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© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Scaling like Spotify
What advertising agencies can learn from
software-as-a-service (SaaS) agile or...
2
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
A Disruptive Innovator In The Music Industry
Spotify continue to find new ways to monetise music co...
3
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
From Zero To Fifty (Million) In Nine Years
In recent years Spotify have seen extremely strong user ...
4
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Evolving Services And Products
As Spotify’s products expand, so do its teams
To scale and deliver t...
5
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
How Spotify work
6
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Basic Team Unit: The Squad
Teams are grouped into small self-sufficient units
Squads are focused on...
7
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Squads: Self-Contained And Self-Directing
Teams are grouped into small self-sufficient units
Minimu...
8
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Many Squads Make A “Tribe”
Tribes operate like an incubators for squads working in related areas
Li...
9
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Tribes: Co-Located Families
Support, equipment, and skills can be shared within tribes
Sharing expe...
10
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Chapters And Guilds
Specialisms and interest groups that run across squads and tribes
Chapters
• G...
11
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Chapters And Guilds
Sharing economies of scale and specialisms across squads
Sharing experience an...
12
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Sound a little too much like World of Warcraft?
This is what it could mean for advertising agencie...
13
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Lessons For Agencies
Four ways to reshape traditional agency structures
Build specialisms and inte...
14
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Lessons For Agencies
Dropping digital from job titles
Define digital’s position internally: a Trib...
15
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Lessons For Agencies
Mainstream agency services grouped into several smaller, happier families
Sma...
16
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Lessons For Agencies
Become great at more than one thing
Just because you’re a suit, doesn’t mean ...
17
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Lessons For Agencies
Stop treating the symptoms of problems; find the cause instead
Of course, sol...
18
© 2015, Ed Hammerton
Thanks!
Any comments, questions, objections?
Thrash it out at theantisofa.wordpress.com
Source: ht...
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Scaling like Spotify: What advertising agencies can learn from software-as-a-service (SaaS) agile organisations

Spotify do much more than music. In their quest to fail faster, learn quickly and grow rapidly they’re also re-designing the way that agile technology teams grow and evolve.

Their approach creates a network self-sufficient agile micro teams (called “squads”), which are connected into wider teams and groups of specialists. Instead of a “matrixed” approach to structuring teams, they’ve created more manageable and more human organisational units.

Essential for tech startups, but also fundamental to agency teams. Spotify’s approach contains important lessons that advertising, marketing and communications agencies can and should take on to create a stronger culture and deliver better work.

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Scaling like Spotify: What advertising agencies can learn from software-as-a-service (SaaS) agile organisations

