather than passive) members of the team, “making a positive overall contribution to the organization” — Griffin and Moorhead.
Alignment enables autonomy. It’s important that everybody understands the company/startup culture.
The stronger our alignment, the more autonomy we can afford to grant. Autonomy with alignment increases motivation, quality, and faster releases.
Spotify has little standardization, it doesn’t have a formal standard. They believe that cross-pollination is better than standardization. For example, when enough Squads use a specific tool, that tool becomes a path of less resistance and other Squads tend to choose the same tool. After other Squads use the same tool, test it, and collaborate together, then the tool becomes a default standard.
Consistency x Flexibility
Spotify employs an internal open-source model, their culture is more sharing than owning
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