How identity defines Spotify’s culture

schedule Jun 29th 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM place EN 103 (L100) people 121 Attending

From the outside Spotify is a company who has solved the riddle of scaling agile, but the insiders perspective might surprise you, with our structure more closely resembling a collection of startups sharing a wifi connection.

 
6 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 0 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

Spotify is experiencing rapid growth and although it’s success is a combination of factors, culture is widely seen as our strongest suit. We only hire incredibly smart people, who are enticed by the challenge of working for a leading technology company, but in reality most choose to stay for the people they meet along the way.

The tribe structure is often explained to those outside the company as a “collection of teams”, but in reality it is so much more. With each of these startups (aka tribes) able to define their own culture, employees may be proud to work for Spotify, but it is the emblem of their tribe that covers their laptops and hoodies. Not only do very few people leave the company, but hardly anyone chooses to move tribes, despite being given the freedom to do so.

In an organizational structure more similar to that of the armed forces than that of our technology rivals, by luck or judgement Spotify has managed to create a system where everyone feels like they belong, creating long lasting loyalty and some side effects that keep the agile coaches busy.

Learning Outcome

Understanding that creating a sense of belonging is fundamental to any great culture.

Target Audience

Anyone interested in learning more about unique differences of tribes at Spotify

schedule Submitted 7 months ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal

  • Liked Ed Wong
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ed Wong / Craig Brown - Registration/Sign in

    45 Mins
    Others
    Beginner

    Sign in to the conference in the foyer of the ATC building

  • Liked Lay Clough
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Lay Clough - Chinese Whisper

    Lay Clough
    Lay Clough
    Product Owner
    Aconex
    schedule 7 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    This is an interactive session

    * Identify what are the constraints when we try to communicate / collaborate in an organisation - especially if you have distributed team 

    * Understand the frustration of getting the meaning of the message across

    * Identify how communication can be improved

  • Liked Steve Mactaggart
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Steve Mactaggart - Evolving the role of team leadership in a devops transformation

    20 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    There is much discussion about the changing roles of Development and Operations staff when organisations undergo agile/digital/devops transformations. But what about the changing role of the Team Leader?

    In pre-agile environments, as a Team Lead, your role is one of structure and co-ordination, it is through you that work routes. You know the skills and capacity of your team and are regularly making decisions about what can and can’t be done.

    But as your team starts to work in agile teams, the need for you to keep them busy is reduced, as this is now a responsibility of the product owner and agile team itself.

    You might find yourself asking “Do we need Team Lead’s in an agile/devops culture?”, and if so “What value can I provide?

    This sessions looks at the opportunities existing Team Leaders have to support and drive digital transformation through the discussion of focus' they can bring to the team.

  • Liked Fabiano Morais
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Fabiano Morais - Global Nomads

    Fabiano Morais
    Fabiano Morais
    Delivery Coach
    Envato
    schedule 7 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    In a historical moment where everything is political, and we keep hearing references to "walls", "bans" and all sorts of restrictions that try to inhibit a person's mobility around the world, it has never been so important to discuss global mobility in relation to the future of work. The future of work is, undoubtedly, deeply connected to remote work and global mobility. Forrester Research’s (US) estimates that the number of mobile workers will reach 63 million (43 percent of the U.S. workforce) sometime in 2016. (REF)

    While “work from home” has been a common model, the pervasiveness of digital nomadism has changed the face of global work patterns. Remote and mobile work is here to stay.

    This exciting trend brings about new work configurations and possibilities, but also new challenges. Tension and contradiction can sometimes exist between our basic social needs and physical disconnection, and between flexibility for the individual and the collective needs of collaboration. If agile is still cutting edge, shouldn’t agile organisations be leading the way in pursuit of answers to these things? Agile organisations can lead the way and provide solutions that enable a team to make the best out of blended work practices while avoiding the pitfalls of remote work.

    Agile frameworks that are effective arrive at seamless blended workflows. During this talk I will present the cutting-edge agile practices used at [Company Name] to embrace digital nomadism and shape the future of work. I will share with the attendees the challenges, triumphs, tools and characteristics that make up an organisation that is successfully embracing digital nomadism. [Company Name]'s Work From Anywhere policy is more than just an effective policy. In today's global society, it is also a symbol of another kind of world, of another way to live and work together. It is an example of what is possible when we have trust in each other and in our communities.

