Section name 1 
Scaling Agile @ Spotify 
• Released oct 2012 
• Presented at Agile 2013 
• Many questions around leadershi...
2 
40M active users. 
10M paying subscribers. 
1.5B playlists.
3 
56 countries
Growing 
fast 
30 
4 
years 
ago
Growing 
fast 
Now 
350 
50 50 
150 
10
Structure for innovation
Section name 7 
Vision and purpose 
Highly effective 
x 75 
Alignment with the 
organization 
Personal and 
professional g...
Section name 8
9 
Container squads 
IOS Android Desktop Web 
Feature squads 
Infrastructure squads 
Enable & support 
Enable & 
support 
...
Section name 10 Chapters 
P 
Squad 
P P P 
Squad Squad Squad 
Chapter 
Chapter
Section name 11 Tribes 
P P P P 
Squad Squad Squad Squad 
Chapter 
Chapter 
P P P P 
Squad Squad Squad Squad 
Chapter 
Cha...
Hierarchy of needs at 
Spotify
Section name 13 Maslow 
• Self-actualization 
• Self-esteem 
• Belonging 
• Safety 
• Physiological
Section name 14 Maslow 
• Physiological – kickass work 
environment
Section name 15 Maslow 
• Safety – no fear culture, embrace 
failure 
”We 
aim 
to 
make 
mistakes 
faster 
than 
anyone 
...
Section name 16 Maslow 
• Belonging – social events, strong 
teams, tribes...
Section name 17 Maslow
Formal leadership roles
Section name 19 Chapter Lead 
• Grow individuals 
• Grow chapter competence 
• Hire the right people 
• Salary reviews 
P ...
Section name 20 
Product Owner P 
• What do we do – and why? 
• Product vision 
• Squad mission 
• Purpose 
• Alignment 
•...
Section name 21 
P 
Product Owner framework 
• Working with the world 
• Working with the product 
• Working with the squa...
Section name 22 
Product Owner P 
Example 
How we created an artist page 
roadmap together
Section name 23 Agile Coach 
P 
C 
• Grow high performing teams 
• Continuous improvement 
• Ways of working 
• Collaborat...
Section name 24 
User 
stories 
Sprints 
Planning 
Poker 
We 
definitely 
do 
the 
basics... 
juli 
29, 
2014 
Scrum 
Kanb...
Section name 25 
1 on 1 coaching 
• Team members 
• Product owners 
• Chapter leads 
• Senior management
Section name 26 
Squad roadmapping 
• Group of coaches came up with new 
visualization 
• Ran workshops with all squads in...
Section name 27 
Continuous delivery 
• Maturity workshops 
• Big cultural shift 
• Cross tribe initative
Section name 28 
Product Owner 
Agile Coach 
Chapter (Team) lead 
”POTLAC” 
How 
can 
we 
support 
our 
squad? 
Squad supp...
Section name 29 Tribe Lead 
P 
Squad 
P P P 
Squad Squad Squad 
Chapter 
Chapter 
Tribe 
• High-performing tribe 
• Grow s...
Section name 30 Tribe Leadership Team 
P 
P 
P 
P 
Tribe lead, CL, PO, AC 
Examples 
• Recruitment / onboarding 
• Grow hi...
31 
Leadership teams 
Strong leadership team AC P CL 
Good manager 
Dysfunctional leadership team 
Bad manager
Growing high performing 
squads
Section name 33 
TEAM DYNAMICS RESULT DRIVEN ACTIVITIES 
Counter-dependency 
3 2 
Dependency and 
inclusion 
and 
fight 
T...
Section name 34 
TEAM DYNAMICS RESULT DRIVEN ACTIVITIES 
Counter-dependency 
3 2 
Dependency and 
inclusion 
and 
fight 
T...
Section name 35 
Autonomy vs. Alignment 
Alignment 
Autonomy
Section name 36 
Alignment 
Autonomy 
Authoritative 
organization 
Conformist 
culture 
Micromanaging 
organization 
Indif...
