In the previous posts I described how we designed cross-functional squads aligned around strategic goals. A key benefit of alignment is that it automatically delivers an increase in speed of delivery by dramatically reducing, or eliminating, the dependencies and bottlenecks which so often slow us down. By aligning people around goals and outcomes you essentially streamline your organisation and expose the bottlenecks in resource.
In the previous post I described our squad principles and roles. In this post I’ll talk about the broader framework in which the squads operated — some of the ceremonies and practices we introduced to provide visibility and coordination between squads.
In the previous post I talked about the process of moving from a functional to cross-functional structure. In this post I’ll describe how we used Spotify’s model of squads and tribes as a guide. What we ended up with was quite different from Spotify, but it relied on the same principles. I’ll also outline the values and roles within our squad model.
Beyond the obvious reasons why alignment is sensible, for me alignment was critical in order to promote speed. I believed this would help achieve one of our key outcomes - to get faster.
In order to organise my own ideas, I realised it would be helpful to have a clear vision for what I wanted to achieve, together with measurable outcomes. I began with a mission statement:
“I want to design a tailored system of work that optimises the entire organisation, allowing Moonpig to innovate and move fast at scale, whilst still ensuring it is a place that people love to work.”
Introducing change is hard. Very hard. One way to make it slightly easier, is to take the time to communicate clearly why you need to change. At the time we began introducing business agility at Moonpig, most people outside of product engineering had little or no knowledge of lean or agile — and most would have believed them to be “tech things”.