  • Liked Ed O'Shaughnessy
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ed O'Shaughnessy / Brad Bennett / Chris Chan / Eduardo Nofuentes / Niall McShane / Peter Lam / Stephen Callaghan - Enterprise Agility Panel Discussion

    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    A diverse set of luminaries to discuss how to enhance agility in the enterprise. Covering all the big scale challenges that large organisations face, such as multiple business lines, disparate technology stacks, geographically dispersed teams, 10s to 100s of products, etc.

  • Liked Michelle Prosser-Roberts
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Michelle Prosser-Roberts - PI Planning Day: A Waste of Time?

    20 Mins
    Lightning Talk
    Beginner

    One principle in the Agile Manifesto talks about the importance of face-to-face conversation. SAFe takes this to the next level with PI Planning which is a routine face-to-face event where teams create their plans for the upcoming Program Increment (PI). PI planning is facilitated by the Release Train Engineer (RTE) and includes all members of the Agile Release Train (ART).

    To the non-SAFe practitioner, when they hear about the whole PI planning day palaver, they look askance and shake their heads and think to themselves "what a waste of time".  Is PI Planning a waste of time?  As part of an organisation that have had to embrace a framework to enable them to scale, PI planning is considered the heartbeat of the Agile Release Train.  In this lightening talk, I will share my experience with planning in 10-12 week increments.  Will 5 minutes be sufficient to change your mind?

  • Liked Stephen Callaghan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Stephen Callaghan / Michelle Prosser-Roberts - There and back again: A Journey through Agile Metrics at Scale.

    45 Mins
    Case Study
    Advanced

    Any journey is a combination of planning, expectation, experiences, conversations, and knowledge gained.  The metrics journey that this Enterprise Agile Coach and experienced Release Train Engineer have travelled has all of this and more!  And many travelers like to have a copy of their Travel Guide to hand to not only plan their experiences but to help them manage some of the intricacies of their journey.  Consider this talk your opportunity to dip into an expedition through the wilds of agile metrics – with a cheat sheet.

    This presentation will cover:

    • Where am I?  Context is king.  Knowing your starting point is key.  Baseline metrics.
    • Who’s on the journey?  Knowing your audience, who else is on the journey with you and what are their expectations. Agile vs Waterfall PMO. Internal vs External metrics
    • What could go wrong?  Being clear about the challenges for metrics at scale
    • Metrics as your compass.  Using metrics to help identify changes in direction

    We started our metrics journey with different goals in mind and have uncovered some surprising aspects in what works and in particular what doesnt!  In this presentation they weave their expectations, experience and knowledge to show how these perspectives can meet.

  • Liked Daniel Prager
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Daniel Prager - Agile in Everyday Life

    Daniel Prager
    Daniel Prager
    Agile Coach
    Skillfire
    schedule 8 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Please don't assume that Agile is only good for Software Development, Startups, DevOps, Change Management, Personal Productivity, Product Development, Marketing, Sales, Time Management, Organisational Change, Educating Children, Operations, Infrastructure, Design, Teamwork and Saving your Organisation just because they are the only things that happened to be on the list.

    Applying Agile principles in everyday life is a great way to not only improve your quality of life, but to experiment with Agile approaches and find out what you've really internalised.

    For coaches and leaders practicing Agile in Everyday Life presents a rich opportunity to not just talk the talk, but also walk the walk.

    In this talk I'll give a couple of examples of how I've drawn on Agile approaches to help address personal challenges, plus discuss with the audience what areas folks are "doin' it for themselves".

    This will be an interactive session, somewhere between a talk and a short workshop.

  • Liked Phil  Gadzinski
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Phil Gadzinski - All your Projects are Red until you deliver something working

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    When we decide to move from big batch, plan driven long dated constructs of change, so projects and programs in the traditional sense, to more agile methods, we need to rethink a whole raft of stuff. Assume for a second, if you will, we are using the historical program and project construct to identify and deliver change. Initiatives are bundled into a sequential approach and governed through stages of largely documentation production accordingly. As long as you are on track to the stages, your documents are reviewed and signed off, you are Green.