Section name 37 
Supporting squad autonomy 
Innovative 
organization 
Collaborative 
culture
Section name 38 Example: 
Ongoing experiment with 
Priorities
Section name 39 Example: 
Dominating individuals in a squad 
1. Give 
feedback 
2. Improve 
team 
dynamics 
3. Reinforce 
...
Section name 40 
Example: 
A squad is growing too big 
1. DraK 
new 
missions 
2. Facilitate 
squad 
split 
3. Support 
in...
Growing a high performing 
organization
42 
CTO 
Tribe lead Tribe lead Tribe lead 
Chapter lead 
Chapter lead Agile coaches 
Engineer Engineer Engineer 
CPO 
VP P...
43 
The reporting structure 
Engineer Engineer Engineer 
Tribe lead Tribe lead Tribe lead 
CTO 
Chapter lead 
Chapter lead...
Section name 44 Organic structure If you need to know exactly 
who is making decisions, 
you are in the wrong place
How 
do 
we 
know 
how 
we’re 
doing?
Section name 46 
Squad health check
Section name 47
Section name 48 
Summary 
-­‐ 
Go 
for 
the 
minimum 
viable 
org 
structure 
-­‐ 
Trust 
people 
and 
give 
them 
the 
fr...
Section name 49 
TODO: INSERT PICTURE OF US? 
Thank you! 
KrisTan 
Lindwall 
@klindwall
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Leadership @ Spotify by Kristian Lindwall at the Lean IT Summit 2014

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Spotify has been growing quickly as a company, and they are continuously experimenting with ways of making the company work as effectively as possible. At the Lean IT Summit 2014, Kristian explained how management and leadership work in a large agile organization like Spotify.
Find out what leadership looks like in a large agile organization? How can a leader support autonomy and alignment? How different forms of leadership – both formal and informal, product, organizational and technical – overlap and interact to create successful teams. More Lean IT on www.lean-it-summit.com

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Leadership @ Spotify by Kristian Lindwall at the Lean IT Summit 2014

  1. 1. Section name 1 Scaling Agile @ Spotify • Released oct 2012 • Presented at Agile 2013 • Many questions around leadership • How do you make decisions?
  2. 2. 2 40M active users. 10M paying subscribers. 1.5B playlists.
  3. 3. 3 56 countries
  4. 4. Growing fast 30 4 years ago
  5. 5. Growing fast Now 350 50 50 150 10
  6. 6. Structure for innovation
  7. 7. Section name 7 Vision and purpose Highly effective x 75 Alignment with the organization Personal and professional growth Any act in support of these is an act of leadership Autonomy Continuous learning and improvement
  8. 8. Section name 8
  9. 9. 9 Container squads IOS Android Desktop Web Feature squads Infrastructure squads Enable & support Enable & support Enable & support
  10. 10. Section name 10 Chapters P Squad P P P Squad Squad Squad Chapter Chapter
  11. 11. Section name 11 Tribes P P P P Squad Squad Squad Squad Chapter Chapter P P P P Squad Squad Squad Squad Chapter Chapter Tribe Tribe
  12. 12. Hierarchy of needs at Spotify
  13. 13. Section name 13 Maslow • Self-actualization • Self-esteem • Belonging • Safety • Physiological
  14. 14. Section name 14 Maslow • Physiological – kickass work environment
  15. 15. Section name 15 Maslow • Safety – no fear culture, embrace failure ”We aim to make mistakes faster than anyone else.”
  16. 16. Section name 16 Maslow • Belonging – social events, strong teams, tribes...
