Self-organizing teams usually characterize agile organizations. They often use methods such as Scrum, Kanban or Design Thinking. 

But how can several independent teams be busy developing the same product or service? How can you get high independence of the teams and good coordination at the same time? Who is responsible for an overall project, which is an essential control concept, especially in hierarchically organized companies? 

With its Spotify model, the music service provider Spotify has described a development step that tries to give answers to the questions asked above. 

The Spotify model can help to make an traditional organization bit more agile. It can be used as an inspiration to derive your change path from it and to make use of useful approaches. 

Sometimes it is also used to describe an agile organizational structure for larger organizations. However, this is misleading because the Spotify model is not only about defining the organizational structure. 

First, the aim is to describe a structure that allows and promotes agile posture to generate and support agile behaviour from it. 

To understand this, one must first look a little further behind the façade of the model. For this purpose, I would like to offer a few sources here to get new perspectives: 

LINK – Description of the Spotify Model 

LINK – White Paper about the Spotify Model 

LINK – Article about common mistakes in interpreting the approach 

Links to 2 videos by Spotify explaining the approach from Spotify’s point of view 

The Spotify model is, therefore, not only the structure for the organization. At first glance, it looks like a matrix organization that fits very well into a hierarchical organizational structure.  

This is probably also the reason why many traditional companies will soon be using this model as part of their agile transformation. However, the approach describes much more how autonomy (e.g., self-organization) can be realized with a simultaneously high level of coordination between groups in larger teams. 

From this point of view, the Spotify approach can be a beneficial source of inspiration to derive the next major developmental steps for your agile change. 


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