    Then we disrupt this. We want more agility on how we identify, plan, deploy and release change. We want to deliver outputs to our customers and ultimately value or outcomes earlier and more regularly, which is one of the significant advantages of an agile delivery model. So we get an ROI uplift. Projects can be self funded.

    So lets start a new theory and trial it. EVERY project is red until your first release to a real customer. No more debate, hand wringing, angst or arguments. Recognise and accept that until you have delivered something that tests your theories, is validated and works, and your customers are using it, you have done nothing. Use the RED as it is meant to be - a call to action to pay attention, provide support , facilitate and break through barriers, provide resources and time. Help the team get to done.

    My goal is for the attendees to use this session to actually crowd source and  develop a model that people can take back to their business and propose, from scratch using design thinking and agile techniques. 

     

     

  • Liked Marcia Ryan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Marcia Ryan - Rapidly cultivating team collaboration – connect well to perform well in micro moments of your day

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    This will also be run on Friday.

    Want to build highly collaborative and cohesive teams? Looking to be energise your team and bring out the best in people?

    Drawing on positive leadership research and how best to apply it, you’ll discover:

    • The value of connecting well with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders to be more engaged, energised and perform better as a team.
    • The four pathways Professor Jane Dutton has found you can take to rapidly build high-quality connections during micro moments of your busy day.
    • How to deal with jerks at work who corrode your energy, effort and crush your soul.
    • Ways to help others connect well and build positive relationships at work.

     

  • Liked Paul Szymkowiak
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Paul Szymkowiak - An introduction to Systemic Disruption

    45 Mins
    Experience Report
    Advanced

    Unless you've been living off the grid in darkest Peru, you'll have been experiencing growing disruption from multiple vectors in your work as well as your personal life. By any reasonable analysis, we're now in an age of Systemic disruption: not the short-sighted "it's all about Digital" messaging in the popular media - it's a growing, expanding force, and it's something we need to understand and develop ways to work with.

    If you haven't already thought about the topic, ask yourself:

    • what does systemic disruption mean for product and service development?
    • what do we need to do differently to work with disruption?  

    This talk will explore some of the context, issues and considerations that should be front of mind for leaders of teams and organisations alike.

  • Liked Jagannath Vaikuntham
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jagannath Vaikuntham - Ensuring Better Quality with Docker

    Jagannath Vaikuntham
    Jagannath Vaikuntham
    Quality Craftsman
    Cevo
    schedule 6 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Docker is an awesome container platform. As part of this talk , I would like to show and discuss , how it can help solve some of the common and annoying issues faced while testing . Namely :

    • "It worked on my machine" problem
    • Testing different configurations, with the same codebase
    • Efficiently testing on your / dev's machine.
    • Setting up the Continuous Integration Environment
    • Scaling  / Parallelising Test Runs ( via Selenium Grid  & Docker Compose ) 
  • Liked Wai Ling Ko
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Wai Ling Ko - Five things I learned about Scrum while becoming a trainer

    Wai Ling Ko
    Wai Ling Ko
    Scrum Master
    Liberty
    schedule 6 months ago
    Sold Out!
    20 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    In 2008, I became a Scrum Master at a large Dutch Bank. I was sent to Scrum training and I learned how to 'read' and adopt the  Scrum Guide. During my journey as a Scrum Master, I worked with different teams (distributed and local) in organizations big & small. Last year, I decided to become a Professional Scrum Trainer and it was during that grueling track that I again learned more about Scrum, and myths got busted and misconceptions were unraveled.

    In this talk I will reflect back on my experiences and share five things I have learned about Daily Scrums, Done, Sprint Goal(s), Sprint Reviews and myths.

  • Liked Nicki Curtis
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Nicki Curtis - Bugger, I stuffed that up..

    Nicki Curtis
    Nicki Curtis
    Product Owner
    Xero Ltd
    schedule 6 months ago
    Sold Out!
    20 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Based on a recent Blog post I wrote - I cover what I have learnt from allowing myself to look back on my mistakes.