  17. 17. Section name 17 Maslow
  18. 18. Formal leadership roles
  19. 19. Section name 19 Chapter Lead • Grow individuals • Grow chapter competence • Hire the right people • Salary reviews P Squad P P P Squad Squad Squad Chapter Chapter CL P C CL CL
  20. 20. Section name 20 Product Owner P • What do we do – and why? • Product vision • Squad mission • Purpose • Alignment • Support the squad
  21. 21. Section name 21 P Product Owner framework • Working with the world • Working with the product • Working with the squad • Working with the process
  22. 22. Section name 22 Product Owner P Example How we created an artist page roadmap together
  23. 23. Section name 23 Agile Coach P C • Grow high performing teams • Continuous improvement • Ways of working • Collaboration • Grow a high performing organization Levels of agile coaching, The agile coaching institute
  24. 24. Section name 24 User stories Sprints Planning Poker We definitely do the basics... juli 29, 2014 Scrum Kanban Stand ups Retrospec:ves XP Demos Story Points
  25. 25. Section name 25 1 on 1 coaching • Team members • Product owners • Chapter leads • Senior management
  26. 26. Section name 26 Squad roadmapping • Group of coaches came up with new visualization • Ran workshops with all squads in a tribe
  27. 27. Section name 27 Continuous delivery • Maturity workshops • Big cultural shift • Cross tribe initative
  28. 28. Section name 28 Product Owner Agile Coach Chapter (Team) lead ”POTLAC” How can we support our squad? Squad support AC P CL
  29. 29. Section name 29 Tribe Lead P Squad P P P Squad Squad Squad Chapter Chapter Tribe • High-performing tribe • Grow strong chapter leads • Coach the agile coaches • Build a strong tribe leadership team
  30. 30. Section name 30 Tribe Leadership Team P P P P Tribe lead, CL, PO, AC Examples • Recruitment / onboarding • Grow high-performing tribe and teams • Culture • Alignment
  31. 31. 31 Leadership teams Strong leadership team AC P CL Good manager Dysfunctional leadership team Bad manager
  32. 32. Growing high performing squads
  33. 33. Section name 33 TEAM DYNAMICS RESULT DRIVEN ACTIVITIES Counter-dependency 3 2 Dependency and inclusion and fight Trust and structure Work and productivity 1 4 Lean & Agile methods Innovation Quality Value Speed High-performing squads
  34. 34. Section name 34 TEAM DYNAMICS RESULT DRIVEN ACTIVITIES Counter-dependency 3 2 Dependency and inclusion and fight Trust and structure Work and productivity 1 4 Lean & Agile methods Innovation Quality Value Speed High-performing squads
  35. 35. Section name 35 Autonomy vs. Alignment Alignment Autonomy
  36. 36. Section name 36 Alignment Autonomy Authoritative organization Conformist culture Micromanaging organization Indifferent culture Innovative organization Collaborative culture Entrepreneurial organization Chaotic culture Autonomy vs. Alignment
  37. 37. Section name 37 Supporting squad autonomy Innovative organization Collaborative culture
  38. 38. Section name 38 Example: Ongoing experiment with Priorities
  39. 39. Section name 39 Example: Dominating individuals in a squad 1. Give feedback 2. Improve team dynamics 3. Reinforce feedback culture 4. Nurture informal AC P CL leadership
  40. 40. Section name 40 Example: A squad is growing too big 1. DraK new missions 2. Facilitate squad split 3. Support individuals 4. Kick-­‐off new squads AC P CL
  41. 41. Growing a high performing organization
  42. 42. 42 CTO Tribe lead Tribe lead Tribe lead Chapter lead Chapter lead Agile coaches Engineer Engineer Engineer CPO VP Product VP Product Product Owner Product Owner The reporting structure
  43. 43. 43 The reporting structure Engineer Engineer Engineer Tribe lead Tribe lead Tribe lead CTO Chapter lead Chapter lead Agile coaches Product Owner Product Owner VP Product VP Product CPO supporting
  44. 44. Section name 44 Organic structure If you need to know exactly who is making decisions, you are in the wrong place
  45. 45. How do we know how we’re doing?
  46. 46. Section name 46 Squad health check
  47. 47. Section name 47
  48. 48. Section name 48 Summary -­‐ Go for the minimum viable org structure -­‐ Trust people and give them the freedom to innovate and perform -­‐ Create Tght feedback loops Cause -> Effect
  49. 49. Section name 49 TODO: INSERT PICTURE OF US? Thank you! KrisTan Lindwall @klindwall

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