Organisation: Squads and tribes - new ways of working
A whole new approach to how people should be organised when working in an agile environment first went mainstream after it was adopted by Spotify in 2012. Since then, the concept of squads and tribes has begun to take hold, especially among data and analytics teams.
The idea is a relatively simple one: practitioners belong to a specific tribe (which may reflect a skillset or line of business) and are then assembled into squads to tackle specific projects. They stay together for the duration of that programme, then return to their tribe before being redeployed for the next iteration.
While much of this way of working is familiar, there are also new dimensions for all concerned - practitioners, managers and leaders alike - around how they maintain common standards, keep up-to-date with what other tribes are doing, how to get an holistic view of the workload and capacity of the function, as well as how to deal with varying skill and engagement levels.
To examine these issues, a domain expert with direct knowledge of this working practice will explain how their organisation adopted the approach, what the key differences were from previous practices, what success looks like for squads and tribes, and why other companies should consider this model.