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Spotify Model

Last post 09:31 am June 7, 2020 by Xander Ladage
4 replies
03:04 pm June 5, 2020



There has been a lot of talk recently in my organisation about the Spotify model and although we are not going to follow it exactly by the sounds of things there are a lot of similarities such as charters and tribes etc. 


However the one thing that hasn't been mentioned is who the Product Owners such as myself will report to as a line manager. I currently sit within the 'business' (as oppose to the IT dept) under my boss who is a Digital Innovation Officer, but these roles are being replaced by a 'Tribe Leader' within the IT Department. 


Has anyone else's organisation followed the Spotify model and if so, who do the Product Owners report to? Do you have any lessons learnt on the set up etc?


Thank you in advance. 

06:07 pm June 5, 2020

As a Product Owner, why do you feel the need to report to anyone at all? Why not embrace this opportunity to represent the interests of stakeholders, and to become the authority regarding product management and value?

07:26 pm June 6, 2020

Well a line manager generally does the personal development reviews for a person, approves holiday requests and sets the amounts for pay increases each year as a bare minimum, so it’s highly unlikely I won’t have a line manager. I’m just not sure who/ what position it may be. 


11:45 pm June 6, 2020

I don't think it matters who you report to. Your job is to create a valuable product and that can be done regardless of where you stand in the corporate hierarchy. 

The issue I have with the Spotify model is that it is another one of those game-changers that a leader heard about at a conference, came back to the company and convinced the C-suite to put it into motion. Most times, companies implement Agile and Agile-like processes, only to realize years later that not much has changed. I am of the opinion that simplicity is key. Scrum is simple. Or make your own methodology. But the goal should be to empower small teams to do work faster, test market assumptions through frequent releases and to pivot based on new data. Also, you have to screen and hire the right people. People with bad attitudes and those who are resistant to change are an anchor for a big beautiful ship.

09:31 am June 7, 2020

Keep in mind that 1. "The" Spotify model has changed over time. So it depends on when (point in time) you look at "the" Spotify model to see what you get. 2. What is commonly referred to as "the spotify model" is a development organization setup which fitted the product, organization and vision of Spotify at that time. In other words, it is not a magic wand to be raised to any other organization, product or vision, although people seems to see it that way.

So, only once you know the foundational WHY of your arganization, the problem you try to solve, the goal you trt to achieve, only then can you select a model or framework to fit your needs

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