  1. 1. 1 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Scaling like Spotify What advertising agencies can learn from software-as-a-service (SaaS) agile organisations
  2. 2. 2 © 2015, Ed Hammerton A Disruptive Innovator In The Music Industry Spotify continue to find new ways to monetise music consumption and grow their music streaming services 2011 2013 2012 2014
  3. 3. 3 © 2015, Ed Hammerton From Zero To Fifty (Million) In Nine Years In recent years Spotify have seen extremely strong user growth Spotify has over 50 million global users, 25% of which are paying subscribers Source: http://www.statista.com/statistics/244995/number-of-paying-spotify-subscribers/
  4. 4. 4 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Evolving Services And Products As Spotify’s products expand, so do its teams To scale and deliver their service, Spotify is constantly, consciously evolving its structure and agile methodology As of December 2014 1941 staff 30 teams 3 countries Source: http://blog.crisp.se/2012/11/14/henrikkniberg/scaling-agile-at-spotify
  5. 5. 5 © 2015, Ed Hammerton How Spotify work
  6. 6. 6 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Basic Team Unit: The Squad Teams are grouped into small self-sufficient units Squads are focused on one long-term mission and designed to achieve that goal independently One squad One mission per squad (e.g. Creating Spotify radio experience, improving Android client) Source: http://blog.crisp.se/2012/11/14/henrikkniberg/scaling-agile-at-spotify
  7. 7. 7 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Squads: Self-Contained And Self-Directing Teams are grouped into small self-sufficient units Minimum viable product mentality: “Think it, build it, ship it, tweak it” Squads • Equivalent of client teams in agencies • Equipped with the skills needed to design, develop and deploy one part of the UX • Self-organised and encouraged to apply lean startup principles and validated learning • Have a product owner (to prioritise work, NOT to define how that work is done) Source: http://blog.crisp.se/2012/11/14/henrikkniberg/scaling-agile-at-spotify
  8. 8. 8 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Many Squads Make A “Tribe” Tribes operate like an incubators for squads working in related areas Links are encouraged between squads, NOT tribes Source: http://blog.crisp.se/2012/11/14/henrikkniberg/scaling-agile-at-spotify
  9. 9. 9 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Tribes: Co-Located Families Support, equipment, and skills can be shared within tribes Sharing experience and resources with squads facing similar challenges Tribes • Equivalent to a department (PR, Design, etc.) or an agency itself • Size is based on the Dunbar number (<100) • Each has a tribe lead who maintains the “habitat” for the squads • Tribes hold gatherings to share what they’re working on and what others can learn Source: http://blog.crisp.se/2012/11/14/henrikkniberg/scaling-agile-at-spotify http://www.slideshare.net/rsrinath99/approaches-to-scaling-agile
  10. 10. 10 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Chapters And Guilds Specialisms and interest groups that run across squads and tribes Chapters • Groups of people with similar specific skills • Work in the same general competency area E.g. Copywriting, strategy, UX Guilds • Organic “communities of interest” • Share knowledge, tools, and practices E.g. Project management, video production Source: http://blog.crisp.se/2012/11/14/henrikkniberg/scaling-agile-at-spotify
  11. 11. 11 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Chapters And Guilds Sharing economies of scale and specialisms across squads Sharing experience and resources with squads facing similar challenges • Provide economies of scale without squads/tribes losing their autonomy • Have their own leads • Cut across tribes • Meet regularly to share knowledge and discuss their specific challenges Chapters • Have their own leads • Cut across the whole organisation • Comprise of people who want to share knowledge, tools and practices Guilds Source: http://blog.crisp.se/2012/11/14/henrikkniberg/scaling-agile-at-spotify http://www.slideshare.net/rsrinath99/approaches-to-scaling-agile
  12. 12. 12 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Sound a little too much like World of Warcraft? This is what it could mean for advertising agencies…
  13. 13. 13 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Lessons For Agencies Four ways to reshape traditional agency structures Build specialisms and interests across teams, agencies and networks Design your squads (project/client teams) to be self-sufficient Define digital’s position internally: a Tribe, Chapter, or Guild? 1 2 3 Learn and evolve how you work, as you work 4
  14. 14. 14 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Lessons For Agencies Dropping digital from job titles Define digital’s position internally: a Tribe, Chapter, or Guild? 1 With so much human endeavour taking place on or behind screens, having “digital” in your job titles feels increasingly redundant. It’s become more than a “tribe” – it’s everyone’s responsibility. Would current digital teams be better grouped as a: • Skills “family” (a chapter)? • Or a special interest (guild)?
  15. 15. 15 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Lessons For Agencies Mainstream agency services grouped into several smaller, happier families Smaller teams are known to provide better services and a more pleasant work environment. They also promote closer client relationships and a better understanding of their business. Is it time to merge your account planning, creative and production teams to deliver better work? Design your squads (project/client teams) to be self-sufficient 2
  16. 16. 16 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Lessons For Agencies Become great at more than one thing Just because you’re a suit, doesn’t mean you’re not fascinated by user interface design. In fact, there’s far more to everyone than their job title suggests. Encourage people to exchange and grow their interests – your worklife becomes way more interesting and productive that way. Build specialisms and interests across teams, agencies and networks 3
  17. 17. 17 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Lessons For Agencies Stop treating the symptoms of problems; find the cause instead Of course, solve your day-to-day problems first of all. But make sure that someone has time set aside each week to solve the root of the problems that keep coming up. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome is either: a) Madness, or b) Will quickly drive you there Learn and evolve how you work, as you work 4
  18. 18. 18 © 2015, Ed Hammerton Thanks! Any comments, questions, objections? Thrash it out at theantisofa.wordpress.com Source: https://labs.spotify.com/2014/03/27/spotify-engineering-culture-part-1/

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