    Bugger, I stuffed that up

  • Liked Jochy
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jochy - Cognitive biases in agile teams

    Jochy
    Jochy
    Senior Consultant
    Elabor8
    schedule 6 months ago
    Sold Out!
    20 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner
    Cognitive biases often results to poor decisions that could affect your teams. This talk provides an introduction to cognitive biases and how they impact team performance and effectivity.
    I'll cover 3 aspects of teams that could be impacted by these cognitive biases - team dynamics, communication and productivity.
    I'll discuss the symptoms of these biases and show you how to proactively control and reduce its effects for more effective teams. 

     

     

     

     

  • Liked Colin Cherry
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Colin Cherry - We Need a Model Office Jim, Didn't You Know That?

    Colin Cherry
    Colin Cherry
    Consultant
    iTesting
    schedule 6 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    It would have been so cool to test the myriad of features on the Starship Enterprise, not least the Transporter Room. I would have loved to be the first Tester to say "Beam me up Scotty". Unfortunately, I never got that gig, but I did do plenty of other exciting things that often involved taking risks. When your life revolves around risk you quickly learn to develop tools to help you identify, manage and mitigate those risks and my favourite tool for doing this is the Model Office.

    An agile organisation requires a current state (baseline) upon which to anchor its future. It also requires an environment within which to reflect this current state. Fundamentally, this environment has the ability to design, model and test each and every future state, not just from a technology perspective but from a whole of business viewpoint. A Model Office provides such an environment and perspective.

    Put simply, a Model Office is a physical manifestation and working model of a business (or some designated part thereof). I have been designing and building Model Offices for almost 20 years and I will privide a snapshot of my story during this presentation.

    We build and maintain Model Offices to support Change initiatives so that both the business (and technology) can have a shared vision of how a business looks and functions today and how it will look and function once change has been implemented. We built one for a (startup) online supermarket in the U.K. and used it to show everyone from the Board of Directors down to the cleaning staff what their new business would look like and how that would fit into it. It allowed them to "feel" how their business would function and operate before it was created. The Board of this business were so excited about this concept that they held several shareholder events in the room where we built the Model Office. It later became the hub for all their onsite training program.

    I will present a Case Study in order to highlight the benefits of a Model Office approach across all phases of the Change Lifecycle.

  • Liked Andrew Elms
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Andrew Elms - The Zen of Agile

    Andrew Elms
    Andrew Elms
    Snr Software Developer
    Computershare
    schedule 7 months ago
    Sold Out!
    20 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    I used to get told to be more flexible implementing Scrum. How can I be flexible when there are all these rules and principals to be followed. It seemed like the more flexible I was the more I watered it down till nothing left. Then I gained agile-enlightenment* when I was de-programmed from the cult of buzzwords and hard rules.

    This is what I learnt…

    * Disclaimer: There is no such thing as agile-enlightenment as you will soon see…

  • Liked Jon Gedge
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jon Gedge - It's not agile coaching if you don't coach!

    Jon Gedge
    Jon Gedge
    Agile Coach
    Elabor8
    schedule 7 months ago
    Sold Out!
    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Why do we talk about agile coaches rather than agile mentors or agile teachers?

    In this workshop we will explore what coaching is, why I believe it is an essential skill if you want to help people develop an agile mindset, and how coaching can enable people to change their thinking patterns and behaviour.

    Participants will then practice the core coaching skills of active listening and powerful questioning in genuine coaching conversations with each other, before reflecting on how they can apply these skills in their own lives.

  • Liked Tim Pittman
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Tim Pittman / Shannon Rowe - From Consultant to Client

    20 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Join Shannon and Tim for a fast paced account of their move from being high-flying consultants to down-to-earth product people.

    Where do they now add value? How has their relationship with their team changed? How many timesheets are they doing?

    All will be revealed!

     

     

  • Liked Vikas Joshi
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Vikas Joshi - Cross-Browser, Cross-Device Test Automation using Selenium & BrowserStack

    Vikas Joshi
    Vikas Joshi
    Senior Test Analyst
    WSP
    schedule 7 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Demonstration
    Intermediate

    In this session, Vikas Joshi will speak about a Test Automation framework created using Selenium integrated with BrowserStack for performing Cross-Browser, Cross-device & Cross-OS Test automation - touching few more topics like Jenkins , headless, Allure reports & more , on Java Stack.